#ptagURit Leader Board
Get ready for Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol and start playing #ptagURit. It’s not too late … check out the Leader Board below! Winners will be announced and prizes awarded on February 24th at the closing of Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol. For more information about playing #ptagURit, check out the previous blog post.
*1/21: For 10 points, when is 2016 PT Day at the Capitol?
*1/22: For 10 points, name one sponsor of HB 505.
*1/25: For 20 points, name your State Senator. AND for 20 more points, name your State Rep.
*1/25: For 40 Bonus Points, post a photo of your State Senator and your State Representative.
*1/26: For 10 Points, Name the DPT programs in Georgia.
It’s time to play #ptagURit, PTAG’s new trivia game and scavenger hunt, leading up to 2016 Physical Therapy Day at the Georgia State Capitol on February 24th.
Join the fun … #ptagURit.
#ptagURit is a combination trivia game and scavenger hunt to kick-off 2016 Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol, which is February 24th.
Beginning Thursday, January 21st, trivia questions, scavenger hunt items and other “tasks” will be posted to the PTAG Facebook and PTAG Twitter pages. These same assignments will be sent out once per week – on Wednesdays – via eblast.
You simply post your answer, photo of your item or proof of the completed task to the PTAG Twitter page or PTAG Facebook page, using #ptagURit.
Each trivia question, scavenger hunt item or task will be worth a specified number of points.
Additionally, at the Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol morning breakfast on February 24th, a list of trivia questions, scavenger hunt items and tasks will be distributed which gives PTAG members the chance to win additional points.
Winners will be announced at the closing of Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol on February 24th.
If you aren’t already a member of PTAG’s social media network, join or follow at:
If you aren’t a social media aficionado, you may also play via email or text. Simply text or email your answers.
Via text to: 404.216.4193 (Duffey Communications)
Via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
REMEMBER, no matter how you send in your response, include #ptagURit.
Twitter: Use #ptagURit in your response
Facebook: Use #ptagURit at the beginning of your response
Email: Use #ptagURit in the subject line
Text: Use #ptagURit in your text
If your Twitter handle, Facebook page or email address is not obviously identifiable, let us know via email at email@example.com. Just send us your name, along with your Twitter handle, email address or other online identity so we can tally points accurately. If you text, make sure you include your name – or send the information to us via email.
The two PTAG members with the most points at the end of Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol on February 24th will receive a 30 oz. YETI® Rambler Tumbler and the second place winner will receive a 20 oz. YETI Rambler Tumbler.
Don’t know what a YETI is? It’s simply the coolest (and hottest) stainless steel tumbler – and one of the most sought-after holiday gifts. PTAG was on the leading edge of the trend and able to scavenge a few off the shelves before they were snagged by holiday shoppers.
Points will be tallied at the end of each week and posted to the #ptagURit Scorecard, which will be posted on Facebook Page and sent out via the Wednesday eblast.
Call or email Reynolds Broker:
404.446.1670 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At the annual American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Conference in Denver, PTAG’s own president, Dr. Joe Donnelly PT, DHS, OCS was presented with its State Legislative Leadership Award for his outstanding efforts during the 2015 Georgia General Assembly Session.
Joe, who also serves as a Mercer University clinical associate professor, successfully organized and led a grassroots initiative comprised of more than 2,300 PTAG members and students, a legislative lobbying team and patients to modernize and, ultimately, to improve access to physical therapy services for the citizens of Georgia.
Under Joe’s steadfast leadership, the legislative campaign culminated with the passage of House Bill 505 with overwhelming, bi-partisan support in both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly. This comprehensive legislation allows Georgians to access physical therapy treatments without the referral of a physician, which forgoes unnecessary barriers to physical therapy and reduces the costs in terms of requiring unnecessary office visits, extra out-of-pocket co-pays and treatment delays.
Joe’s commitment to advocate for the physical therapy profession and to improve the healthcare delivery system through positive, meaningful legislative action sets a truly inspiring example for his peers, students and patients.
We are proud to congratulate and recognize our president, Joe, for this wonderful achievement.
ATLANTA (May 5, 2015) – Governor Nathan Deal today signed House Bill 505, which provides Georgians with the choice to see a physical therapist without a prior physician consultation.
