What you need NOW and how to know.

It may be in short supply, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need it. Any therapist performing respiratory techniques (the ones COVID patients probably need!) is at risk and should have the right PPE. Here is what you need, what you can get by with, and how to choose.

The Mask

We are all hearing the hysteria around the mask right now. Surgical vs. respirator vs home made. How and when do you choose what?
The CDC has created a table with some guidelines on how to make these choices. It’s important to remember where Physical Therapists fit on this table. If you are performing respiratory physical therapy interventions, you are performing aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs).


Thankfully we aren’t hearing too much about a shortage of these yet! You should just be wearing them. Odds are you know this already. Both hands, please. And make sure your friends wear them, too. This is the only PPE we have regularly available at my facility.


So stylish. So crinkly. One use, one patient. Do you remember the order in which you are supposed to don all this stuff? Yea, I didn’t either. Here’s a link to help you out.

Eye Protection

We are currently under droplet precautions here, people. However, some sources disagree with this and feel we should be under airborne precautions. Either way, you’ll need some eye protection. Goggles or a shield are acceptable.

all images open source from upslash.com

Check out these other links:

A homemade mask that may actually work?
Maybe! Check it out!

Forbes is putting the word out. Like the doctor said: “Any mask is better than no mask.”

Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage

Sternal Precautions

“Patients exchanging habits of activity for complete rest are likely to become rapidly worse.” This quote fuels my everyday. These words have informed nonsurgical and surgical rehabilitation and its evolution from handing out bed rest like Oprah hands out cars to getting people moving early and keeping them moving often. Here’s the crazy thing: ThisContinue reading “Sternal Precautions”


Gosh, this is a fine line… Especially in the patients I regularly see. A colleague and I often say, “If you have any more water, you’ll die. If you don’t have any more water, you’ll die.” This is actually a frequent education topic that I cover with patients. Scary? Yes, but true. So, why isContinue reading “Dehydration”

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Let’s talk about this super simple technique that can change everything. Diaphragmatic breathing is really just how we are all supposed to be breathing most of the time. The purpose of the diaphragm is to facilitate breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing improves gas exchange and increases lung volumes. These are all really good things if we need toContinue reading “Diaphragmatic Breathing”

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