How Can I Help You Today?
“How Can I Help You Today?”. These simple words hold meaning to an entire philosophy of treatment that reaps great benefit for the patient/client and the treating clinician/trainer. The focus in medicine continues to shift to “patient” experience (customer service). What lies behind those six words will increase your success with your clients, will improve your patient/client experience and will fuel your happiness as a clinician/trainer?
1- Working with patients/clients is so much more than about the physical improvement one is trying to gain. It is about the relationship. The relationship is what allows us to be successful in obtaining the physical goals. It is what needs to be in place for the mind/body/spirit/emotion connection to take place. One can not be optimized without the other.
2-The focus is listening. Listening to the patient/client and what they need ..what they are struggling with. What you as the clinician/trainer think is important might not at all be important to accomplish to the patient.
3- The Listening allows the clinician/trainer to design a strategy unique to each client and what that client wants to accomplish. Make it your mission to have each client performing exercises based on their bio-mechanical deficiencies and their activity specific needs....not a set diagnosis program(ie all rotator cuff repairs are doing the same 6 exercises ) but a program designed specific to the patient relating to their diagnosis...BIG DIFFERENCE!
4- Encouragement: encouragement to STIMULATE success, not only after success has occurred. Reflect on how you communicate to your client/patient. Speak to them in encouraging words and tones. If your client/patient does an exercise “not quite right”: Say things like: “that was great, now can you try doing it like this?” Instead of saying: “No , not like that.....”.
5- Help your client stay motivated by a do-able home program. Do not overwhelm them with too many exercises. My physical therapy patients often have a much different home program than my “well” clients. Their goals are different, their focus is different. I often try to keep PT exercises to 3-4 exercises with tweaks and modifications each day they see me. No patient should be doing the exact same exercises for weeks and weeks.
6- Encouragement reaps Encouragement: : when the patient is encouraged consistently, their compliance increases, their success increases and that success becomes encouragement for the clinician. “one reaps what one sows”.
Utilize these basic “How Can I Help You” Principles and you will find that your days are more fulfilling and that your patients/clients will meet their goals much more quickly.
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