Having your nursing team perform function focused care with residents can help physical therapists reach their patient goals too. Rather than competing with therapy, function focused care provided by the nursing team complements the specific rehabilitation work that a patient is doing in physical therapy, and both have the shared goals of optimizing the function and mobility of your patients.
Physical therapy (PT) is about determining the root cause of a function deficit, learning what body system is causing the problem, and addressing the specific deficit with rehabilitation therapy. In contrast, mobility is global and involves basic functions like walking, transferring, and performing activities of daily living, which can be encouraged by the nursing team through cuing, role modeling and encouragement.
The Key Point: The nursing team is not derailing the PT intervention with daily Function Focused Care. They may have different approaches, but they share the same goal.
If your nursing team is hesitant to get patients up and moving without the presence or approval of a physical therapist, it may be because they aren’t as confident in their skills to do this and fear the patient may fall. It may also be because they don’t want to “interfere” with a PT’s plan of care. Consider inviting PT to your next staff huddle to talk about their role and provide tips for getting patients up and moving to help your team feel more comfortable doing this.