According to Joe Donnelly PT, DHS, OCS and president of the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG,) HB 505 brings Georgia in line with the majority of states and the U.S. Military by removing requirements for prior physician consultation or referral. Upon implementation on July 1, 2015, Georgians will be able to receive physical therapy treatment without a referral for a period of up to 21 days or 8 visits, whichever comes first.
“HB 505 is a milestone that enhances access to care for all Georgians,” says Joe Donnelly PT, DHS, OCS and Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG) president. “For many Georgians, the previous licensed practitioner of the healing arts consultation mandate had become confusing, and extremely burdensome – increasing the overall cost of their care by requiring added office visits, added out-of-pocket co-pays, and extra time off from work. All of which were strong deterrents to obtaining timely care – especially for the elderly and parents of children with rehabilitative needs.”
Studies show that early treatment by a physical therapist reduces healthcare utilization and ultimately lowers overall costs – including fewer physician visits, as well as decreased pharmacy and opioid use. Research also shows that early access to physical therapy treatment can reduce costs by up to 60 percent for many conditions.
HB 505 will become law effective July 1, 2015.
About the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia
The Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG) is the membership organization for the profession of physical therapy in Georgia and a component of the American Physical Therapy Association. PTAG has approximately 2,100 members comprised of PT’s, PTA’s and students. The mission of PTAG is to represent, promote and serve the profession of physical therapy.
For more information, please visit www.PTAGonline.org.
PTAG recently organized 2015 “Physical Therapy Day” at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 to discuss the health and cost saving benefits of physical therapy services with legislators and their respective staff members. In 2015, PTAG is championing the mantra of “doing things differently” and has been furthering its mission to involve and engage Georgia’s physical therapy community in legislative initiatives that will not only affect themselves and their patients, but also the health care industry as a whole. With that in mind, we have two guest blogs that showcase the excitement of event attendees at “Physical Therapy Day” at the Capitol. Enjoy!
Kari Lindegren, SPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Class of 2015
Emory University School of Medicine
PTAG SSIG President
Not every physical therapy or physical therapy assistant student becomes involved in his or her professional organization, locally or nationally. It is even less common for students to be directly involved in the legislative process related to their state’s physical therapy practice act. However, on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, over 200 physical therapy and physical therapy assistant students had the opportunity to voice their concerns and experiences directly to their state legislators during Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol.
This was an important day for both professionals and students since it was not only a chance for participants to hear and learn more about the modernization of the practice act, but also an opportunity to interact with other participants on how we can positively impact the future of our profession. Our presence at the Georgia State Capitol, demonstrated to our legislators the impact a bill to modernize our practice act will have on how we practice, and ultimately, how it will impact our patients.
This was a particularly important day for students. Students just beginning their education and those soon graduating were able to present their thoughts to their legislators and get a glimpse of how the legislative process works. This process of learning and becoming more involved in the profession through the legislative process is extremely beneficial, since it illustrates the goals of the profession, where the profession is headed, and challenges the profession faces. Once thoroughly educated about the issues facing the profession, I think as students we will be better prepared to make well-informed decisions in the best interest of physical therapy, and more importantly our patients.
One thing I have realized through being involved in this process is it truly takes a team, rather than individuals, to mobilize the support needed to achieve change. As a student it is extremely motivating and exciting to see the passion and drive each member brings to the table in order to help the future of physical therapy. Further, I have realized how much more of an impact one can have once you understand the issues and goals at hand, even as a student. Unless we ourselves educate others on our profession and what we are capable of treating, nothing can be done to improve it. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to our patients and the community to understand the issues we face and to work towards solving them together.
Every movement begins with a vision, but it takes leaders and an entire network of supporters in order to make this vision a reality. The modernization of the Physical Therapy Practice Act is one of these movements that will require the support of clinicians, educators, consumers and students. Students play an especially large role since we are the next generation of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. The modernization of our practice act will affect not only the way we practice once we graduate, but it will also impact our patients and the quality of care they receive. As a physical therapist, it will be our goal to deliver the best possible care to our patients to improve their function and quality of life. By being involved in the legislative process, we will be able to assist the movement to modernize the state practice act and ensure that in the future we will be able to provide this service to our patients. Most importantly, as students, we have the opportunity to set the foundation for how we will practice for the rest of our careers and how the community will receive our services for generations to come.
