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Physical Therapy Day Of Service (PTDOS)

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Melinda Curle

While many people recognize the integral role doctors play in the healing and recovery of patients, physical therapists are just as important in helping patients who are injured, have had surgery or need to restore everyday functionality. That's why each year, the Physical Therapy Day of Service (PTDOS) helps raise global awareness for physical therapy (PT) professionals and their contribution to the healthcare industry as well as empowers communities through acts of local volunteering.   

What Is Physical Therapy Day of Service and Why Is It Important?

The global Physical Therapy Day of Service (PTDOS) is an initiative where physical therapists, students and assistants, along with anyone who supports the PT profession, participate in an act of communal local service. This year PTDOS falls on October 9 and unlike 2020, people are finally able to come together in person (following some safety guidelines, of course). However, if you're interested in virtual advocacy opportunities, clinics can get involved by donating to a charity in their community as well as posting educational resources or promoting acts of service on social media. By sharing volunteer experiences, PTDOS participants motivate others to volunteer while also elevating everyone's awareness of the physical therapy profession.  

History Of PTDOS

As a health volunteer in Peru, Efosa Guobadia, conceived the idea of PTDOS in 2012 when he initiated the thought of dedicating a day for PT advocates to volunteer around the world. He partnered with colleague Josh D'Angelo to develop PTDOS and together, they funded support alongside its parent organization called, Move Together. Today, PTDOS has spread to countries throughout the world and is the first global day of service that has been coordinated by an entire profession. Thanks to PTDOS, more and more valuable acts of service inspire people to give back to their communities as well as understand the power of rehabilitative healthcare. 

How Is PTDOS Relevant To ALL Healthcare Specialties?

Since physical therapy plays such an essential part in any recovery process, almost all healthcare specialties rely on physical therapists to rehabilitate their patients. For example, surgeons may look to physical therapists to help restore their patients' muscle function after surgery, while a neurologist may write a referral to a physical therapist in order for them to improve patient mobility or balance. This means, no matter the medical field or profession, interest in ensuring physical therapy reimbursement is important in stabilizing patient outcomes. Click here to learn more about the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI). Additionally, providers from other specialties can take part in PTDOS through volunteering or awareness-building by cultivating acts of service and fortifying patient relationships through proactive social media engagement. 

How To Support Or Celebrate PTDOS 

Whether you are a physical therapist, student, patient or supporter, you can take part in annual PTDOS celebrations. Mark your calendar for October 9, 2021, so you can set aside some time to get involved in your community and spread the word about PTDOS. Whether you just have a few minutes to volunteer or you are able to participate for the whole day, there are plenty of activities that you can do to acknowledge the significance of physical therapy. Looking for some ideas? Here are a few to consider: 

  • Support local nursing homes. Send postcards to seniors in care facilities who may need a word of kindness and support. A postcard can quickly cheer up a nursing home resident and are sure to make them feel valued. 
  • Participate in an online fundraiser. Reach out to nonprofits and find ways to give to a local charity or global cause online. Participating in a virtual 5K is a great example, since it lets you run from your location at your own convenience while also raising money for worthy organizations. 
  • Clean up a park or beach. Contact your local parks and recreation department to see what public spaces need clean up. To make the job easier, organize a collaborative group of PTDOS volunteers!
  • Volunteer at a food bank or homeless shelter. Homeless shelters and food banks always need helping hands. Contact your local organizations to see if they need some assistance on PTDOS.
  • Donate blood. The American Red Cross works tirelessly to collect blood from donors. While you can go to a local blood bank and donate your own blood on PTDOS, you can make an even larger impact by getting your friends and family involved too. 

The Physical Therapy Day of Service (PTDOS) is an excellent time to serve your community and show your support for the many physical therapists around the world who work hard to help patients achieve a higher quality of life. By taking part and sharing your service efforts on social media, you can raise awareness about PTDOS and get others excited about doing good work in their communities. As the founders of PTDOS initially recognized, setting aside a small amount of time to serve others can touch so many lives as well as help create a better, healthier world.

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