Therapists working in the physical, occupational, and speech and language fields frequently refer to the constantly changing challenges of their daily work as being primary motivators in keeping them going. If nothing else, therapy jobs are certainly not mundane. Yet at the same time there are little things that can seem mundane and, as a result, are easily forgotten by physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), and speech and language pathologists (SLPs).
These little things are things that therapists tend to take for granted. They don’t do so intentionally; they are just human like everyone else. Frequent reminders of these little things are often enough to motivate therapists to not forget them so easily. Below are just three examples.
Fundamentals Are Always Fundamental
Every occupation on the planet finds its roots in basic tasks that are fundamental to that profession. For example, fundamental tasks to a carpenter include simple things like taking accurate measurements and cutting wood according to those measurements. These two simple things are fundamental to a carpenter’s success.
Once a carpenter starts taking these two fundamental skills for granted, he is open to making careless mistakes. The same principle applies for therapy work. The are fundamental skills PTs, OTs, and SLPs practice on a daily basis. If they are taken for granted, therapists are open to making mistakes.
Locum therapists are less likely to have trouble in this area because every new assignment is akin to starting a new job, says Utah-based Vista Staffing, and each new job requires a refocusing of fundamental skills. Still, all therapists can fall into the bad habit of taking their fundamental skills for granted.
Details Never Go out of Style
Both employment and locum therapist jobs share the common necessity of paying attention to a lot of details. Therapists must meticulously detail everything they do with their patients. They must pay attention to details involving government paperwork, insurance claims, treatment histories, and so on. The thing is that details never go out of style.
It is human nature to want to take the path of least resistance. It is natural to want to find ways to cut corners in order to save time and effort. But such tendencies make it easier for therapists to lose sight of the details. This is neither good nor professionally safe. If nothing else is gleaned from this post, therapists should at least understand the need to refocus themselves from time to time, so that they do not let the details slip.
Patient Perception Is a Game-Changer
No other area of medicine is as susceptible to the effects of patient perception as the therapy disciplines. For example, a doctor knows that penicillin will kill bacteria regardless of a patient’s perception. Therapists do not enjoy that luxury. They know that a patient’s perception of the progress being made and the quality of care being offered is very influential to outcomes. In that respect, patient perception is not the little thing many therapists mistakenly believe it is.
Patient perception is a game-changer in almost every therapy case. Patients with positive perceptions almost always experience better outcomes than those with negative perceptions. Therefore, therapists have to do everything they can to encourage positive perceptions.
Therapy work is rewarding work because it affects lives in real, tangible ways. For the PT, OT, and SLP, it’s all about rising to those daily challenges in order to help patients lead the best lives they can. Doing so on a consistent basis means paying attention to those little things that would otherwise be forgotten.