Author Topic: Rudeness in Therapy - Update Page 2  (Read 5796 times)

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BeagleMommy

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Rudeness in Therapy - Update Page 2
« on: January 17, 2013, 12:44:52 PM »
At one of my therapy sessions this week I was working with the therapy assistant, Tom.  He works with patients in addition to the physical therapist only he does not create the exercise plans/treatments.  He's been with the practice less than a year.  Tom is sweet, kind, funny, patient to a fault and tries to make all his patients as comfortable as possible.

Here's what happened.  One of the patients had her husband standing right next to her as she was being treated.  This normally happens under very specific circumstances such as a child needing a parent near them during treatment, someone needing a translator or if someone with a mental health issue has an assistant who comes with them.  Otherwise, family stays in the waiting area.  This lady met none of these criteria.

Her husband kept offering to "help" Tom with her treatment by either holding items or adjusting things.  Tom, very kindly, told him that his wife had to do the exercises the way her therapist had ordered them or they wouldn't work.  At one point he started walking up to other patients (including me) and offering to get them water.  When he asked me I said "If I need anything, I will ask Tom.  Please step back so I can finish my exercises".  He huffed a bit and left me alone.  One of the therpists told him he had to leave other patients alone and to go back to his wife.

I could see Tom getting frustrated with this man, but he never said anything to him.  One of the other therapists told Tom (after this couple left) "You have every right to tell him to go to the waiting area."  Tom asked me what I thought he should do and I said "Tell him to go to the waiting area or get one of the therapists to help you if he refuses."

Is there anything else I could have Tom use to fortify his arsenal in dealing with problem people like this?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 03:10:50 PM by BeagleMommy »

rashea

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 01:05:15 PM »
Well, I think someone should tell him that bringing another patient into the situation by talking to you was inappropriate.

Tom needs to understand he's an authority in that situation and just ask the guy to leave. If he won't leave, then escalate it up the chain of command.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Shoo

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 01:07:02 PM »
Wow.  I just finished up a 16 session course of PT myself, and to have ANYONE other than the PT's (or their assistants) and other patients there would have really really bothered me.  To have someone then try to interact with me?  No.

I'd have complained to my PT and made it clear I was uncomfortable.  As for what you might say to Tom to give him the cajones to deal with this problem.....I don't think you should have to do that.  I think you should speak to your PT and that person needs to deal with Tom.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 01:09:24 PM »
Sorry, I meant to post this in Life in General.  Mods, if you could move it that would be great.  Tom said he was going to speak with the Head PT about this situation.  He's a sweet person, but still new to the field and finding his way.

bah12

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 01:12:24 PM »
Well, I think someone should tell him that bringing another patient into the situation by talking to you was inappropriate.

Tom needs to understand he's an authority in that situation and just ask the guy to leave. If he won't leave, then escalate it up the chain of command.

I agree with this.  Tom shouldn't have asked you anything.  And he should take the advice of the other therapist and tell the guy to wait in the waiting room.

Roe

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 01:12:48 PM »
Wow.  I just finished up a 16 session course of PT myself, and to have ANYONE other than the PT's (or their assistants) and other patients there would have really really bothered me.  To have someone then try to interact with me?  No.

I'd have complained to my PT and made it clear I was uncomfortable.  As for what you might say to Tom to give him the cajones to deal with this problem.....I don't think you should have to do that.  I think you should speak to your PT and that person needs to deal with Tom.

Pod.

mich3554

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 01:21:56 PM »
In reality, the manager of the facility should have dealt with Tom.  If no manager, then the PT who Tom is assisting had the responsibility to tell him that he needs to wait in the waiting room.  Having additional people in the treatment room could become a liability problem for the facility.

One facility that I used had a sign up that the only people allowed in the treatment rooms were the patients.  But this was a sports medicine facility and children were not treated there.  The one I am using now, I've not seen anything other than a one on one interaction of the physical therapist and patient.

DottyG

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 02:05:22 PM »
Quote
Tom shouldn't have asked you anything.  And he should take the advice of the other therapist and tell the guy to wait in the waiting room.

This.  Tom has two (at least) problems he needs to deal with if he's going to be an effective therapist.  He needs to learn how to be assertive enough to tell someone to go back to the waiting room and he needs to learn that talking to another patient is very unprofessional.

I realize he's new.  But he still has a ways to go.  In trying to be "nice," Tom was rude to the other patients who were there.  He needs to get over this.

TurtleDove

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 02:13:02 PM »
One of the therpists told him he had to leave other patients alone and to go back to his wife.
...
I could see Tom getting frustrated with this man, but he never said anything to him.  One of the other therapists told Tom (after this couple left) "You have every right to tell him to go to the waiting area."  Tom asked me what I thought he should do and I said "Tell him to go to the waiting area or get one of the therapists to help you if he refuses."

Is there anything else I could have Tom use to fortify his arsenal in dealing with problem people like this?

Why didn't the other therapist tell the man to go to the waiting area?  I have only done physical therapy once, but it was one on one.  This some sort of group physical therapy?

DottyG

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 02:27:49 PM »
I don't know about the OP's therapy, but when I was doing PT, it was done in a large room with several therapists all working with their own clients.  I can see Tom's turning to one of his coworkers and asking them for advice.

I think the other therapist could have told the man to leave as well.  However, this is something that Tom needs to learn to do himself.  It was his client's spouse, and it was his responsibilty to deal with the problem at hand.  He needs to buck up and learn to do that, because PT requires toughness.  You can't try to be "sweet" when you're helping someone with PT.  It's something that you have to have some backbone to do.


BeagleMommy

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 02:50:23 PM »
I don't know about the OP's therapy, but when I was doing PT, it was done in a large room with several therapists all working with their own clients.  I can see Tom's turning to one of his coworkers and asking them for advice.

I think the other therapist could have told the man to leave as well.  However, this is something that Tom needs to learn to do himself.  It was his client's spouse, and it was his responsibilty to deal with the problem at hand.  He needs to buck up and learn to do that, because PT requires toughness.  You can't try to be "sweet" when you're helping someone with PT.  It's something that you have to have some backbone to do.

DottyG, this is exactly the set up at the practice I use.  Like I said, Tom is very new to the field and I think he is still finding his way.  I think he may be a little concerned about offending people.

weeblewobble

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 02:59:42 PM »
I would be uncomfortable if some guy I didn't know approached me unsolicited and asked if I needed anything at the gym, much less in a therapeutic session where I was dealing with medical issues.  And I don't accept beverages from men I don't know unless they're behind a bar.  The husband was so far over bounds, it's not even funny.  He may be one of those pathologically helpful people who HAS to prove how useful he is.  Or he could be a creep.

The bottom line is Tom should have asked him to go the waiting room as soon as he started interfering with his wife's treatment. And he definitely shouldn't have asked YOU what to do.  Tom is supposed to be in charge of the therapy room, not the patients.

This may be a case where the patient isn't a "good fit" for the therapy facility and the therapists have to ask her to leave because of her husband's antics.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 03:11:26 PM by weeblewobble »

mich3554

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 03:33:00 PM »
The problem is that Tom is not a physical therapist, but an assistant.  He may not have the authority, but the PT that he's working with does and he should have talked to him/her.

Cami

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 03:49:23 PM »
Tom and/or his boss needs to have a refresher in appropriate boundaries in a therapeutic situation.

magician5

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Re: Rudeness in Therapy
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 04:03:56 PM »
The OP could make a very good case with a privacy issue - the husband in question was not a patient, if I understand correctly, and should have been excluded from the start.
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