The Critical Role of Physical Therapists in the ICU
[caption id="attachment_370" align="alignright" width="140" caption="Chris Perme"][/caption]where she has practiced for the past 25 years with a variety of complex acute care patients. Mrs. Perme has extensive experience in treating adult patients in Intensive Care Unit with special interest in patients requiring mechanical ventilation. For many of these patients, Perme says, the focus of physical therapy is on early mobility and walking. Perme was instrumental in the development of a program at Methodist by which physical therapists and occupational therapists train nursing assistants to help their patients walk. Perme explains that regaining mobility early on benefits individual patients, the hospital, the ICU team, and the physical therapy profession. For example, patients who can regain mobility while in the ICU, even with limitations, may be able to transfer into a less-expensive setting, even at home with family care, rather than into a inpatient rehabilitation unit. Positive outcomes for these patients, she adds, has translated into increased resources for therapists in the ICU, and increased recognition for the profession.
APTA highlights this approach to therapy in the ICU as a model to consider for an Accountable Care Organization. Please click here to view the APTA article and video (you will need to log in to APTA)
Please click here to link to Chris Permes up-coming course in July
Therapists working with patients in ICU face a complex challenge. These patients have limited mobility due to life support, monitoring equipment, multiple medical problems and muscle weakness. For selected patients in ICU, early mobility and walking enhances functional outcomes by optimizing cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular status. Early mobility can lead to an increase in the patient’s quality of life and higher functional capability. It can also potentially reduce length of hospital stay with overall reduced costs. The content of this course will guide clinicians through the process of managing adult ICU patients. Case reports will be presented to demonstrate how the early mobility and walking program in ICU can positively impact the recovery of selected patients.