As you are no doubt well aware, the last month has seen massive changes in the way we go about our everyday lives. To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many of us are at home and staying there for the foreseeable future!
To help me stay home, my dance classes and band practice have both moved online. Health care is no different, so of course, I’ve moved to seeing most of my clients online as well.
As we’re all navigating through this together, I thought I’d share some information about our online services.
What programme do you use?
When you access health services through the internet or phone, this is often referred to as teletherapy or telehealth. To conduct these services, Newcastle Speech Pathology uses a programme called Coviu. It’s developed specifically for telehealth, not just for conference calls or social chats, like other programmes. It has a good level of security, being end to end encrypted and developed with the CSIRO. We’ve used it for a number of years to provide therapy to people in remote areas, but recently we’ve had a massive increase in the number of online therapy sessions we provide.
Who is telehealth suitable for?
Our team uses telehealth for clients of all ages; from toddlers all the way through to our oldest clients! We have been thrilled by how successful teletherapy has been for helping our clients continue to make wonderful progress. Several parents were concerned that their young ones wouldn’t be able to engage with therapy online, but our team has found that this is not the case. There are plenty of fun and engaging games and tools we use to keep therapy interesting for our younger clients! We encourage you to give telehealth a try and see how it works for you. We’re happy to have a chat with you about what an online session would like to suit you or your child’s specific needs.
How is telehealth different from face to face therapy?
Occasionally, it is exactly the same, particularly for adult clients. However, for our younger clients, particularly preschoolers, it is a little different. Your clinician may ask you to prepare a game in your home that you can play while doing therapy. Your clinician may also move to a more consultative model of therapy, where we focus on helping you give accurate feedback to your child at home to help them reach their goals. I personally have found it really beneficial to see my clients in their home environment where they are comfortable. I have noticed some differences in the way they communicate at home versus in the clinic which has changed some of the goals I’m working towards.
What if I don’t have access to technology for telehealth?
We are still offering a handful of face to face appointments for people who can’t access teletherapy. To ensure the safety of our team and all our clients, we may ask you questions about any recent travel or your isolation habits. If you are at higher risk and believe that a face to face appointment is unsuitable for you, talk to your clinician about phone calls or homework packs to keep you moving towards your goals, even in this crazy time!
Who can I talk to about my therapy?
Our clinic is still open, and our admin staff are on hand to answer any of your questions. You can contact our office on 4948 9800, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re here for you, right where you are.
I look forward to connecting with you!
Certified Practising Speech Pathologist