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PTA Blog Talk

Co-Treating

Published February 22, 2012 10:37 PM by Jason Marketti

The benefits of co-treating with another discipline (OTs and STs) will allow a patient to receive an intensive therapy session without getting so fatigued that he will not participate later in the day. Usually I am working on safety and static or dynamic balance activity while the other discipline is working on another aspect of therapy. This can be overwhelming to some patients because they are receiving multiple tactile and verbal input to maximize functional activity.

The downfall is that for the rest of the day the patient is not doing anything with therapy, especially when only two disciplines are involved and we have co-treated for an hour. That means for 23 hours a day the patient receives no input from us. Could this be bad planning on our part? Or is it that we reviewed the patient's function and made an accurate assessment that the benefits of co-treating have outweighed the risks of the patient being virtually idle for the greater part of the day? This is a difficult dilemma and may not be easily answered except by a constant reassessment of the patient's condition.

There are some patients who demand two therapists are involved so a safe transfer can be made or the patient's energy level may be too low to allow several sessions throughout the day. As the patient improves, we can separate the sessions and space them out accordingly and hopefully see the patient in the morning and afternoon. But then we also have to consider MD appointments, hairdressers and activities coming in to see the patient. So there will be some days when the only way for all disciplines to effectively see a patient is to co-treat.

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About this Blog


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