My proposal to save costs in health care and increase the rate of patients we see to limit wait times in facilities is to allow the PTAs to perform mini evals.
We, as PTAs, would make initial contact with the patient, gather data (ie., assess the patient), and make the calls necessary to the primary provider to get orders. We would then report to the PT who would either make a quick re-assessment or simply write goals based on our objective measurements.
By no means am I trying to be a PT. I want to make it easier on patients, families, doctors and facilities that have a difficult time retaining staff. If I can get a physical from a PA-C or an NP and they can write a prescription why would I need a doctor?
The obvious, we need a doctor because of the advanced skill and knowledge they possess. Just like we need the PT for their skills and knowledge that they have. To decrease costs and streamline services, having a PTA do a mini evaluation on a patient is cost effective.
Also, having a PTA doing mini evaluations will expand the role of those already in the field rather than increasing the length of time it takes to earn a PT degree.
An LPN with a 1-year certificate will do an assessment and get a patient up and moving in an SNF without a DPT present but a PTA with an AAS who is skilled in movement disorders and precautions is prohibited from making initial contact with that same patient. Even a personal trainer has more leeway and leverage than me with initial contact and treatment of a patient. That doesn't make sense.
It would seem like we (in the therapy field) are not using our existing personnel to carry out therapeutic interventions to treat people and promote health.