One of the Primary roles of Physical Therapists is to thoroughly examine patients for conditions that may negatively impact their response to care and intervention. A major part of the examination that is commonly overlooked is Vitals. Little wonder why Athletes collapse during training or why Patients collapse during Physical activity.
Vitals signs include Blood Pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood level. These measures help to determine the patient's overall health and well-being. Vitals can help Physical therapists become aware of serious events such as a possible heart attack and sudden drop in blood pressure. Vitals also help us determine which treatment protocols to follow and provide critical information needed to make appropriate adjustments during patient care.
It is also important to take readings of the Patient's medical history to know what to expect, for example, a patient with a Hypertension history should be checked for high blood pressure.
Taking Vitals may be time-consuming, but it is an important aspect that should be incorporated into Physical Therapy as this will ensure the effectiveness of the service. Taking baseline vital signs on every new patient and appropriate monitoring of those vital signs is essential to avoid negligence and provide patients with the safest care possible.
It is important for you as a patient to always remind your PT to always take your vitals before embarking on any Physical activity journey. You can also talk to them if you have any medical history that you think may affect you while undergoing Physical activities.