St. Rose Health Center

From the blog

Doctor’s referral not necessary for St. Rose physical therapy


Melanie Schroeter has been providing physical therapy services at St. Rose Health Center for only a short time but she has noticed that many people don’t realize they can have treatments without a doctor’s referral.

“Patients can have direct access to St. Rose Therapy Services,” Schroeter said. “In the past, you did have to have a referral but the requirement changed in 2013 in Kansas.”

Because Schroeter sees first-hand the benefits of physical therapy, she encourages anyone with questions to contact her – with or without a doctor’s referral. The office number is 620-786-6515.

“If someone is suffering from neck or low-back pain or any type of joint pain, physical therapy can be a big part of the solution,” she said. “People experiencing problems with balance or dizziness can also find relief. Other diagnoses that can be treated with physical therapy include rotator cuff tear or injury; meniscus tear; plantar fasciitis; spinal stenosis; and scoliosis.

“In addition,” Schroeter continued, “the proper therapy can at least delay some surgeries and prevent others. But even if surgery is ultimately determined to be the best treatment, the patient will be stronger at the time of the operation. And that is always a good thing.”

Schroeter refers patients to physicians when appropriate; she will keep the lines of communication open with patients and doctors.

The St. Rose therapist is aware that some people think physical therapy is painful, and therefore shy away from it.

“The primary goal of therapy is to eliminate pain,” Schroeter noted. “I accomplish this by performing a thorough evaluation of each patient, while listening to their concerns. My skill in assessing the musculoskeletal system can help determine the cause of the pain.

“For instance,” she continued, “those who have knee pain may have weakness in the hips, causing the knee to hurt. I then tailor the treatment plan to the individuals’ needs, guide them in exercises and provide manual therapy to relieve the pain.”

Schroeter recommends patients seek help when the problem begins. A knee problem can lead to hip and/or ankle problems but therapy can improve the patient’s quality of life by decreasing pain, she explained.

“Patients will notice gradual results at first and continue to get stronger and more mobile in a short amount of time,” she added. “Even after the therapy sessions are complete, patients can perform these exercises at home to help ensure lasting effects.”

Schroeter earned bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and nutrition in 2007 at Kansas State University, and her doctorate in physical therapy in 2010 at Wichita State University. She is a 2001 graduate of Larned High School.

St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, Imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Physical Therapy, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.