Uplifting Message: “Never Settle for Ordinary”
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -
What seems like a "routine" job for physical therapists is often anything but for the patients and the families they help.
"PT is not a generic term-it is our practice," said R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD, APTA president during his opening address Wednesday night.
Dr. Ward had an inspiring and rousing message during his address: To tell PTs and PTAs "never settle for ordinary. And if you think you're ordinary, consider the changes on the lives of those people you serve.
"We define the meaningful scope of PT, and we are the ones who can clarify it for policymakers and legislators," Dr. Ward said.
"Reaching, standing, lifting, stepping...all are movement issues that we address that can seem so mundane-but not to those who struggle with them day after day," he said. "Our understanding and compassion are only two examples of what is most notable about our profession."
Guard against complacency, Dr. Ward warned. "No matter how ‘regular' your treatments can become, remember your work is always unique as it is applied to individual patients. What we do every day makes a difference in people's lives."
Dr. Ward told the audience to remember that message when they headed to Capitol Hill to rally and visit legislators.
Thursday morning, the PT delegates headed to the Hill-more than 1,000 members strong in heat topping out at 99 degrees. Topping their list of concerns they planned to bring to legislators included repeal of the outpatient therapy cap on Medicare, getting physical therapy included in the student debt loan forgiveness program, and raising awareness for more education and funding for programs to combat concussion in youths.