Physical Therapist Assistant

Hi! I’m Michael! 

Welcome to the Specialized blog. A bit about my background: I’m a physical therapist assistant (PTA) with Specialized Home Care (SHC). I’m two months shy of 3 years with SHC. I’ve been in physical therapy for 9 years total, first as a PT aide and now as a PTA. Some of you might’ve met me–the tall, skinny guy who may have banged his head on your ceiling, ceiling fan, or pull-chain. The dangers of being tall, I guess. 

What is the role of a PTA? And how does this differ from a physical therapist (PT)? I work under the supervision of the PT. We work closely together in carrying out the plan of care or POC. This document is a sort of blue print that allows us, the care team, to work on getting the patient better and avoid a hospitalization. It contains aspects like working with the care team of physicians, nurses, and rehab professionals in medication management, disease prevention or exacerbation. The core of the PT POC is improving quality of movement, safety awareness/modification in the home, and leg strengthening to improve balance, coordination and range of motion, among other aspects. You know, the fun stuff! 

So essentially, the PT comes into the home or assisted living facility, evaluates the patient. They establish specific goals based on assessments/testing. As a PTA, I perform the follow-up visits, performing interventions in working toward the goals based on the PT’s evaluation. As a PTA, I can’t do the evaluation, a reassessment (which happens every 30 days, or a discharge from care. 

The ultimate goal for the PT/PTA team is to get the patient back to (or even better) than their prior level of function before they went into the hospital or care facility. For orthopedic patients who underwent elective surgery, we make sure they can safely transition to outpatient to continue their physical therapy. 

Another top aim is to prevent the patient from returning to the hospital–to keep them happy and healthy in their home–a growing demand these days! One critical way we can achieve this is to prevent fall(s). We want to avoid your loved one from suffering a fall, whether it’s non-injury or injury. We will focus on strategies we use to reduce falls in upcoming blogs. Some foreshadowing: the home exercise program is critical! 

Thanks for reading! 

 

-Michael Glover, PTA