On March 17, 2020, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) released its statement on “The Role of Physiotherapy in Keeping Canadians Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Among other things, the statement outlined the essential role and contribution of physiotherapists in implementing Canada’s COVID-19 response, including:
- Physiotherapy and rehabilitation play an essential role in the context of infectious disease outbreaks.
- Physiotherapy can mitigate adverse impacts due to respiratory and mobility complications associated with infectious disease outbreaks.
- The care and treatment offered by physiotherapists is crucial in keeping Canadians healthy and active, and in preventing the need to access urgent or emergency services in-hospital.
- Physiotherapy can reduce the burden on the medical system through improving patient function and independence, and allowing them to return to their homes sooner, freeing up much needed hospital resources.
- As health care professionals, physiotherapists are trained in, and adhere to, strict infection control practices to keep Canadians safe.
All across Canada, there are physiotherapists who work in a variety of settings (e.g., hospitals, communities, private practice), with a broad array of expertise (e.g., musculoskeletal, respiratory) and a breadth of patients (e.g., critically ill, paediatrics, seniors, post-op).
The resources below are provided for physiotherapists to reference for their own information. They do not replace formal education, training, or mentoring in either a classroom or clinical setting.
The CPA, as a national association, has aimed to provide resources that can be beneficial for physiotherapists working across Canada.
However, given the provincial/territorial nature of health care in Canada, please always check with your provincial ministry of health and your local regulator.
It is also crucial to check specific protocol and policies in place at the hospitals and other institutions that you’re working in.
The CPA has officially endorsed the “Physiotherapy Management for COVID-19 in the Acute Hospital Setting: Recommendations to guide clinical practice” prepared by an international team of expert researchers and clinicians, including lead author Dr. Peter Thomas, PhD, BPhty (Hons).
Click here to access the full guidelines.
Click here to access a two-page summary of the guidelines, developed by rehabilitation professionals at McMaster University, consolidating the findings for front line rehabilitation clinicians, including physiotherapists.
The CPA's Cardiorespiratory Division has four courses available that may be of interest to physiotherapists affected by the global pandemic of COVID-19.
These courses include:
- A Review of Obstructive Respiratory Disease & Implications for Secretion Clearance
- A Review of Arterial Blood Gas Interpretation for Physiotherapists with Tania Larsen
- Frontal Chest Radiography Interpretation with Simone Gruenig
- Review of Mechanical Ventilation for Critical Care with Anastasia Newman
The fee has been waived and these courses are available at no charge.
If you are a CPA member, please use your CPA member login information to access Embodia by visiting the CPA's PD Marketplace.
Non-CPA members can create a free Embodia account to access these courses.
- The School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University has shared a video covering “In-Line, Nasal and Open Suctioning.” This video is available here.
Clinical Reasoning Videos – Coming Soon
Chest Radiography Interpretation – Coming Soon
SAFEMOB – Coming Soon
Refer to the CPA’s COVID-19 Webinar Series for upcoming webinars.
In response to a #GlobalPT conversation started on Twitter, the CPA has developed an open Slack group where people practicing physiotherapy around the world can discuss lived experiences with COVID-19. Within this Slack group, we have created a specific channel for physiotherapists working in hospitals to share ideas.
To join the Global Physiotherapy Community Slack group and the PT in hospital channel, please follow this click here.
While the CPA does not guarantee the quality, applicability, or validity of the content, this provides physiotherapists in Canada, and across the globe with an opportunity to share, dialogue, and ask questions.
Personal Protective Equipment
Here are some resources available for more information on PPE:
Public Health Agency of Canada
Canadian Medical Association
Ontario Provincial Government
- Putting on Full Personal Protective Equipemtn (Video)
- Taking Off Full Personal Pretective Equipment (Video)
- Updated IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 (March 10, 2020)
- IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 (April 6, 2020)
British Columbia Center for Disease Control
Canadian Pharmacists Association
World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Technical Guidance: Infection Prevention & Control
Working in Stressful Situations
- Phil Sheppard, PT, DrPH (candidate), shared some key points about working in stressful situations based on research and resources from humanitarian organizations, as well as his own experience working in humanitarian disasters and remote areas. Click here for more information.