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Toni Talks about PT Today

Request for Submissions

Published April 8, 2014 4:05 PM by Toni Patt

It's that time of year again. The company that I teach for is requesting submissions for an education summit next year. I'm supposed to select a topic, describe what it is and why I think people would be interested. Then I submit that and five references no more than a year or two old. They try to present newer information.

The problem is I can't think of topics. Each presentation is two hours. I teach a six-hour class. Two hours is nothing. I've already been told pretty much anything I submit will be accepted because I'm the neuro person. With one exception, everyone else who teaches is either an orthopedic person or pediatric person.

Naturally I want to fall back on stroke-related topics. All the newer stuff in stroke research is medical in nature, not related to physical therapy. That won't work. It's time to broaden my horizons. I'm an NCS. I should have a good grasp of neurological therapy in general. But it has to be interesting to me. So far I haven't thought of much.

There's another problem. I like acute and subacute stuff. Most of the research is done with chronic patients, particularly with stroke. So there isn't much research to support anything. There has been work with acute brain injuries but I'm not sure if I can make that interesting for two hours. That would entail breaking down what the lines and wires are for, which I think is common knowledge.

A lot of what I do is based on anecdotal work I've done. I try things and see what happens. I know it works. I have research that supports the theory I started from. I've considered submitting two case studies that support things I do, which would then be literature. That's difficult because few publications will publish case studies.

I have a week to figure this out, pull articles and write descriptions. That would be challenging if I knew which topics to research. This is going to be an interesting week.

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Toni,instead of presenting another treatment approach etc therapist are often in their own world of testing, documenting, medical jargon etc. when they really need to be focusing on what the client wants at each and every visit. The Consumer doesn't know what we do until they need us. We have no name recognition nor "branding" and everyone does things so differently at each facility that we lack consistency. Plant a seed for discussion focusing on a unique process of delivering our product and service so it's less commoditized and helps brand physical therapy. Teach therapists how to properly communicate with clients, focus on the clients needs and not on fulfilling the insurance needs, give a client The Best Therapy Experience program packet for therapist and client to use as a working document. Something a little different to think about!!

john vacovec, , PT private practice April 9, 2014 10:34 AM
Norwood MA

Action observation, I know its not hands on but its got a fair amount of research behind it. You could work lucid dreaming into it. I've written 36 posts on it. Or music therapy.

dean reinke, stroke - survivor, home April 8, 2014 11:36 PM
east lansing MI

I am applying for a PTA program and one of the essay questions is how will the changes in the health care impact the profession of physical therapy and how the changes will influence the role of the PTA. Can you suggest where I can look for this information. I have tried APTA and health care reform on the internet and I am not having a lot of luck. Any guidance will be appreciated.

Tamera Mcguire April 8, 2014 11:19 PM
Ogden UT

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