PTs must stay knowledgeable—not only to keep up with the constantly growing evidence supporting practice and patient care, but to be well-versed in the broader policy environment, and to have an understanding of how physical therapy can affect society generally, far beyond the walls of the clinic. Chapter 3 of the Transformation series identifies some trends and tools that PTs need to be aware of to stay on top of fast-moving developments, from the creation of clinical practice guidelines to new ideas for data collection, and from the latest in health policy research to new ways of building an expanded and informed patient base.
Knowing the Evidence
PTs rely on a huge knowledge base to do their jobs. It's a knowledge base that draws not only from their clinical training and education, but from an appreciation of how and where the profession is growing, and the ways PTs can apply their knowledge to transform society. Chapter 3 of the Transformation series touches on PT knowledge in 3 important areas: knowledge of the evidence for physical therapy, knowledge of the current physical therapy environment (and how PTs can change that environment), and knowledge of the effect PTs can have on society.
When do you know you have the right evidence for your patients and clients? When you're looking at that evidence, are you taking in all the relevant pieces? Looking at—and understanding—what's out there?
Knowing the Environment
Yes, the health care environment is changing rapidly, but PTs have opportunities to shape that environment. Those opportunities are happening now.
Knowing the Effect
PTs have a transformational role to play in creating a healthier society. Sometimes, it can be a relatively simple matter of connecting patients and clients with the right information. Other times, it can mean thinking about elements of practice in entirely new ways.