Maggie Gebhardt, PT, DPT, OCS
Gillyn Saunders, PT, DPT
District 6 Co-Directors
January 21st was “PT Day at the Capitol,” where PTs, PTAs and students from all over the state convene at Georgia’s State Capital in Atlanta to advocate for our profession. Last year over 100 people showed up for Capital Hill Day, but this year we had over 350 attendees. It was very exciting to see our group triple in size for this event in just one year!
This was our second attendance at “PT Day at The Capital,” and this year made us so proud to practice in a state with such a strong passion for our profession. The day started with a breakfast that included a spectacular view of the city. Karen Bennett, along with other state representatives, began the morning by speaking to our group about their views on the importance of our profession. They assured us that they would work hard to advocate for our upcoming goal of passing a modernized practice act. Joe Donnelly followed with the current progress we were making with the modernization of our practice act. These speakers sparked a new energy that we had not seen yet in our organization. With that new energy, we walked across the street to the Capital with the same goal in mind: to make an impression on as many representatives as possible in order to improve healthcare services for our patients.
It was an overwhelming experience to stand on those magnificent Capitol stairs surrounded by over 350 of our colleagues. We were not only there to advocate for the future of physical therapy, but also for the future of all our patients; our communities and patients deserve better access to healthcare services. That’s when we realized how important our presence was that day, because it ensured that our patients’ voices were heard. Over the course of the morning we both had the opportunity to sit with our senators and house representatives to educate them on the profession, how far we’ve come and what the modernization of our practice act would mean for the future of physical therapy and their constituents. Our presence that day enabled us to have a direct imPacT on key decision makers in our government. Our hope is that we were able to encourage them to help secure our profession as an integral part of the health care team. We were able to do all of this by staying involved with PTAG, and merely showing up. If you haven’t shown up already, there are more upcoming opportunities! Stay involved so that you can make an imPacT too!
Please visit PTAG’s Facebook page by clicking here for event photos.
“As a student of Physical Therapy, I never thought I’d need a machete on the job,” said Allison Stowers, as she laughs with friend and colleague, Hannah Redd. Both young women are completing their final year at the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University in the Physical Therapy program.
Stowers and Redd boarded a plane for Africa in the summer of 2014 to join the CURE International organization in Uganda for three weeks. CURE International is a non-profit organization that operates charitable hospitals and health care programs in over 30 countries worldwide. Through the selfless service of health care professionals and well-equipped facilities, CURE provides patients with medical treatment regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity.
Stowers and Redd joined a team made up of foreign, medical volunteers and Ugandan natives to bring hope and quality health care to local patients that often do not have access to modern treatments and surgical procedures in this East African nation. While working with different medical professionals from surgeons to pediatricians, the two young physical therapy students were able to utilize and implement the clinical skills they learned in PT school in a real-world scenario, often with life-changing results.
While working with two certified Physical Therapists in extraordinary circumstances, Stowers and Redd learned skills that could only be applied through actual practice in the field and hard to master in a classroom. Given the lack of medical resources in Uganda, the girls were challenged to improvise treatment techniques and to adapt everyday objects as clinical tools. These lessons were pioneered by PT veterans Dr. Julie Johnson and Dr. Sam Lwanga, both of whom serve in Uganda and all too familiar with hurdling the challenges of providing treatment in a developing country.
“We watched as Sam (Lwanga) took a machete into the bush and cut down branches to try and make parallel bars for a child who could not walk or stand by herself,” said Redd. “It was amazing how he would transform the most simple of objects to aid in a patient’s recovery.”
Both women recall using ‘MacGyver-like’ techniques to help patients. “Once we dug a large hole to teach parents how to position their child to sit upright instead of laying on her back all day, “Stowers says. “There is little to no money available for proper equipment, so you have to think outside the box.”
The courageous and inventive spirit of Lwanga, in the face of monumental challenges, was a lesson not lost on the young students. “The everyday problems that Uganda patients face is entirely different than what patients in the states could even imagine,” said Redd. “Sam was our guide to Uganda, he engulfed us in the culture and taught us how much good we could accomplish.”
“Julie was also incredibly helpful,” Stowers describes. “She was also far away from home and helped us realize how lucky we were to have the financial and educational resources that are available in America. Her heart and ours were in the same place, we developed a love for the patients we saw and didn’t want to leave.”
