Health

Physical Therapy Safety during Covid-19

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.”

 – ElieWeisel

The above saying is aptly true for everyone living life today in the global pandemic of the year 2019 (COVID-19). The COVID-19 has proven itself to be the menace to global health. The global death rate has been tremendously high and hence, the fear inside all of us is not deciding to come down to the ground state as well. This new virus is extremely contagious causing illness ranging from the common cold to severe disease patterns such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Studies have suggested that 80% of cases are asymptomatic i.e. showing no symptoms; 15% serious which requires oxygen; and 5% cases are crucial following the need for a ventilator support system.

The biggest challenge for the citizens as well as health care practitioners from the medical community is to fight a battle that we never assumed to become. The only key to staying safe is to avoid transmission by following good hygiene practices and following the WHO guidelines. The question is:

What happens to those who were in pain before the pandemic happened?

When Cape Coral city Government first issued orders to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the most concerning question we get to asked by our patients was how will be their treatment continue amidst this lockdown? And now, since we are the unlocking process has been already initiated, we still get queries of how will be their treatment continue amidst this lockdown? Is it safe to visit? What things should we take care of? Is your staff follows good hygiene practices? And so on..

 According to an article published in a Journal of Physical therapy and research, worldwide physical therapy services are given in conjunction with medical treatment, necessitating collective response to COVID-19 patients being treated and assisted. Hence, guidelines for physical therapists are needed to define their role both at preventive and therapeutic levels. 

Physiotherapists often have direct contact with patients, which makes them vulnerable to the transmission of infectious pathogens. Hence, a physiotherapist must be familiar with the COVID-19 mechanism of attack and how to prevent the transmission. They should also be aware of the strategies required to be involved in workforce planning. Physiotherapists must know when, where, and how to provide care. At the same time, we all must respect and understand that this profession plays an important role in the health of our community. There are people whose health can get significantly impacted if physical therapy sessions or care is disrupted in any manner.

Key considerations for an emerging Physical therapy paradigm

  1. Stay Calm & Current- the Physical therapy practicing staff must stay calm. They are the warriors in front of the public’s eye. They are not allowed to freak out. They are the experts who provide reassurance and tips for taking care of individuals and families. They must be well aware of all the WHO norms and safety guidelines to follow in this pandemic.
  2. Minimize exposure- PPE (Personal protective equipment) should always be worn by the health expert. They should encourage social distancing, rescheduling the non-urgent care. Digital service should be availed if possible.
  3. Free Education- Every health care organization is encouraged to curate content to educate their patients, staff, family, and friends about the coronavirus. COVID 101 should be taught which must include its mechanism of action, target organs, and preventive measure to avoid the transmission.

H2- Physical Therapy Safety during Covid-19

H3- Things we take care of while booking an appointment 

When a client makes a phone call to book an appointment and seems to have concerns about COVID-19, we ask them about their- 

  • Recent travel nearby or within a COVID-19 transmission hotspot or community.
  • Recent contact with any confirmed COVID-19 personnel.
  • Recent work or visits to a healthcare facility where COVID-19 patients were being treated.

The answer NO to all above is required for our staff to book an appointment. If someone answers Yes to any of the above, the follow-up question regarding the fever, cough, and shortening of breath is asked. If a person quotes to expensing any such symptoms, then the appointment is not booked. If any individual is not exhibiting any symptom but has answered yes to any of the above, then he/she is advised to immediately follow the local guidelines which include self-quarantine as well.

H3- Things we consider when patients’ attending the clinic

if an individual happens to be directly at reception booking an appointment or attending a prior booked appointment, the COVID symptoms, and relevant travel history must be identified and asked to rule out the possibility of transmission.

Ask the patient about:

  • Any recent flu-like illness is being experienced or not.
  • Recent travel nearby or within a COVID-19 transmission hotspot or community.
  • Recent contact with any confirmed COVID-19 personnel.
  • Recent work or visits to a healthcare facility where COVID-19 patients were being treated.

If the concern about possible COVID-19 is identified while the course of consultation in any client then immediately-

  1. Isolate the individual away from other patients in an unoccupied room with the door closed. If no room is available, the person must be seated in an area separated by at least 6 feet of other people.
  2. PPE such as gowns, gloves, the medical mask should be provided to the individual immediately. 
  3. Follow up with local authority guidelines to arrange COVID-19 assessment.
  4. If the said personnel wishes to return home, they must quarantine themselves they should not travel home by taxi or public transport 
  5. Clinic cleaning and disinfection protocols should be initiated immediately once the patient has left the clinic.

H2- Our Commitment to you

Back In Motion Sport & Spine Physical Therapy, we want you to be you as soon as possible. We will walk along every step of your treatment for a successful recovery from injury is completing the recommended course of care.

We will update our practices and policies immediately to protect you from this COVID-19 pandemic. With this shared commitment, we are confident we can continue to deliver the same high standards of care you deserve. Visit our website to know more.

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