Filipino physical therapists continue to be part of the healthcare team as they engage in frontline work against Covid-19. Amidst the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) placed in several localities in the Philippines, some tertiary institutions momentarily paused the provision of physical rehabilitation services. This is to concentrate all health human resources into caring for the increasing number of Covid-19 patients.
Physical therapists at hospitals and medical centers have been working as safety officers as they ensure that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) are provided to other members of the healthcare team.
(Photos above: Physical therapists from the Philippine General Hospital, one of the designated COVID-19 Referral hospitals in the Philippines)
Other hospital-based PTs have been procuring DIY PPEs such as face shields.
(Photo above: Cagayan Valley Medical Center. Photo below: Ospital ng Lungsod ng San Juan del Monte)
Some PTs are engaged in direct care of patients with SARS-CoV-2. They don full PPEs to ensure that they are also protected. Because of limited PPE access and supply during this quarantine, some volunteer PTs arranged PPE donations to institutions.
In some hospitals, physical therapy services continue for inpatients needing rehabilitation.
Other PTs engage in other frontline services such as patient screening and triage in hospitals and quarantine border checkpoints.
(Photo above: PT from Santiago City Physical Therapy Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is checking the body temperature of persons crossing border checkpoints. Photo below: PTs from the East Avenue Medical Center are providing information and preliminary screening to incoming Covid-suspected patients)
The Filipino bayanihan spirit lives on and our physical therapists help in any way they can. (Photo below: Food donations are being arranged by CBR Binangonan and East Avenue Medical Center)
Beneath their PPE armor, you are sure to find them wearing their final layer of defense against any kind of disease--that signature Filipino smile. They can't doff their masks to show you their warmest smiles yet because it would be risky for them and others. Rest assured, they are gladly caring for everyone.
We call on the continuous support and protection of all frontliners. Despite being in this difficult time, PTs commit to their call of duty and provide patient and public healthcare. Huwag natin silang pababayaan.
We are grateful to your service and sacrifice. Mabuhay po kayo.
(Photos were kindly provided to us by the physical therapists working in the indicated institutions.)