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PTA Blog Talk

Safety First

Published June 19, 2014 8:53 PM by Jason Marketti

Patients expect health providers to keep them from falling, injuring themselves and free from harm. This is not a new expectation but one we should be mindful of. There are patients who have been convicted of crimes and require our assistance to improve functional mobility and activity.

I've worked on a patient in a hospital on the surgical floor who had on the striped prison uniform and an armed guard very close by. I've also been in a locked unit with various prisoners, ensuring they were performing their various exercises to improve functional mobility so they could return to prison as soon as possible. Since several of them were handcuffed to their beds, there was little in bed mobility I could accomplish with them.

In an outpatient setting, I've worked on ex-cons who have done their time and are trying to improve their lives after several years behind bars. I never discussed details of their crime and conviction because it was none of my business and it didn't interfere with their functional progress in therapy. But in a SNF environment, there are patients who live in close quarters, dine together, share stories of their favorite therapist (me), and complain together about medication, food, and me.

The expectation is that these patients are safe and free from worry while in a SNF. They have so much to worry about as far as recovery and getting back to their prior level of function, they shouldn't have to be concerned about their own personal safety.

This government website can give patients and health professionals that extra security to be sure they are safe from harm. A facility should have already done the checking for all admissions and new hires but just in case we could also do a search. As health providers, we have a responsibility to ensure our patients are well taken care of and in a safe environment while recovering from an injury or illness.

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About this Blog

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