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PT and the Greater Good

Instructing Other Allied Health Professionals

Published May 10, 2011 9:17 AM by Dean Metz

Last week I finished my biostatistics and legal/ethical issues courses so now I have a free week before the summer semester begins. That means I have a lot of time to put together an in-service presentation based on the course on vestibular rehabilitation I attended last month in Philadelphia.

This one will not be like any instructing I've done previously in that I'll be teaching clinical information to nurses as well. I taught nurses and social workers care management in my last post in New York, but this will be clinical. I'm the head physiotherapist in a falls clinic. Our patients have a full spectrum interdisciplinary evaluation when they come in to see us. That includes a full physio assessment as well as a nursing assessment of medications, electrocardiograms, FRAX assessment, BP readings in three positions and social issues.

Our roles have very fluid boundaries, because as one can see, a physio can do all of the things that nursing is doing. The nurses also provide rehab nursing based on treatment plans and protocols drawn up by myself and the rest of the physio staff. All in all, the approach works well. The patients benefit from the constant assessment and intervention from two professionally different viewpoints. The staff benefits as well, learning from each other and becoming more rounded in our approach to the problem of falls prevention. After working for many years in nurse-centric environments, it will be nice, for once, to bring the PT perspective front and center.

On another note, the battle over the NHS continues to heat up. Parliament is meeting this evening to debate whether the whole plan should be shelved or not. They won't decide until after my deadline so I will fill you in next week.


I know how you feel.  I had to do an inservice for nurses talking about physical therapy in the stroke population.  I couldn't decide how to approach it.  I didn't want to talk down to them nor assume knowledge they didn't have.  In the end I simply told them what I wished they already knew.  I'm sure you'll do fine. Toni

Toni Patt May 13, 2011 7:35 PM

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About this Blog

    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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