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Also, welcome back for another Journal Club meeting! Much of the content in recent days has been related to orthopedic rehab, largely because that is my background and what I am most comfortable discussing. However, I work hard to make sure that I cover many different topics and since I occasionally work PRN in the acute care setting, I wanted to include a helpful article to motivate those of you who live and work in the daily grind of the hospital setting.
When I first started working PRN at the hospital several years ago, I was a little nervous and slightly terrified. My only experience in acute care was for 2 months way, way back when I was a PT student. Fortunately, I had a wonderful mentor who helped me understand the flow of the hospital. I soon became very comfortable with general medical floors and even some of the specialty floors! But one area really petrified me. I dreaded receiving a consult to the ICU.
Part of that dread was the reality that I didn't really know what could be done with a patient in that type of condition. The other part was the unfortunate error in my thinking that exercise or positioning was probably not even useful for a patient, much to the dismay, I'm most sure, to my acute care professor in school. But since I was working on the weekends it was a very real possibility for me to end up visiting the ICU wing of the hospital.
Fortunately, my attitude has changed in large part to my interactions with acute care therapists who see the positive impact of engaging a critical patient. It has also changed because of many articles like the one that I have linked below. There is definitely value engaging the critical patient in physical therapy services.
Rehabilitation and Early Mobilization in the Critical Patient
In this review, the researches highlight several important advantages of mobilizing a critical patient. Some of these advantages include improved muscle strength and walking ability. Another advantage was that patients who were engaged early had a better health perception of their quality of life. So, before you think to yourself that visiting the ICU is a waste of your time, remember this article and others that highlight the significance of early intervention of the critical patient.