Stowers and Redd were also able to pass on the knowledge and training they had learned in PT school back home to local health care providers who have little to no access to cutting edge techniques and physical therapy education. “We all traded ideas on different techniques and creative ideas,” Redd says. “We were able to teach Sam how to use the donated splinting materials as well.”
The disparities between providing treatments in Uganda as opposed to the United States were extremely evident to the students. “We may see a patient once and not see them again for six months to a year or ever again in some cases,” Redd says. “Unlike in the United States, where most children can come back (to therapy) and find quality medical care when necessary, a child’s condition may change drastically and his/ her needs may change before their families are able to seek medical care again.”
“We also had to account for the differences in lifestyle,” Stowers added. “For instance, mothers who live in the rural villages are literally surviving day-to-day; cooking, cleaning, growing food, building structures, raising animals; therefore, proscribing them an in-depth exercise routine for their child was unrealistic.”
Stowers and Redd expressed a sense of nostalgia when reminiscing upon their trip. Redd plans to return in summer of 2015 to work with CURE once again. Stowers is also itching to return to Uganda. After their first week there, the young women both met with CURE hospital leaders to plan a return trip.
Redd not only wants to return because she greatly misses helping the many children in need, but also to bolster the physical therapy education system in Uganda. “There are only two DPTs in all of Uganda and most PTs are at the diploma level. Even the higher levels of education in Uganda are taught by the same professors who teach at the diploma level. Because of this, many who graduate from the PT program don’t feel the need to return to school due to lack of new information to learn.”
Stowers and Redd miss their friends and patients from Uganda every day, but thankfully, they have been able to keep in touch via the CURE blog, CURE Kids. Here, the organization profiles all of their patients and how they are doing, if they end up returning to the CURE hospital or if follow-up care is taken to them.
“At first, I didn’t know if just two PT students could make an impact in Uganda,” Stowers says. “I didn’t realize that we could not only help patients, but we could also help the doctors learn more about new PT procedures. We felt so overwhelmed with emotions about how much we were touching children’s’ lives and ultimately, how much they would touch us.”
“We can’t wait to return and do more,” Redd says. “I want to encourage anyone willing to offer help to do so through CURE. There is such a need for PTs in Africa. In the future I hope to take other PT’s and students over for this incredible, challenging and life-changing experience.”
What to eat to help your body recover from ailments
It’s almost Thanksgiving and many are busy planning menus for their holiday feast. Listed below are a few guidelines on what types of food to consider adding to your grocery list if your body needs to recover from stress of ailments.
Two more surprise food to add to your shopping list if your body’s needs some additional TLC:
After you digest from your holiday feast and if your body is still experiencing discomfort, try relaxing your muscles with a heat wrap or a warm towel rolled around the suffering area, and then stretch those muscles out. The heat will loosen your muscles and reduce the pain. If your pain continues, be sure to consult a physical therapist who cannot only help relieve your pain, but also help you to understand why you are experiencing it. Staying active is always the best way to ensure your body remains at peak condition, so remember to exercise regularly to reduce your risk of future injuries or ailments.
These tips are meant to educate you, not provide a nutritional cure for ailments. Make sure to consult a medical doctor before drastically changing your diet in any way.
Smartphone and tablet apps can help physical therapists and patients learn more about their diagnosis and track their progress. They can also show users how to perform exercises with precision and accuracy for quicker and more substantial results.
Although effective, some apps range from $70-$300, making them outside budget constraints, especially since new apps are developed daily. The good news is there are plenty of quality, free apps that aid PT practices. And we’ve put together 10 great ones below in no particular order.
1.) iOrtho+ is your mobile guide for orthopedic information. This App is designed for rehabilitation professionals, educators and clinicians by Therapeutic Articulations, LLC. iOrtho+ is a mobile and comprehensive reference for orthopedic Special Tests and joint Mobilization Techniques developed from advanced, evidence-based knowledge and extensive clinical practice.
2.) TiltMeter, an advanced Level and Inclinometer, is a professional grade angle measurement tool that can be used to measure the angle of extension/flexion performed in exercises.
