Movement is central to life. This book is about teaching you to maximize the mobility skills of people who, for some reason, have lost their ability to move effectively. As a healthcare professional working to improve patients’ mobility, you have a tremendous opportunity to affect people’s quality of life every day.
In some cases, you will be helping patients regain old skills, and in other cases, you will be teaching them new ways to get around or perform activities of daily living (ADLs). No matter what you are teaching them, there are certain principles and practices that will increase your effectiveness. What follows in this book is a working knowledge of these principles and practices. Applying them will serve you in common “textbook” conditions as well as in the unique and unexpected situations that make up clinical reality (see Fig. 1).
Increasing mobility has the potential to contribute significantly to an individual’s overall quality of life. (Thinkstock.)
Although you will be learning some of these techniques and approaches for the first time, you may already employ many of them intuitively. Analyzing the techniques you already use will allow you to use them with increasing levels of success and will contribute to more advanced clinical judgment. Because each individual you work with is unique, every patient interaction will require that you make clinical decisions regarding that patient’s mobility needs.
Understanding the contexts in which your patient interactions occur, decision-making abilities you must develop to be proficient in mobility tasks, and the various movement techniques utilized as your patients progress in mobility skills will allow you to customize your mobility approaches to the needs of each patient. These keys will also expand the usefulness of your skills to a wide range of situations so that you can navigate confidently in complex and challenging clinical situations. Just as there is a progression in the development of clinical skills for the therapist, there is a natural progression in movement and rehabilitation for the patient. Because this progression is inherent in the facilitation of mobility, it is interwoven throughout this book. Rather than repeat the explanation of each continuum in every section of the book, we describe them individually here and present a representative icon or catchword for each for you to keep in mind while developing your skills. These “shortcuts” are not standard symbols or abbreviations; they are simply teaching and learning tools. After you have considered a principle and applied it in a few patient-care situations, you will be able to recall the shortcut and tap into that understanding later in more complex decision-making situations.
The patient’s well-being should always be the central focus of your care. Although that may seem obvious, it can ...