JIS News

The Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) are hosting a series of virtual sessions from September 6 to 11, as part of activities to observe World Physiotherapy Week, from September 7 to 13.

World Physiotherapy (PT) Day is being observed today (September 8).

Several of the KPH Physiotherapy 23-member team are featured in 15-second videos titled, ‘The Face Behind the Mask: Rehabilitating on the Front Line’, reflecting on their careers in the field.

On September 9, the unit’s social media platform will feature a ‘Fun Facts’ session outlining the functions of the physiotherapist and on September 10, the unit will host a webinar featuring presentations by physiotherapists from the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), National Chest Hospital, among others, on the important role of physiotherapy in COVID-19 treatment. The webinar is open to the public free of cost.

The week of activities will culminate with a ‘Did You Know’ session to provide additional facts to members of the public on the discipline of physiotherapy and reinforce proper COVID-19 etiquette to reduce transmission of the virus.

The virtual sessions will be posted on the KPH Instagram page, kphphysiotherapy.

Manager, Physiotherapy Services, KPH and VJH, Alicia King, told JIS News that the activities for the week will highlight the important role of physiotherapists in dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Quite often we are the forgotten ones in the paradigm of the COVID response, but physiotherapists play a pivotal role in the recovery of the patient. When you hear physiotherapy you think only of the [mobility] of the patient, but they are also the respiratory therapists in the treatment of COVID- 19,” she pointed out.

“What we do, primarily, as physiotherapists in respiratory treatment, is to assist the patients with breathing in clearing their own secretions. We have to be very innovative and cautious in assisting patients to carry out these bodily functions. As part of the recovery process, we then move on to the second part which is mobilisation, which is what most persons know about physiotherapy,” Ms. King noted.

Pointing out that some patients may experience muscle atrophy from being confined to the bed for a long period of time, she said physiotherapists assist patients in regaining their mobility.

“The patient who is mechanically ventilated has been restricted from being bedridden for so long. We are the ones who assist them to sit up, to stand; we even go into functional tasks like being able to feed and dress themselves,” she added.

World Physiotherapy Week is being observed under the theme, ‘Physiotherapists’ role in helping people recover after COVID-19’.

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