How many hats are you wearing when it comes to treating work comp patients???
It’s true that you can’t be “just” a physical therapist when working with the “industrial athlete”, but it doesn’t have to leave you crazy! Let’s explore some of the roles you’ll play and how to manage your personal cast of characters.
Professor: Use the 4 “W”s
What are you doing? Explain each treatment or exercise.
Why are you doing it? What is the expected outcome or result?
What happens next? Why is it important they return for their next visit?
Walk them to the front. Recap the visit and expectations for next visit as you show them out.
Cheerleader: Let them know someone is in their corner!
We all know not every work comp patient has a good experience, whether it’s lack of understanding from the employer, poor explanations from the physician, or fear of not being able to provide for their family. Many times it’s up to us as therapists to keep them focused on a positive outcome. Help them see that returning to work is in their best interests, and we can get them there!
Counselor: Practice your listening skills!
Active listening involves paying attention, withholding judgment, reflecting, clarifying, summarizing and sharing. Your patient may be frustrated, confused, and anxious about the whole injury/recovery process. Be understanding of their unique circumstances, and give honest answers to their concerns.
Contact ErgoScience to learn how our training can help you better manage your role in getting your work comp patients back in business!