This course is part of our GCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge GCS Prep-Program.
End of life issues are challenging to therapists when they arise in any setting along the palliative care spectrum: acute care, rehab, outpatient, home health, or hospice. Recognizing that a person is living with a life limiting condition significantly affects the therapeutic approach to care. This course will provide six practice models that can be applied to therapeutic intervention during the often variable clinical course, along with case examples. Clinical pearls that utilize our specialized knowledge and therapy skill set to maximize mobility and comfort for this patient population are discussed and demonstrated. The course concludes with a discussion of guidelines for the therapist providing end of life care to be successful.
Richard Briggs PT, MA has a clinical practice specializing in palliative care and hospice for the past 30 years. He has taught at the APTA National Conference and Combined Sections Meeting, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Clinical and Management Conferences, the California Hospice Foundation, and is Adjunct Faculty at California State University, Sacramento. His articles have been published in Rehabilitation Oncology, Home Health Section Quarterly, NHPCO Insights and Complementary Therapies Handbook, Geriatric Physical Therapy 3rd Edition, and Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. He has served as chair of the NHPCO Allied Therapist Section and founded the APTA Hospice and Palliative Care SIG.
In the first chapter of this course, Rich Briggs defines palliative care and identifies heuristic errors in physical therapy practice. He demonstrates how to apply physical therapy as a palliative intervention.
Chapter 2 reviews select diagnoses that have a terminal trajectory. Participants will learn to utilize clinical findings to identify palliative care needs. Rich Briggs also reviews words and expressions that indicate end of life awareness.
Rich Briggs identifies rehab-light therapy practice characteristics and defines Rehabilitation in Reverse for the declining patient. Participants will learn to recognize Case Management as an ongoing care tool.
In Chapter 4, Rich Briggs justifies skilled vs. unskilled maintenance care situations. Participants will review both physical and psychosocial Supportive Care practices.
In Chapter 5, participants will learn to utilize optimal equipment height for function. They will learn to recognize the significance of pulse monitoring and predicted maximal heart rate and apply appropriate edema mobilization and management strategies. Rich Briggs identifies the use of visualization with passive range of motion.
In the final chapter of this course, participants will learn to recognize signs and symptoms of clinician stress. Rich Briggs identifies therapist self care activities and describes the use of presence with non-attachment. The chapter ends with an explanation of the practice of Living Our Dying.