Congratulations to Reed Brandenburg, PT, DPT on becoming a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)! He joins a prestigious group of 24,000 board-certified clinical specialists recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) that have “demonstrated competency in specialized knowledge and advanced clinical proficiency.” The APTA offers Specialist Certification programs in 10 specialty areas. “One of which is for Orthopedics – basically anything that has to do with the joints, muscles, ligaments, and post-surgery patients,” explains Reed. “We get all types of various surgery recoveries in home health. Knee replacements are the most common surgery we see with hip replacements being next most common.”
Reed recalls, “My first five years working as a Physical Therapist, I worked in outpatient therapy, primarily at an orthopedic clinic. I often saw people once they had already received home health physical therapy after a surgery, as well as a lot of sports-related injuries. From there I moved to working in home health where there is a lot of crossover in knowledge, skills, and treatment – and the Orthopaedic certification fits well for all those patient groups.”
“I’m always reading about physical therapy because I enjoy learning and I like learning about how to help people get better. “I saw specialty board certification as an opportunity to take my credentials to the next level to show not only do I have this experience in both outpatient and home health, but also that I’m still pursuing continuing education to improve patient care.”
Reed explains, “In PT school you learn numerous different treatment techniques to get someone better. There are 20 different ways to treat an injury or disease, however there are methods that are quicker, easier, less painful. And that’s part of what the specialist certification does, applying current research to help a person recover faster.”
He continues, “I may see 10 different people all with the exact same surgery, but based on a person’s prior history and how they’re presenting I may treat each one differently. The specialist certification helps me systematically evaluate each patient and then individualize the treatment. The goal is to achieve the best outcomes.”
Reed explains, “The certification helps me to confidently know I’m providing the best treatment for my patient.”
“The certification also connects me with other PTs out there to see what they’re doing and to learn from their experience. In home health we don’t really work with other PTs since we’re in people’s homes. Whereas in a clinic you see them next to you all day. So, it has been great having access to and learning from other clinicians and their experiences,” Reed adds.
Reed concludes, “We want to get people better and give them the best possible care, and we also want to figure out how do we get them better faster, so they can get back to the activities they want to be doing (or as close as we can to those activities). It helps to know I’m doing that in the most efficient way possible. At the end of the day when I help someone it’s very satisfying – it makes them feel good, it makes me feel good, it’s a very satisfying job.”