As the July boards have just past, new graduate physical therapists anxiously await to find out their board results after months of preparation have come to an abrupt halt. During this time of year, I can’t help but reflect upon this past year when I was in their shoes just one year ago.
As a novice, I thought that test was the biggest hurdle I was going to have to overcome as a new physical therapist. Flash forward to July 23rd, 2017, where early mornings and late nights, finishing notes, and fixing billing errors is my new norm. But what I didn’t anticipate would be the lasting relationships I have made this past year. Relationships with patients, co-workers, patients, office staff, nurses, and doctors are what make me able to even have a job as a physical therapist.
I have learned quickly that in order for my patients to get the best care, I must be able to communicate with their other health care team members. I never anticipated that, in addition to my job duties of hands on treatment and documentation, that I would be going to meet doctors to carry out clinical discussions, all with the common goals to from new relationships in order to obtain patients and progress and successfully treating those patients.
So what have been some of the key concepts of this networking and relationship building experience? Well, for starters, establishing patient rapport and making sure my patients know that I am their listening ear, cheerleader, and health care provider is by far the utmost importance. Then comes networking with physicians. I think of this like dating but in the health care profession. Learning about physicians on a personal and professional level. What do they like to do as hobbies? How do they communicate? Is it by phone, email, text? Which like detailed updates on patients? Which do not want you to contact them unless there is an issue? All of this information helps develop relationships in order to have a smoother patient- doctor-PT relationship.
The past year have been one of meeting memorable patients, developing relationships with local physicians, and giving back to the community with health care related talks. I look forward to what the next year will bring and to see what new lasting impressions will be made.
PTW’s Catie Grumbein, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Montgomeryville clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Catie at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!