3.) Shoulder Decide/ Knee Decide/ Spinal Decide is a multisensory learning tool, which empowers healthcare specialists to teach their patients more quickly, efficiently and effectively. The app includes interactive 3D animations that permit you to explore and explain anatomy like never before.
4.) The Physical Therapy Spanish Guide (PTSG) is a tool designed for non-Spanish speaking health care professionals to quickly ascertain vital medical information from their Spanish speaking patients.
5.) Clinical Pattern Recognition is a simple to use, guideline based orthopedic rehabilitation app developed to help students and clinicians hone their clinical reasoning skills regarding examination, differential diagnosis, movement faults, treatments and exercises for low back pain. It involves evidence based pain pattern recognition, hypothesis generator, guideline based classification, patient videos, manual therapy, movement analysis, exercises, special testing and patient education.
6.) Once Rehab Minder Therapy Assistant is installed, it takes the hand therapist about 30 seconds to set up a patient with Tendon Gliding Exercises.
Customizing an exercise program is quick. Create an injury profile by selecting a body part (e.g. Middle Finger, Elbow) and a brief description of the injury (e.g. Fracture, Flexor Tendon Repair). This generates a ‘short list’ of exercises that can be viewed and added to the program. The menu that follows allows the user to add exercises from the entire database, categorized as ‘Non-exercise Therapy, Passive, Assisted, Active and Resisted.’ The therapist can key in any additional instructions from the second menu also with two ‘Write Note’ functions.
7.) FORCE Mobile intelligently recommends rehab exercises and creates custom playlists from a library of hundreds of professionally produced exercise videos. These videos and instructional voice overs are used by physical therapists around the country to treat and prevent injury.
8.) NPTE by McGraw Hill combines the best in class content from McGraw Hill with award winning mobile learning technology from Watermelon Express to present the best in class NPTE prep tool on iPhone and iPad.
9.) Physical Therapy Case Files, a new app in the authoritative Case Files® series, gives you case studies that illustrate critical concepts you need to build and enhance your skills in physical therapy. Each title focuses on a specific specialty area of physical therapy and each case includes a discussion of the health condition, examination, evaluation, diagnosis, plan of care and interventions, evidence-based practice recommendations and references. NPTE-style review questions accompanying each case reinforce your learning. With Physical Therapy Case Files, everything you need to succeed in the clinic and on the NPTE is right here in your hands.
10.) PT Timer Lite: Stretch & Exercise keeps time, counts reps and sets, and tracks your progress. Enter your own exercises and setup your entire workout. Clear verbal commands and chimes keep you going, while you can listen to music or focus on something else. If you are learning a new exercise, then put pictures and notes into this app, and watch them before you start the exercise.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed guidelines to oversee and regulate a small number of mobile apps—medical apps that could present a risk to patients if the software does not work as intended. Make sure you and your patient are aware of these risks before suggesting and downloading any app that could thwart progress.
This information is to better guide PT’s on what each free PT app can do for them. PTAG does not endorse any of the above apps or app providers.
Georgia offers its residents beautiful, hot days each summer. While working on feeling better and regaining strength in physical therapy is extremely beneficial, patients often have a strong desire to be outside when it’s so beautiful. So why not liven up PT exercises and take to in the pool?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the buoyancy of the water supports a portion of your body weight making it easier to move in a pool and improve your flexibility. The water also provides resistance to movements that helps to strengthen muscles. Pool exercises can also improve agility, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. Many types of conditions greatly benefit from pool exercise, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, joint replacements, neurological, and balance conditions. The pool environment also reduces the risk of falls when compared to exercise on land.
Below are some tips from Move Forward to help you have more fun this summer at PT or in a pool near you:
Preparing for the Pool
Before starting any pool exercise program, always check with your physical therapist or physician to make sure pool exercises are right for you. Here are some tips to get you started:
10 Excellent Exercises for the Pool
Read more about the suggested exercises here.
Physical therapists are available to help you reach your fitness goals while achieving long-term health benefits. Using their knowledge of mobility, motion and management, they can devise safe exercise plans that improve your quality of life, while avoiding the risk of overtraining.
Find a PT in your area to get started with your custom fitness plan.
For additional resources on fitness safety and overtraining prevention from American Physical Therapy Association and the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia visit www.moveforwardpt.com or www.ptagonline.org.