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ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine is thrilled to welcome you to PT Talk: Blog Community from ADVANCE! Our blog community offers interactive blogs written by PT professionals and our editorial staff. We look forward to hearing more about the rehabilitation field from your point of view. Blogs will discuss issues related to the field, current events and other fun & candid observations. We have provided a comment section so you can voice your opinions and submit feedback. Happy blogging!
September 30, 2015 3:46 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

My hospital serves a large population of non-English-speaking patients. At any given time, one-third to one-half of my caseload speaks Spanish. As a result, the Interpreter Services Department was created. They either employ or contract for interpreters in almost every language. This includes sign language. We are supposed to use these translators or a telephone-based language line whenever we work with a non-English-speaking ...

September 23, 2015 5:43 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I wish someone could explain this to me. The baby boomers are aging. Each year, millions more of them will become eligible for Medicare. Instead of increasing funding to cover everyone at current levels, the government is decreasing the funding. Everyone will still get funding but with less coverage.

As physical therapists, we know the aging population will need our services. Years ago we talked about the ...


Yoga and Pilates are both well known in the therapy world and are often used as a complementary activity for patients with chronic pain and long-term conditions. Not many people, however, use Tai Chi as an example of such exercises - but maybe they should start.

The British Journal of Sports and Medicine published a systematic review on the effects of Tai Chi on four specific chronic conditions: osteoarthritis, ...

September 16, 2015 3:23 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

This week I thought I'd follow up on my friend's job search. She graduated the same year I did and lost her job last month. I'm tracking her progress because the plight of experienced therapists seeking work is completely overshadowed by how new grads are doing.

As of last Friday, ...

September 10, 2015 10:37 AM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Wisdom comes to us in many ways. Last week one of my patients told me not to get old. Being an old lady is hard on you.

I've never heard it put any better.


 Editor's note: This blog post was guest written by Kelly McFarland, PT, DPT 

Any physical therapist who has chosen to get into aquatics knows how beneficial it is for patients. However, it's not always straightforward. In order to provide exceptional aquatic therapy to clients, you have to be willing to make changes along the way.

Some of my biggest tips for colleagues who ...

September 2, 2015 4:40 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last week I was involved in a discussion regarding membership in the APTA. For once the topic wasn't new graduates but therapists who were members but no longer are. The question was, what would it take to bring them back in? What do they value? I responded by describing how a SNF functions. Fix that chaos and they'll return.

SNFs are unique. Their purpose is to provide rehab for patients who can't tolerate ...


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va., recently issued a press release concerning a new study. Published in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, the study is titled "Physician Self-Referral of Physical Therapy Services for Patients with Low Back Pain: Implications for Use, Types of Treatments Received ...

August 26, 2015 4:11 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Previously I've written about the financial burden on newly graduated DPTs. If undergraduate costs are included, a new graduate could be as much as $100,000 in debt. The debt is driving decisions about jobs, salaries and benefits. Until last week, I hadn't considered the effect this ...


While there are many important differences between the physical and occupational therapy fields, it is more often than not found that each profession can learn a lot from the other.

Back in July I went to visit Phoebe Ministries, a non-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in health care, housing, and support services for seniors located in Allentown, Pa., to learn about their newest implemented therapy ...

August 19, 2015 4:41 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

In my last blog, I described my concerns that nothing will change with the APTA, expensive consultant group or not. I expect them to continue with the same message but repackage with new words. I see subtlety in their future. The reason I don't expect change is simple. The same people will still ...

July 29, 2015 5:23 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I've spent more time thinking about the "new" APTA. This could be a golden opportunity for the APTA to reinvent itself and address the needs of its current non-members. By asking questions and actually listening to the answers, its membership might grow and it could become a true association of the profession.

Alas, I just don't think so. I expect something along the lines of reshaping the message to fit the ...

July 22, 2015 5:19 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last weekend I attended a Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) meeting. The purpose was to rethink our strategy for the next few years. It seems the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has been researching why its message isn't being received. Thousands of dollars were spent on consultants to tell them why this has been happening. The answer was simple.

The APTA is getting the message out ...

July 15, 2015 3:08 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I recently learned Houston is getting another PT school. It's still in the planning stages. They are looking for individuals to develop and open the school. I'm not sure how long that takes but I would guess it will be a few years before the first class is accepted.

I find this unbelievable. Texas has more PT schools than almost any other state. We have two in Houston and five or six in surrounding cities. ...

