5 minutes with a Physio … Nicoleta Popa

Nicoleta has been a physio for 10 years, she works for Teladoc Health 5 days a week.

Nicoleta talks to us about what she thinks of the virtual physio service, what patients can expect, and some top tips for achieving healthier physical wellbeing.

What happens during a virtual physio consultation?

A thorough conversation about patient problem, how are they impacting them, how are they coping and their goals followed by specific clinical questions, specific movements and tasks to ascertain the likely cause of problem and formulate an action plan to address patient’s problem. We explain the working diagnosis, patient then has ample time to ask any questions and we clarify any concerns patient may have. Where the problem is suitable for us to manage virtually, we give advice on how to manage and try together the exercises we prescribe as a home workout.. We then agree and rebook them to follow their progress as necessary.

What do you like most about TDH’s approach? How is the service different from other physio services available?
  • Ease of booking though their app and great availability to book at any point in their day without having to travel, being in their comfort of their own environment and safe place, empowering them regarding self-management and setting goals that are attainable and meaningful to patient.
  • Variety of clinicians with extensive and various clinical expertise that are up to date with most recent research in their field of practice which patient can choose to book by reading their profile before booking.
  • At Teladoc Physiotherapists adopt a person centred care approach when assessing a patient, agreeing together about the desired health and wellbeing outcomes. We can directly signpost patients to a GP/Nutritionist/ Mental Health colleague for further support.
  • Our service gives patients ample appointments time, there is always enough time to deliver a great experience.
Can you share some recent anon examples of how you have helped patients coming into the service?

I recently had a patient complaining about chronic lower back pain and through history taking we’ve identified that patient was also having other lifestyle factors such as poor sleep and stress, that he was overwhelmed mentally from changing jobs twice in a ten month period , struggling to sleep due to pain and worrying thoughts and that he lost weight over this period.

We agreed to address his symptoms with a multidisciplinary approach by signposting him to his Doctor to rule out any medical cause for his weight loss and to our Mental Health team in order for him to learn how to cope better with his new job challenge and improve sleep. We’ve also discussed the benefits of exercise for his symptoms and how Physiotherapists can help along with the other professionals in our Teladoc Team once any medical causes for his recent weight loss has been ruled out.

Especially good would be examples where you have also referred a patient for additional support from another Teladoc Health service, for example GP, mental health.

What advice would you give a patient thinking of using the service but unsure?

Our service is a two way conversation and together we can discuss your problem and help you make an informed decision about it. At the end of our appointment you will have an appropriate action plan accordingly to your needs and preferences. If the presentation is not suitable for us to treat remotely we can refer to the most appropriate service.

What do you most enjoy about working for Teladoc Health?

I really value that we can give patients prompt appointments when patients need the most and I love our seamless integrated system that makes our work so easy to deliver a great virtual experience to our patients allowing our team to focus on what matter most – delivering great care!

Can you describe a typical working day (or week) at Teladoc Health? What types of symptoms present the most?

A typical working day would start with a friendly good morning from all our team members, to ensure we are all set, that everything is working fine and we ready to start a great day????. We always have the opportunity to ask any questions on out Teams channels and we keep in touch through the day for any support we need and give feedback where necessary.

Our working diary is made up of triaging patients before their Physiotherapy sessions, if there are any initial concerns regarding suitability, delivering Physiotherapy appointments and In-service training/webinars on different clinical, lifestyle topics or projects we may be involved in.

Most people present with musculoskeletal ailments related to lifestyle or overuse injuries. Lower back is the most common complaint.

What is the professional achievement you’re most proud of?

The knowledge I’ve acquired over the last three years regarding digital Physiotherapy services and my flexibility to adapt personally and professionally during periods of uncertainty such as the pandemic.

What do you like doing to relax and take care of your wellbeing?

I’m a new auntie and I love spending time with my 9 months nephew and with my Persian cat ????. I also love baking cakes and listening to audible books ( can be done at the same time too!)

How do you sustain your own physical wellbeing?

I love sunny walks ( nature/river/ beach walks when possible) or lifting weights for physical wellbeing.

I am looking to plan some trail walks this summer.

What’s your typical breakfast and go-to snacks?

Breakfast Greek yoghurt, Weetabix, Goji berries and chia seeds.

Snacks: healthy- apple with nuts or with peanut butter, hummus with cucumber sticks, cravings: salted crackers/cheese snacks.

What are your top 5 tips for people looking to achieve a healthier lifestyle?
  1. Prioritize water intake and sleep / address stress where necessary before anything else.
  2. Start small and change one thing at a time.
  3. Build a healthy habit and try to stick to it for at least 2 months for it to then become natural routine for you.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others rather reflect on your journey and milestones achieved.
  5. Be patient with yourself and practice gratitude at least once a week.


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