Narrow Scope of Practice
If I assist nursing with a transfer and the patient has not been evaluated by the PT, am I practicing outside of the practice act? What if I only use the hand crank on the lift device and do not touch the patient? Or what if I prevent a fall from occurring and actually touch the patient, who has not been seen by a PT? Should I turn a blind eye to the patient who is a fall risk and trying to self-transfer even though that person has not been evaluated yet? Or the Alzheimer's patient who has eloped and is crossing a busy intersection - do I ignore the obvious danger only because that person has not been evaluated by the PT before I attempt to intervene?
Some PTs may even report me for changing the oil and brakes on my car because I am not ASE-certified or report me for impersonating an officer because I have laid flares out on a road and direct traffic around an accident. How about reporting me because I have recommended a certain toothpaste to my family and friends due to sensitive teeth even though I am not a practicing dentist?
If I purchase crutches and then teach my daughter how to use them, will someone call the state board and report me because she has not been seen by a PT first? And heaven forbid I do any wound care on myself because a primary provider has not seen me before I clean my own wound.
Maybe I should consult a podiatrist, CPO and the PT before I suggest to a patient with ill-fitting shoes to get some that actually fit without falling off when we walk. And if I perform CPR on someone, even though I am a certified instructor, will someone suggest I should not be doing that since I'm not an EMT/paramedic?
Common sense should prevail in certain cases; however, our scope of practice may prevent us from actually assisting patients from harming themselves and others. And some regulations only bog us down from doing the right thing at the right time with the information we have. I'm sure some would agree when looking for direct access to patient care.