Just a PT
I arrived at the patient's home to be greeted by his wife.
"Hiya, alright?" (Typical Geordie greeting, which I've adopted.)
"Eeeee, sorry pet, he's feelin' poorly today like. I tried to give you a bell but I didn't have your number."
"Just as well I'm here then; I'll be able to examine him."
"He's not gonna exercise today, mind. He needs the GP or the nurse. Like I said, I tried to call you, I did."
"Well, good thing I'm here. Gives us a chance to give him a good look over. We won't do exercises and I'll give his lungs a good listening to."
"Whyaye! You can do that, like? I thought you was just a physio! Howay (come on) then."
"Just a physio"... I've had similar conversations back in New York. People on either side of the pond seem to have no idea that we can assess the whole person, not only the musculoskeletal system. We do more than seated knee extension and ankle pumps. Well, most of us do anyway.
So who should we thank for that? Is it the nurses and doctors who have no clue what we do sometimes? Is it some other PTs who sometimes can't be bothered to actually assess a whole person, but rather just perform ambu-drag or endless ankle pumps? Why don't people know what we can do?
The patient was assessed and got the treatment he needed, which was some chest physio. We reviewed his home program and put him on a progressive ambulation routine to build his endurance.
"Eeeee, pet! You're marvelous! You were just what we needed, like. I had no idea you physios could do all that. I'll make sure he does his breathin' exercises, mind. Tyrrah pet!"
Well, that makes two people better informed about what physio really is; only a few million more to go. Hey APTA and CSP, want to give us a hand?