Physical therapists (PTs) work with people who have limitations, impairments, disabilities or those who may have suffered an injury. Before the actual work begins, physical therapists must conduct an examination and evaluation of the patient and generate a program to help each patient achieve his or her highest level of functional outcome.
Treatment often includes a comprehensive program that includes: flexibility, strength training and aerobic endurance work. If a person suffers from a disability, the physical therapist should also help each resident learn how to use adaptive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches or prostheses. The ultimate goal of physical therapy should be to improve each person’s quality of life.
Injuries occurring during physical therapy sessions in nursing homes are on the rise. Part of the reason that physical therapy injuries have increased recently stems from the fact that some nursing home are trying to increase their bottom line. According to reports on MSNBC, nursing homes have added physical therapy into the regimen of both short-term and long-term residents as physical therapy generates a much higher Medicare reimbursement rate for the nursing homes.
An increased focus on physical therapy in nursing home settings has lead to a dangerous combination of unskilled physical therapists and residents who may not physically be ready for the physical rigors. Common injuries occurring during physical therapy include:
Frequently, physical therapists in nursing homes are independent contractors or may work for an outside agency and not directly employed by the nursing home. Therefore, if you have been injured during a physical therapy session it is important to contact a lawyer soon after the incident to learn the full extent of your rights.