A new toolkit to help incorporate physical therapist (PT) practice in the emergency department (ED) setting now is available for APTA members. The toolkit describes recent trends in ED care, explains why building interprofessional relationships in the ED is crucial in this high-pressure and time-sensitive setting, and offers concrete steps for planning and establishing PT services in the ED. The many potential benefits of PTs in the ED setting—including increased patient satisfaction, decreased cost of unnecessary care, increased treatment and the number of service options, improved patient function and outcomes, and increased productivity and operations within the ED—are discussed, in addition to the types of patients and conditions managed by PTs in the ED. The toolkit also outlines the skills, knowledge, and abilities that a PT should possess to ensure success in the ED environment. Three case studies represent unique situations that are not unusual to the ED and illustrate the use of differential diagnosis and systematic problem solving.
Access the toolkit via the Physical Therapist Practice in the Emergency Department Web page, which also provides links to APTA's podcast series on PT practice in the ED and educational courses. Contributors to this new resource include APTA members from the Federal Physical Therapy Section, Education Section, Section on Pediatrics, Section on Research, Orthopaedic Section, Acute Care Section, Section on Health Policy and Administration, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Section.