Today was my first day back in class after our break. I was not eager to get back and I was expecting to feel like this…
It was actually a pretty great day and I enjoyed class! Although, to be honest ^ will most definitely be me around finals 😉
We talked a lot about wellness and prevention and it’s role in physical therapy. I’ve always felt that wellness is a natural extension of PT, we’re just so uniquely qualified. But as it turns out we aren’t doing a great job of it as a profession. 😦
The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice states that part of the PT practice is to “provide prevention and promote health, wellness, and fitness”. As an extension of this idea, we discussed the idea that PT should be health focused and influence lifestyle conditions. For example, inactivity is a risk factor for the majority of the most prevalent causes of death. If we can help our patient’s to lead more active lives (lifestyle modification) we can decrease their risk for disease, and consequently death. (Dean, 2009) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19842862
^DUH This makes TOTAL sense!
PT’s are in a unique position in the healthcare field. We see our patients much more frequently and for longer than other healthcare providers. We have the educational background to help improve fitness AND wellness, we understand disease pathology and movement dysfunction, we know when to make referrals to other providers, and we have a relationship with our patients.
As an additional little note, the APTA also recommends an annual visit for all adults to “promote optimal health, wellness, and fitness as well as slow the progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities.” I’m sure this is a contentious issue out there, but is it really so far fetched?? Sounds pretty forward thinking to me. Think of what we could prevent!
In any case, I’m feeling simultaneously excited to help and apprehensive about all this. I’m a student and I know we have a tendency to be idealistic. SO what’s this going to mean for me next November when I graduate? What’s the reality going to be for a new grad interested in wellness and prevention? What’s the best way to implement these things in practice and not go broke?