July 10, 2015 3:14 PM by Jocelyn Wallace of Striving to Be a DPT

My program is unique in that we do our first full-time, 4-week rotation at the tail end of our first year. My first, along with the rest of my classmates, was in the SNF setting. "SNF" stands for skilled nursing facility, or nursing home. I greatly enjoyed my experience in my SNF, which was a 196-bed facility that had approximately 50% long-term care and 50% short-term patients.

The majority of the patients ...

July 9, 2015 5:00 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

For the past few weeks, I've been blogging about problems within the profession of physical therapy and our frustrations over them. Everyone agrees on the problems. There is probably some disagreement on which ones should be addressed first. After all, they are interdependent. Attempting to ...


The explosive growth of interest in the world's most popular game -- soccer -- is perhaps the most striking development in American sporting culture over the past several years. In previous decades, as the rest of the globe worshipped the sport like a religion, the United States stubbornly held out as a nation that viewed soccer with relative apathy, fixating instead on football, baseball, basketball, and hockey.

But ...


From June 19-28, more than 240 wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from across the country gathered for the annual Department of Defense Warrior Games at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Athletes represented teams from the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command. This was the first year the DoD organized the games, usually done by the United States Olympic Committee. ...

July 1, 2015 5:09 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

As I read the responses to my latest blog on the ADVANCE website and Facebook page, I noticed a couple trends. First, why would the APTA push the DPT without consideration of the economic consequences for new graduates ...


"I shall not cry because it's over. I shall smile because it happened."

With a nod to Dr. Seuss, Jim Thornton, MA, ATC, CES, outgoing president of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), put a stamp on his tenure at the "Changing of the Guard" ceremony during the NATA's 66th Annual Symposia and AT Expo, held in St. Louis June 24-27, 2015.

The NATA welcomes Scott ...

June 25, 2015 12:13 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I've been reading the feedback on last week's blog. Everyone recognizes the problem. It costs more to go to PT school than the salary will support. I suspect many people saw this coming. I did. I'm kind of amazed the people who crafted this grand scheme didn't consider a serious consequence.

If ...

June 17, 2015 3:07 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

We recently hired a new graduate as a prn therapist. We offered him a full-time position. He turned it down because it didn't pay enough. He gave the same response to three other facilities when they offered him positions. None of them paid enough. He now works as a prn therapist at two or three facilities.

All three of the facilities offered similar salaries and benefits. The only differences were location ...


The morning of June 4 started very early for more than 1,000 dedicated attendees at the American Physical Therapy Association's NEXT 2015 Conference & Exposition in National Harbor, Md. These hardy souls awoke before the sun, donned their professional best and headed downstairs by 6 a.m. for a quick breakfast before boarding shuttle buses bound for nearby Washington, D.C. The much-anticipated PT Day on Capitol ...

June 10, 2015 3:12 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

We're all well aware of the fattening of our patients. Years ago facilities rented bariatric equipment. Now they own it. Obesity compounds other medical problems as well as interfering with mobilization, and the trend continues. I've noticed another trend that doesn't seem to be getting attention. Our patients are sicker than they've ever been.

My facility has always been known for accepting critically ill ...


NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The APTA Annual Conference & Exposition, which was rebranded last year as "NEXT," just celebrated its 2015 incarnation in this inviting little town on the Potomac River outside Washington, D.C. The conference drew thousands of excited physical therapy professionals and advocates from all over the country, kicking off the night of June 3 with a memorable opening event.

Replicating ...



The ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine editorial staff will discuss issues in the PT profession, current events in health care and offer their opinions and insights.

Toni will be talking about the PT world as she sees it with 20+ years of experience as well as a student new to the world of post-professional education. She welcomes comments and responses. Anything is fair game!

Lisa Mueller is a physical therapist in Milwaukee, WI. She currently works in an acute-care setting with experience in general medical and critical care patients. With her BA in Spanish, Lisa treats a variety of patients each day.

Join Dean Metz as he ventures out of direct patient care and attempts to have a more widespread impact through public health.

PTA, mommy, runner, all-around chicken wrangler, kindergarten/4th grade art docent and professional juggler (no not really, but it sure feels like it sometimes).

Follow Lauren as she navigates her way through the DPT program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Jocelyn is a student at Nova Southeastern University's DPT Program in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Join in her three-year journey to becoming a DPT.