Three Reasons Why the Rehabilitation Reference Center is a Game-Changer for Students and New Professionals
It took me all of about 30 seconds of perusing APTA's Rehabilitation Reference Center (RRC) at PTNow until I realized that I'm probably going to be using this all of the time. As a recent graduate and #FreshPT, I need quick, reliable, and up-to-date information that I can use in the clinic. But don't let that discourage you from using this priceless tool as a student, this resource is great for you, too—trust me. And I'm not talking about reading research articles that put me to sleep at night; I'm talking about accessing information right before a new evaluation, when a patient asks a difficult question, or in follow up with a patient after their previous visit. I'm tired of using overwhelming and often misleading resources for this, and I certainly don't have time to whip out a 600-page textbook in the middle of the clinic, and neither will you.
I've found that the Rehabilitation Reference Center meets my needs remarkably well. It's quick, straightforward, and most of all, makes my life easier. The RRC was developed for physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech/language therapists to enable fast access to current information in order to improve patient care. This is the resource I always yearned for as a student. So current students and PT and PTA professionals alike, take advantage of this hefty resource, something I view as one of the most valuable member benefits offered by APTA.
Here are 3 reasons why I think this dynamic, efficient, and easy-to-use tool is going to be a game-changer for those who choose to take advantage of it:
- You become the expert: With access to clinical reviews, information on medications, and breaking health news, you've got a wealth of information at your fingertips. Studying for board exams and need to brush up on a rare condition? Have an upcoming evaluation for which you'd like to be better prepared? Want to provide a quick and definitive answer to a colleague's question? Speaking from experience, the RRC can help in all of these circumstances. Experts know how to access information effectively, and it just becomes a whole lot easier. Now it's up to you to apply it.
- Provide useful tools for your patients: Don't leave your patients with Dr Google to learn more about their condition. With more than 9,800 exercise images and abundant patient education topics in both English and Spanish, the RRC provides you with helpful, easy-to-read printouts or emails for your patients. You also can customize these handouts with logos, patient info, etc. Personally, I believe educating our patients is the keystone of our job, as this empowers them to make more informed decisions, better manage their conditions, and more effectively navigate the health care system.
- Make it your own: What good is all of this information if you can't save, personalize, and organize it? Thankfully, if you create a profile within the RRC, you can store search results, frequently access information, and search alerts within custom-made folders. There's also a way to share these folders with friends. Organizing clinical reviews, drug information, and other practice resources has never been so simple. Used the right way, the RRC can give you an edge as a student, new professional, or practicing clinician.
Don't hog this information all to yourself, share this article with your classmates and colleagues! As long as they are APTA members, they will have free access to the RRC. It's just another item on a long list of APTA membership benefits. Here's the link: www.ptnow.org/RRC (member login required).
Scott McAfee, PT, DPT, Nominating Committee Chair, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors