Wear and Tear

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by jles, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. jles

    jles Dr of Physical Therapy
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    Hi everyone,

    I was recently accepted to a DPT program, and will be starting my first year in August at 29 yrs old. I have been working as a rehab tech at an inpatient hospital for about 5 months, and about 6 wks ago possibly strained my biceps/brachialis (pain in neutral grip 90+ degrees flexion). I'm not certain what it is - I have consulted with PTs, used ice & heat, etc... and have laid off using the arm for heavy loads. Yesterday I noticed some pain in my other arm, maybe from overcompensating. As I have only been doing this job for 5 months, I am having some doubts as to my longevity in the profession. I have to say also, that I have a history of weight training & personal training, in pretty good shape, and watch out for proper form during any physical activity. I suspect that lifting BI/SCI pts with gait belts repeatedly might have to do with this.

    It's sad because this setting is growing on me, but I might avoid inpatient care in the future.

    I would love for feedback on everyone's experience with sustaining injuries on the job as a PT/PTA/OT.


    Thanks,

    Jny
     
  2. superCOTA

    superCOTA MS, OT by 2011 !!!
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    my first post ...

    To answer your question...There are facilities where the therapist does the eval, and the assistants do most of the treating based on the evals you do. Those therapists eventually wonder why they went into this area because they wanted to work w/ people and now they just do paperwork and put their license on the line for patients that are barely appropriate.

    But some other ideas may serve you better ...
    1. You may need a real doctor. Sorry that sounds harsh but ...

    2. Lay off both arms for a few days, your boss will understand.. good help is hard to come by. Tx that 'heavy' for a day or 2 some other way...Bed mobs maybe .. Sitting balance in the w/c w/ armrests off maybe. Improvise.

    3. If someone is that heavy you should be getting help. Just because they are on your caseload doesn't mean it's all for you .. your co-workers are going to need your help one day.

    4. I'm not going to skip the lecture over body mechanics....if you do it right 90% of the time that wont happen...but sometimes ..

    5. SCI's/TBI's can fight you once you are pivoting them .... throwing their weight and what not... making the situation dangerous... hey, it's a refusal. Try a transfer board instead of picking up the patient.


    Press on w/ your degree, threre are so many avenues to pursue, if your body says stop.. although this isnt one of them, especially if you work out daily. I do OT b/c i hate working out and i know a desk job will kill me. :laugh:

    hope this helps .. i may have assumed a bit more than i should have..
     
  3. jles

    jles Dr of Physical Therapy
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    Hi there. I appreciate your reply.

    I must say that the place I work is definitely not one of those facilities you mentioned. The therapists are completely involved during tx (that means treatment right?), and they work very hard.

    Honestly, I'm not certain what I could do to improve my body mechanics. It all comes down to elbow flexion. How do I take some of the load off my arm? Basically, I have a pt lean forward in the w/c, and assist with standing them up using a gait belt, then support during ambulation. My question is, why aren't others having the same problem? Genetics, or short stature (5'5")? I have a long history of injury-free weight training. Is it that I am using too much muscle, but then, how else do you get them standing, even with a second tech on the other side of the pt, and a PT in the front of them? Come to think of it, I know just the PT at work I can ask - I better get on that.

    My intention with this post is really to hear from anyone who has been hurt on the job. Just looking to get an idea of the frequency and circumstances of such events.

    Thanks again superCOTA
     
  4. superCOTA

    superCOTA MS, OT by 2011 !!!
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    I just wanted to ramble and throw this out which may or may not fit into your situation...

    Time for a standing box w/ a motorized lift.
    I would think if walking is that hard maybe mere standing balance tasks and -crap- even unsupported sitting for 30 min are in order. Work that back! Sitting works the back and saves their knees if they have issues in that dept.

    i have to say that the guys on the side should be doing no more than 40% of the work. the 2 in the front ... you mentioned 1... should be grabbing some ass and lifting w/ their legs.. like a judo throw initially ..
    this pt sounds really large ... i don't miss that crap i'll tell you right now. (currently i am in a different population)

    you have to baby your arm for a week and let people know it ..
    I have that accident insurance.. one like that "duck" company ... 18 bucks a month covers 180 a day for every day a Dr says I can't work. (never used it yet, knock wood.)

    Good luck again
     

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