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PTA Blog Talk

Desk Space

Published March 18, 2009 1:53 PM by Jason Marketti
I have had two desks in my career.  One was when I worked acute care (many years ago) and the other was last year in a SNF. Currently my "desk" is the top of the therapy steps where it is level with a shelf.  This is where I chart on a computer notepad.  It also overlooks the therapy gym so I can see what is going on with my patients. 

The desk we have at work has a computer, but when you sit at the desk you are facing away from the patient care area and it is impossible to do your notes and treat patients at the same time. Plus, when there is a desk, stacks of paper and other junk will follow.

Some therapists will demand a work area so they can chart and do other documentation related to patient care.  As for me, I would rather have the work area space in the gym for patient care than to have a desk where junk piles up and makes the department look messy. 

Imagine if every therapist demanded a work space area. Where would we treat the patients? In the hallway where there is room?  If we have a therapy gym, that is exactly what it should be used for, to treat patients and have them exercise. We shouldn't have to cram desks, computers and papers in an already small space. 

Paperwork can be done in an office, not in a therapy gym. We seem to be the only department that is required to have patients in our "office."  I don't see patients in and out of medical records, the laundry department or while department meetings are going on, yet the therapy department is required to share space with the whole building. 

Other departments in the facility come and go as they please. Patients wander in and out all day and even when the door is closed with a note about not disturbing, someone always walks in. How can a therapy department convince everyone that we need a large office to accommodate our work area AND a therapy gym to treat patients?

2 comments

Space is always a challenge.  I have seen very few facilities that have "enough" space.  I agree that any available space should be earmarked for patient care, but there needs to be some kind of a balance.  As a therapist with really bad handwriting, I need the desk to write and unless I am writing in front of the patient while observing exercises, that is non-productive time.  To me, desk space in the gym means I can keep my non-productive time down.

Doug March 27, 2009 2:26 PM

i totally agree with not sharing the gym with patients to do our vital charting.

texas rochon March 27, 2009 12:14 AM

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About this Blog


    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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