Skip to main content

Hospitals are recognizing the benefits of physical therapy services in the emergency department.

Physical therapists who practice as part of an emergency department team have the opportunity to collaborate in the care of patients with a wide range of acute and chronic problems coming from the neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular pulmonary, and integumentary systems.

Emergency department PTs play a critical role in screening for appropriateness of care, in consultation with other practitioners, and in the direct care of patients.

A greater number of emergency departments welcome the addition of physical therapy services to assist reducing costs, increasing patient satisfaction, and decreasing the potential for readmission through patient education and subsequent physical therapist follow-up.

Recommended Content

Physical Therapy in Emergency Care: Research on the Value of Physical Therapy

Feb 28, 2023

Understanding the value of physical therapist services in emergency care.

The PT in the Emergency Department: A Call to Crisis Care

Jul 1, 2021 / Feature

Study: Emergency Department PTs Are Just What the Doctor Ordered

Aug 17, 2018 / Review

Improving Outcomes in the Emergency Department Research

Oct 30, 2020 / Handouts

Hospital Settings and Physical Therapy

Jun 8, 2020

PTs and PTAs are critical members of the health care teams in hospital settings.

Additional Physical Therapy in the Emergency Department Content

Emergency Care, Learning Center Workshop, COVID-19

Aug 31, 2021 / Podcast

APTA's monthly practice update: in this episode: physical therapists in emergency care, learning center resources, COVID-19, and more.

Physical Therapy in Emergency Care: A Win-Win for Patients and Hospitals

Jul 28, 2021 / Podcast

In this podcast, APTA members Rebekah Griffith, PT, DPT, Carleen Jogodka, PT, DPT, and Lisa TenBarge, PT, DPT, discuss the evolving role of the PT in the emergency department — and what that may look like going forward.

Postacute Care Study: A Deeper Dive

May 21, 2021 / Podcast

A recent large-scale study of postacute care sponsored has the potential to change the conversation on payment in these settings. This podcast takes a closer look at the TOPS study findings .

Support of Emergency Physical Therapist Practice

Aug 20, 2020 / Policies & Bylaws

House position: Supports emergency physical therapist practice.

Emergency Department PT

May 6, 2020 / Podcast

An emergency department PT shares insight on what working in this setting is like, and gives advice to students and new grads considering pursing the ED as a career path.

Study: Even in After-Hours Settings, Seeing a PT First for MSK Conditions i...

Mar 11, 2020 / Review

Primary contact was with a PT in the ED leads to fewer orthopedic referrals and opioid prescriptions.

Study: PTs in Emergency Departments Reduce Likelihood of ED Revisits for Falls

Aug 31, 2018 / Review

Consult by a PT in the ED reduced the odds of a fall-related revisit within 30 days by 35% and within 60 days by 32%.

CDC: TBI Due to Falls Climbing at a Disproportionate Rate Among Older Adults

Mar 26, 2017 / Review

Falls-related TBIs are growing at a disproportionate rate