I continue to receive numerous texts, emails, phone calls, and messages asking how the heck PTs are supposed to keep practicing amidst the trials of COVID-19. The laws are changing constantly, states are laying down practice restrictions, and payers are opening up and expanding, but amidst all that, many of us feel lost.
I’ve held leadership roles in our profession, but I definitely am no COVID-19 expert. What I can tell you is that Physical Therapists are incredibly strong, smart, undaunted, and resourceful. We have jumped at the chance to respond to pretty much every epidemic, pandemic, and natural disaster around the world since the inception of our profession. COVID-19 shouldn’t and won’t be any different.
Our sense of altruism is too strong. That’s why most of us are TERRIBLE at marketing ourselves. Our values are deeply engrained. That’s why we keep wondering how we can help.
I had the idea to start this site years ago, but the inundation of communication I’ve received related specifically to the current situation pushed me to open this up sooner than I had planned. I never imagined that I would be launching this site in response to a pandemic that has left my colleagues providing chauffeur services for other healthcare providers, or being a greeter at the front door of an urgent care, or applying to work at Costco. Yes, these are all things our fellow PTs are currently doing. And It’s killing me.
I, like Liam Neeson, have a very particular set of skills. I am a physical therapist who specializes in the management of advanced chronic disease. I do that by providing skilled interventions targeted at the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological systems in the geriatric population. I spend most of my days treating end stage COPD, ESRD, or CHF, and I love it. As a PT, I want to see more people in our profession utilizing these types of skillsets. We all have them to some extent. We all learned this stuff somewhere along the way. I just kept learning it and never looked back. My goal is to help all of you relearn it, too. I want you to feel comfortable with the skillsets you will need to treat patients with advanced heart and lung diseases, like COVID-19. I want to teach what interventions you’ll need in your toolbox. Most of all, I want you to be able to keep doing your job because you are valuable and I want you to be able to prove it.
If you are an outpatient orthopedics therapist who doesn’t really remember much from cardiopulmonary class, this is for you. If you are a new grad who just wants to know everything you don’t know, this is for you. If you have been practicing in skilled nursing for 25 years and want an update, this is for you. If you don’t care at all about cardiopulmonary physical therapy services, but you know you need them right now, this is for you (but we should talk more later).
I want you all to feel confident in the competence you have in these skills. I want you to know that someone else is out there fighting for you and with you through all this crazy. I want you to know that there is somewhere you can go to brush up on all this stuff quickly and without cost so you can go right back to work tomorrow and DO these things. I want you to feel valuable and give value to your patients.
I hope you can find some help here. And once this passes, if it passes, I hope to re-focus on other practice issues.
Stay safe and stay healthy, because we can’t stay home.
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