Monday, February 1, 2010

PT to TA Attitude

One significant issue in the optimal use of Therapy Assistants is the perception of the PT being liable for the care provided by the TA. This is not to say that PTs are not liable… most provincial and state laws would clearly indicate that they are… but, it is where this premise leads.

What I have observed is PTs are willing to educate patients, families and caregivers on aspects of rehabilitation, such as chest physiotherapy and assisted ambulation, but are reluctant to delegate the same tasks to therapy assistants. We educate patients on performing dressing changes, but will not allow a Therapy Assistant to perform the same activity.

This has got to improve.

What I recommend is that PTs identify the top 3-5 tasks that they frequently perform and develop a process to proactively ensure that the Therapy Assistants they work will are competent to perform these tasks and that the delegation of these tasks then become routine practice. The process to establish that TAs are competent should be efficient, with all reasonable attempts to avoid situations where one PT that has not recently worked with the TA is unwilling to delegate tasks to the TA until the TA has repeatedly reestablished their competency yet again on a task that is now routine for them.


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