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Hosts: Jody Prohar, Registrar, Physiotherapy Alberta; Leanne Loranger, Manager Policy + Practice, Physiotherapy Alberta

In this episode, we talk about infection prevention and control and some of the lasting effects that COVID-19 may have on physiotherapy practice. Fundamentally, the pandemic has changed clinical practice. Some of the changes seen will remain, even as the first wave of the pandemic wanes and will affect how we address the predicted second wave of COVID-19 as well as other infectious diseases, such as annual influenza outbreaks.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The hierarchy of controls and other measures to limit the spread of infectious diseases. Although there has been a lot of focus on personal protective equipment, and specifically mask use lately, PPE is situated at the bottom of the hierarchy of controls to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • When, how and why to complete a Point of Care Risk Assessment. The likelihood of needing additional measures to protect against the spread of infectious diseases will depend on the practice setting and patient population served. For this reason, physiotherapists need to conduct a Point of Care Risk Assessment that considers the risks posed by the patient, the task to be completed, and the practice environment.
  • Changing workplace sick culture. We close the episode with a discussion of one of the most challenging aspects of COVID-19 response, the need to change workplace sick culture. How do we recalibrate our collective understanding of what constitutes illness? How do we move away from a culture of needing to be nearly dead before taking a sick day, to one where staying home when ill is the right thing to do?