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Toni Talks about PT Today

Making a Successful Case

Published November 12, 2014 5:53 PM by Toni Patt

A few weeks ago, I expressed my frustration with our capital budget process. While I was gone, my coworkers submitted a request for, among others things, a stand lift transfer device. To say I was shocked was an understatement.

Since that time I've campaigned against the thing. It doesn't promote functional transfers. It doesn't allow patients to practice transfers. There are so many things we need more, like gel cushions for our wheelchairs. In the literature it's touted as a time saver that prevents back injuries. Every article I read started out by describing the transfers as non-functional. But no argument that I made worked until today.

I pointed out that it would be used for a month or two. Then it would be pushed aside because it will create more work than it saves. We will have spent several thousand dollars on something gathering dust and getting in the way. Last year our manager bought us two electric, bariatric neuro chairs. They've been used twice since they arrived and now are in the way and gather dust.

So it turns out the strongest argument I could offer wasn't promoting functional mobility. It wasn't promoting independence. It wasn't quality of care. It wasn't even the cost. The strongest argument I had was pointing out the same mistake had been made the previous year and it didn't need to be repeated.

Granted there are many things wrong with the whole situation. I wasn't saying anything they didn't already know. I guess they just didn't want to hear it. Maybe it was easier to refute my argument by ignoring it. Then again, I convinced them by citing cost versus usage, not quality of care or any of the other things that are supposed to matter.

I keep asking for wheelchairs and cushions, which we would use on a regular basis. Still haven't gotten any more of those. Oh well. Score one for the good guys.

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2 comments

Just noticed that Advance recently published a feature "Toward Safer Work Practices, When it comes to handling patients, rehab professionals should practice what they preach."

by Margaret Arnold, PT, CEES, CSPHP on December 30, 2014 that outlines the many benefits of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) technology.  Hope you'll take a look.

Paul, PT, DPT January 9, 2015 2:47 PM

I must say that our sit to stand lift has been a great purchase.  It has allowed very dependent patients to stand and weight bear much sooner than possible before.  It also allows a mechanism for a single therapist or nurse to transfer a patient to a chair or BSC when 2 are not available.  This results in the patient being out of bed more often and also decreased use of bed pans or catheters.  The device also allows earlier gait training.  I also believe the safety of the patient and therapists is enhanced during the early stages of rehab.  I look forward to adding a framed gait trainer to our arsenal of tools next year.

Paul December 19, 2014 11:58 AM

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