For example, years ago a TKA (total knee arthroplasty) patient may need to be in the hospital for 7-10 days. Now a LOS may be 3-4 days- and for patients that are still requiring some help- they would get discharged to home health, a SNF, or simply start outpatient PT sooner Also, people are more aware of the PT that is offered so they get help sooner before surgery is necessary. Q2: You also have immediate access to other healthcare professionals that are working with patients at the same time- OT/SP/Respiratory/Nursing ect so you are more
Q: In this type of setting it seems that there can be a lot of prep work before actually doing a therapy session, such as, positioning the machines and cords, making sure they are wearing appropriate clothing for a transfer (most likely are in a gown but..) BUT what then is the schedule set up like since these kinds of patients take a little longer to deal with. I dont see it being much of an in and out and on to the next patient sort of thing. So, does the scheduling usually accomodate for these types of things?
A: summarization: With team work and experience the “set up” does not take as long as one might think but yes the scheule will accommodate for these types of things.
T A R A B R U N S
Acute Care/Hospital Physical
Acute care defined
% of PTAs in the setting
Types of patients (dx and
Interview with director
of physical therapy at
Avera St. Luke’s
What is Acute Care?
Physical therapy is provided for patients in
hospitals who are there for short term care. Could
be due to:
Goal: discharge the patient in a timely manner as
soon as they are medically healthy and have a place
According to apta.org:
of apta worked
in the acute
How many PTAs Work in the Acute Setting?
Do they make the Big Bucks?
PTAs working in the acute care
setting, on average make close to:
MOST FREQUENTLY SEEN
JOINT REPLACEMENT: 13.6%
What Types of Diagnoses and
Treatments are Dealt With in
time spent on
each area of the
Q 1 : T H E R E I S A L O W E R P E R C E N T A G E O F P T S
A N D P T A S W O R K I N G I N T H E A C U T E C A R E
S E T T I N G C O M P A R E D T O T H E O T H E R A R E A S .
W H A T D O Y O U T H I N K T H E R E A S O N I N G I S
B E H I N D T H I S ?
Leonard Suel: PT, DPT
Director of Physical Therapy at Avera St. Luke’s
A1: “Healthcare has changed from an inpatient focused
model over the years to a greater emphasis on outpatient
Q2: working in acute has its challenges as do the other
areas but what is the most rewarding thing about
working in that type of setting?
A2: “Inpatient can be very fast paced and for people
that like a challenge- the day goes by very quickly.
It also is very physical and the work day is actually
also a good work out.
Patients typically are only in the hospital a few days,
which means your caseload turns over very quickly.
-involved in providing a “team” service.
Q3: Are there any additional skills or training that
would be helpful for a PT or PTA to have when
choosing to work in the acute setting.
A3: “There is a lot of “on the job training” required in
inpatient- but any additional education that applies to working
with patients with medical conditions is helpful- in inpatient
you are more likely to have patients that have dvts and all sorts
of other things- yes you will see this in outpatient- but more of
it will be seen in inpatient. Knowledge of lab values ect are
Well you hope the PT/PTA is getting some good support/ has good
communication with other team members. If PT is scheduled at 9 am for
example and has sent that schedule to the floor- a good nurse will make
sure pain meds are given ahead of time, and a good nurses aide will
make sure that ted socks are on and the patient has gone to the
bathroom and is ready for PT…..all things in this world balance
themselves out- outpatient has it’s own problems such as patients
arriving late….in inpatient, pretty much your patient will be in the room
when you go to see them (unless they are having a test or procedure that
was not communicated to the PT or another department was not
following the patient’s schedule- and then that becomes an
administrative issue). So what I am saying is we do not provide extra
time for in patient as a general rule. The inpatient PTs/PTAs get very
good about working with tubes ect- yes it takes a little extra time but only
on some patients. Inpatients can have a lower activity tolerance than
outpatients – so that factors into the equation as well. So the answer is
yes the schedule accommodates these types of things.
H T T P : / / W W W . A P T A . O R G / A M / T E M P L A T E . C F M ? S E C T I O N = W O R
K F O R C E _ S A L A R I E S _ A N D _ S T A T S & T E M P L A T E = / M E M B E R S O N L Y
. C F M & N A V M E N U I D = 4 5 5 & C O N T E N T I D = 7 1 4 9 1 & D I R E C T L I S T C O M
B O I N D = D
H T T P : / / W W W . A P T A . O R G / A M / T E M P L A T E . C F M ? S E C T I O N = S U R V
E Y S _ A N D _ S T A T S 1 & T E M P L A T E = / M E M B E R S O N L Y . C F M & C O N T E N
T I D = 4 7 2 8 4
H T T P : / / W W W . A P T A . O R G / A M / T E M P L A T E . C F M ? S E C T I O N = P R O S
P E C T I V E _ S T U D E N T S & T E M P L A T E = / C M / H T M L D I S P L A Y . C F M & C
O N T E N T I D = 7 4 6 9 0
H T T P : / / W W W . B L S . G O V / O E S / C U R R E N T / O E S 3 1 2 0 2 1 . H T M
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