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APTA's new service allows facilities to share their needs and creates matches with volunteers able to provide key services.

APTA's new service allows facilities to share their needs and creates matches with volunteers able to provide key services.

The physical therapy profession has never backed away from a challenge. Now there's a new opportunity for PTs, PTAs, and physical therapy students to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic through volunteer efforts.

APTA has launched a new online service that helps connect members of the physical therapy profession with facilities looking for volunteers. The service offers two points of entry — one for facilities in need of PT, PTA, or student volunteers, and another for PTs, PTAs, and students willing to offer their services, by way of the APTA Engage volunteer portal.

Volunteers could serve in a wide range of capacities as areas around the world move through acute, response, and recovery phases: PTs and PTAs with appropriate experience can help to free up needed ICU beds and ventilators by providing treatments that can reduce some patients’ need for mechanical ventilation. As areas and people recover, there will also be a need for volunteers able to help individuals get back to work through improving mobility, function, and quality of life.

Michel Landry, BScPT, MBA, PhD, a professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Division in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine and an affiliate in the Duke Global Health Institute, is coordinating volunteer-facility matches for the program. He can be reached through Twitter at @ptcovid19.

 


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