The physical therapy profession always has focused on the health and wellness of our patients and clients, but we as health care providers must practice what we preach in these stressful times. Around the world, across our country, throughout our communities, but also within our profession, life as we know it has come to a screeching halt. Most of the world's children are not in school. The global economy is faltering. In the United States, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are among the 13% of unemployed workers — the highest since the Great Depression.
Many PTs who are employed are facing a variety of difficult challenges: Acute care specialists are struggling to provide care in the absence of strong leadership or direction and are overburdened with constant policy changes. Some PTs working in a skilled nursing facility are expected to continue providing services, in patients' rooms, without adequate personal protective equipment. More often, physical therapists are not being used in some way at the frontline of COVID-19. These experiences have left members of our profession and the health system at large with many questions.