Do PTA 's have to do wound care? Can you refuse to do this!?

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Comments (3)

Keri in Deatsville, Alabama

33 months ago

So, I am in the very beginning of becoming a PTA, I am in the process of finishing my AS degree. Anyways, today I was in the cafeteria at my college and was speaking to a few of the current PTA students. They informed me that wound care was part of the profession. Now I can understand checking stitches or applying clean bandages, but they talked about having to clean out bedsores, infections etc... and I am just not okay with that. I am now very unsettled now with my career choice!? I have no desire to do that type of medical service, this is why I chose physical therapy over nursing (the ick factor is too much for me ) I thought I would be helping with injury's or teaching people how to relearn daily/normal everyday tasks etc..

~>I then have read where wound care is not required in every job... So can someone explain to me where this may be required and can I choose to refuse doing this and still be able to get and keep a job? Just need a lil info, help and support!
TIA :)

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Arian in Sacramento, California

31 months ago

You will have to do this in school. You may have to do it in your job. You can try to choose jobs, like working in a public school, that may be less likely to include this stuff.

But if you really can't be around it, choose another job. People who need therapy tend to have many disabilities. They may drool excessively, have smelly diapers, have discharge that smells even if covered, have a greater tendency to vomit, etc.

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jcullerton in Waukesha, Wisconsin

30 months ago

This thread is from a number of days ago, but I thought I needed to add more information. Wound care is not a requirement. Some people just can't deal with it and that is ok. You can do a few things about this such as picking a setting that has a low chance of wounds such as outpatient sports, schools or acute hospital (which would have wound nurses or specialized therapists for wounds). Your chances of interacting with wounds would increase in a skilled nursing facility or long term care facility. Even so, it does not mean you have your hands in the wound. Your role as a PTA is always thinking about the plan of care and how to reach the goals. A wound is usually a small part of the picture. You still think of your problem list that got the person to have a wound: pressure, positioning, circulation, prevention of shearing forces, etc and how that plays in to a wounds ability to heal. You do all of that without touching a wound. You can treat all of those things correct? ....when it comes down to it, I only get my hands on wounds if it is needed. Does the wound need e-stim/US/SWD to help the healing process, frequent dressing modifications or modification until we find out what the wound responds to best, sharp debridement/blunt debridement? If the wound care nurse can monitor and provide dressing changes and I don't need to see it, I leave it to them. If we are taking care of it because I want to keep a very close eye on the wound, dressing modifications or treatment response, than I keep the patient on my case load. I will only give up a delicate wound patient to a PTA I know they have an interest in doing the treatment and will do a great job. ...what I would do is give you exposure to wounds little by little in ways that are educational and not too over whelming. If you show any interest I would increase your education over time. If it just wasn't your thing, that is ok. You will have other talents with patients.

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