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Our Family Is Crazy
A Word from the PT

Practice Council
By: Nathan Jarvis
Date: April 23, 2020

As the entirety of our healthcare system continues to work through these challenging times and adapt to the management of patients during this pandemic, the same holds true for all our therapists working to care for our patients. Our patients, more than ever, need our continued compassion and attentiveness to their individual rehabilitation needs as we manage in this ever-changing environment.

Residents in skilled nursing facilities find themselves unable to have visitors and many residents are restricted to staying in their rooms, having been placed on isolation precautions. Their once normal environment is now restricted and confined. Not only has the typical rehabilitation environment been changed but the therapist caring for them now present in an overwhelming variety of PPE. These sudden and unexpected changes to patient care have taken a mental toll on our residents.

At little or no surprise to us as clinicians, the recommendations for treating those residents who are affected by COVID-19 is early mobility when safe to complete. Regarding therapy interventions and practices, the need to get our patients moving, working toward improve activity tolerance, and focusing on their recovery process is, as always, the focal point of our care. We as clinicians continue to work toward measurable goals and an emphasis on our core measures is an important part of patient care. Working within the confines of the patients’ rooms, progression toward these core measures is still essential. Therapists have adapted to utilizing the available space to perform HIRT, dynamic balance interventions, and functional activity tolerance training working to improve core measure outcomes. Our clinicians know the importance of these interventions and have adapted their treatment practices to best serve our patient population under varied circumstances.

In this current environment of heightened precautions to protect our residents, it is important to not only focus on their physical well-being but their mental state as well. Many residents become disheartened, depressed, and anxious.

As therapists, we are often with the residents for a longer period per day than any other member of the interdisciplinary team. Connecting with our residents and encouraging them is essential for their wellbeing during these turbulent times. Therapists should emphasize the social aspect of therapy by connecting with residents on a personal level and incorporating aspects of their personal life into therapy sessions. Therapists can engage residents in specific interest activities while working toward outcome goals. Therapists could facilitate letter writing, listening to music during treatment sessions, provide reading material, and facilitate activities of importance to the resident. I have personally noticed that residents appear to thrive on these personal aspects of patient care and the normalcy that we can provide.

While I anticipate that none of this brief message will come as a surprise to anyone, however a subtle reminder of how much we positively impact residents’ lives daily. As much as we have all been working to adapt and to adjust during these critical times, our patients are also experiencing these changes with us. Our patients need our continued support both physically and mentally, now more than ever.

If you are looking for ideas on how to implement our clinical model in a patient’s room, check out this new resource found on Springboard under Clinical/Quality Initiative general info or download below.

The Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy along with APTA Geriatrics, the Home Health section of APTA, and HPA the Catalyst presented a webinar titled, COVID-19: Minimizing the Impact of Social Distancing for the Older Adult. 

The webinar is free to all and can be accessed here: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.acutept.org/resource/resmgr/uploads_for_links/4-4-20_Webinar_Recording.pdf


A Word from the PT Practice Council

By: Nathan Jarvis
Date: April 23, 2020


As the entirety of our healthcare system continues to work through these challenging times and adapt to the management of patients during this pandemic, the same holds true for all our therapists working to care for our patients. Our patients, more than ever, need our continued compassion and attentiveness to their individual rehabilitation needs as we manage in this ever-changing environment.

Residents in skilled nursing facilities find themselves unable to have visitors and many residents are restricted to staying in their rooms, having been placed on isolation precautions. Their once normal environment is now restricted and confined. Not only has the typical rehabilitation environment been changed but the therapist caring for them now present in an overwhelming variety of PPE. These sudden and unexpected changes to patient care have taken a mental toll on our residents.

At little or no surprise to us as clinicians, the recommendations for treating those residents who are affected by COVID-19 is early mobility when safe to complete. Regarding therapy interventions and practices, the need to get our patients moving, working toward improve activity tolerance, and focusing on their recovery process is, as always, the focal point of our care. We as clinicians continue to work toward measurable goals and an emphasis on our core measures is an important part of patient care. Working within the confines of the patients’ rooms, progression toward these core measures is still essential. Therapists have adapted to utilizing the available space to perform HIRT, dynamic balance interventions, and functional activity tolerance training working to improve core measure outcomes. Our clinicians know the importance of these interventions and have adapted their treatment practices to best serve our patient population under varied circumstances.

In this current environment of heightened precautions to protect our residents, it is important to not only focus on their physical well-being but their mental state as well. Many residents become disheartened, depressed, and anxious.

As therapists, we are often with the residents for a longer period per day than any other member of the interdisciplinary team. Connecting with our residents and encouraging them is essential for their wellbeing during these turbulent times. Therapists should emphasize the social aspect of therapy by connecting with residents on a personal level and incorporating aspects of their personal life into therapy sessions. Therapists can engage residents in specific interest activities while working toward outcome goals. Therapists could facilitate letter writing, listening to music during treatment sessions, provide reading material, and facilitate activities of importance to the resident. I have personally noticed that residents appear to thrive on these personal aspects of patient care and the normalcy that we can provide.

While I anticipate that none of this brief message will come as a surprise to anyone, however a subtle reminder of how much we positively impact residents’ lives daily. As much as we have all been working to adapt and to adjust during these critical times, our patients are also experiencing these changes with us. Our patients need our continued support both physically and mentally, now more than ever.

If you are looking for ideas on how to implement our clinical model in a patient’s room, check out this new resource found on Springboard under Clinical/Quality Initiative general info or download below.

The Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy along with APTA Geriatrics, the Home Health section of APTA, and HPA the Catalyst presented a webinar titled, COVID-19: Minimizing the Impact of Social Distancing for the Older Adult. 

The webinar is free to all and can be accessed here: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.acutept.org/resource/resmgr/uploads_for_links/4-4-20_Webinar_Recording.pdf

© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies
© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies
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© 2019 Avamere Family of Companies