Please note that by applying, you are signing up to be contacted when a volunteer opportunity related to COVID-19 emerges in your area. Your information will be shared with a volunteer administrator to help match opportunities at which point you may decide to pursue the opportunity or not. APTA will not be actively managing volunteer communications related to these efforts.
PTAs and students are welcome to add your names to the roster.
Non-APTA members, please go here to add your name to the roster.
For more information, please go to twitter account @ptcovid19 for updates. A website with additional information on this effort will be live by April 1: www.ptcovid19.org.
Physical Therapist Support During COVID-19 Pandemic Response
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to overwhelm hospitals and the health care system across the country and around the globe. Many believe that physical therapists can reduce the burden on the hospital and medical systems, thereby saving lives and preserving quality of life. There are several issues that the health care system will face in the preparedness, response, and recovery phases of this infectious disease pandemic, where physical therapists can have a profound impact. More precisely, health care facilities are likely to experience a drastic increase in demand for acute health care resources, including, but not limited to, ventilators.
In the acute phase: Physical therapists can help optimize and free up scarce hospital resources in the following ways: (1) getting patients moving and independent through treatment of their conditions and training on proper use of assistive devices to facilitate discharge, and (2) cardiorespiratory physical therapy to reduce the need and duration of mechanical ventilation. We are currently provided with a window of opportunity where physical therapists can and must work in hospitals to free up needed ICU beds and ventilators. Each day, this window of opportunity narrows, as we approach the response phase.
In the response phase: Demand for ICU care and ventilators have the high likelihood of outweighing the supply. Physical therapists have an essential role in responding to COVID-19 by treating patients who have cardiorespiratory conditions associated with the virus. This can reduce the need for mechanical ventilation and reduce the duration resulting in more favorable outcomes for patients, and thus a faster turnaround time for acute health care resources.
In the recovery phase: Countries will be recovering from the medical, financial, and social impacts of COVID-19 for years to come. As we recover from the effects of COVID-19, people will be returning to work. Physical therapists have an essential role in improving mobility, function, mental health, and quality of life to get individuals back to work faster after contracting the virus.
A Proposed Solution:
Stage 1: Roster. Sign up on a roster that includes a list of physical therapists willing to volunteer at health facilities and ready to deploy if needed.
Stage 2: Pre-Deployment Training. Each physical therapist on the roster will complete an online pre-deployment training on Cardiorespiratory physical therapy, infection control practices and acute care.
Stage 3: Deployment. Link physical therapists with acute care centers, hospitals and care facilities in need of rehabilitation support.
To add your name to the roster, please click on the blue "Apply Today" button at the top of this page. Once you fill in your information, you will be contacted to start the training. For more information, please go to: http://www.ptcovid19.org (website will be live by April 1).