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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!

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 ...

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

My facility has instituted a new policy: Keep the patient happy no matter what. Staff has been instructed to think of patients and their families as clients. Happy clients tell friends about their experiences. We want those friends to choose our facility if they ever need long-term care. That way we can maintain our financial goals.

Nothing is more important than achieving that goal. Patients and families ...


As many ADVANCE readers are likely aware, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) last year rebranded its traditional "Annual Conference & Exposition" as simply "NEXT". The APTA website stated at the time, "It's a name change, but more than that it's a commitment to making APTA's June conference about looking into the future of physical therapy. ...

May 27, 2015 12:06 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

"I'm not sitting on that."

This week I have a patient who refuses to use a bedside commode. He refuses to allow us to position the BSC over the toilet to increase the height. He refuses to do anything but use the toilet in his room. Many people feel the same way, although the BSC is considered an improvement over a bedpan.

There is just one problem. The patient in question has an incomplete ...

May 20, 2015 4:11 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

"I'm paying to be here and be taken care of. You will do what I tell you."

It's bad enough we struggle for respect from physicians and occasionally other disciplines. I would say the majority of the population doesn't know what we do or the amount of education required to be a therapist. Usually if we work hard and prove ourselves, the respect follows. Or we generate recognition that what we do requires ...


Lately, it seems like everyone wants their exercise to be hot. Hot Pilates, hot lifting, hot spinning, and, easily the most popular currently, hot yoga (or Bikram). The more I read about it and the more good things I hear from friends and family, the more I am intrigued to try it. But, I also wonder: is doing a supposedly relaxing form of exercise in extreme heat with humidity really good for your physical health?

I ...

May 6, 2015 2:23 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I've been reading the responses to my various blogs over the past few weeks. The responses seem to be echoing what I've been saying. Hardly anyone has had anything to say in support of the APTA. Many explain why they don't belong.

The general consensus is the APTA doesn't represent the majority ...


NASHVILLE -- During her Presidential Address at the American Occupational Therapy Association's 95th Annual Conference & Expo, held April 16-18 in Nashville, AOTA President Virginia "Ginny" Stoffel, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA, took stock of the current state of the profession and set a course for the decades ahead.

Stoffel is associate professor in the department of occupational science and technology at ...

April 29, 2015 5:22 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

We've had a changing of the guard where I work. A couple of months ago upper management reorganized. Last month the previous rehab manager was asked to step down. A new manager was appointed with the mandate to clean up the department. Changes have been coming ever since.

None of our new upper management team has any experience with rehab. They are recreating our department in the image of nursing. Every ...

April 22, 2015 5:21 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

It's that time of year again. I just opened my mail and found my APTA renewal notice. For a mere $585, I can continue to receive all the benefits of membership. This amount includes APTA membership, Texas chapter membership and membership in three sections. The only one of those I have any interest in maintaining is section membership.

My last several blogs have been critical of the APTA and the direction ...


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va., issued a press release on April 9 detailing the results of a recent study published in the scientific journal BMC Health Services Research. The study demonstrated that early and guideline-adherent physical therapy following an initial episode of acute, non-specific ...

April 15, 2015 5:04 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

As I've read the responses my latest blogs have generated, I've noticed a few common threads. Everyone seems to be in agreement on the problems. We might not prioritize them in the same order but all agree they exist. We also agree the APTA is either unaware of these issues or is unwilling to address them.

Last ...

April 9, 2015 4:51 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

For the past few weeks, I've been writing about problems facing the physical therapy profession. These include tunnel vision focused on direct access and practice without referral. Another is the public perception of who we are and what we do. Still another is poor membership in the APTA and why most PTs don't see the benefit of being a member.

April 2, 2015 3:54 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last weekend was another horse show. During the downtime, I was involved in two conversations that illustrate some of the points I frequently make. The first occurred between two women who didn't know I'm a PT. The second occurred with a high school senior who did know.

The two ladies were discussing a recent hospitalization following an orthopedic procedure. The woman who'd been in the hospital wasn't happy ...

March 27, 2015 4:40 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last weekend I had dinner with some friends. One of my newer acquaintances knew what a physical therapist does. First he wanted to know what clinic I worked at. When I told him I work in a hospital, he wanted to know how I liked working with shoulders and knees after surgery.

I finally had to explain in detail what I do each day. This included an explanation of the difference between orthopedic patients and ...

March 18, 2015 2:19 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

"I need therapy. Refer me to someone who knows what they're doing."

This was an actual request to me last week. One of our CNAs has an Achilles tendon injury. She has been wearing a moon boot for a few weeks. Last week her physician ordered physical therapy for her.

I wasn't much help for the request. I'm not in the loop of people who would have information like that. The other PT at my facility ...

March 18, 2015 12:56 PM by Jocelyn Wallace of Striving to Be a DPT

I recently attended my state's Advocacy Days in Florida's capital city, Tallahassee. This event is organized by our state's professional association, the FPTA and was focused on current efforts to update our state practice act to give full, unrestricted direct access among some other changes.

The Advocacy Days event was two days in length. The first evening was about 4 hours of training and preparation for ...

March 13, 2015 3:40 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Two weeks ago I attended a Texas Physical Therapy Association meeting. The speaker was Mike Conners, president of the TPTA. Last week I discussed my belief the APTA is too focused on issues, such as direct access, that do not affect the majority of PTs and PTAs. Mike made another point that needs ...



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.