Right now, we’re facing unprecedented times. With “social distancing” becoming the norm, each state is facing the difficult decision of whether or not physical therapy is considered “essential.” And, as we all know, “essential” is a loaded term. Nobody would argue that PTs are essential to triaging musculoskeletal injuries and ensuring safe discharge planning—which keeps our hospitals streamlined and best prepared to face the onslaught of COVID-19 patients.
However, most of us can probably agree that a mild ankle sprain won’t exactly require immediate in-person attention from an outpatient orthopaedic physical therapist.
Then, there’s that grey area of our vulnerable post-CVA patients whose homes need evaluating. After all, the last thing they need right now is a fall, sending them right back into the COVID-19 hot zone.
Frankly, we’re at a crossroads, and it’s the ideal time—albeit under terrible circumstances—to get our act together as a profession, and to serve patients to our best ability with the primary intent of, first and foremost, doing no harm.