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Transition to Rehab Management

Lessons Unexpected

Published November 16, 2012 1:25 PM by Karen Schiff

Completing the fall semester early led me to believe that my first week would be relaxed and quiet. Unfortunately, this was not the case. As the senior physical therapist in a busy outpatient department, I'm expected to mentor, counsel and discipline employees (although I've been lucky so far in that discipline has never been necessary). This week I experienced a surreal moment when I was asked to be present during the termination of an employee.

As an extra person in the room during the process of termination, I believe my role was to be supportive, or to make sure the employee understood what was being explained. My director carefully outlined the reason and made sure everything was understood; all this while showing empathy and concern for the employee's current state of mind. During the process, I couldn't help but feel for the employee, as well as for my boss. Overall, I have to admit, the process of discharging an employee from work with the tact shown was quite a lesson learned. I certainly hope that if I'm ever in the position to discharge an employee, I can do so with such grace. I'm certainly still learning my position, even after five years of assisting our department in the capacity I've been honored to serve.

Personal growth is a continuous process. Maintaining a supervisory position, studying for my DPT and putting many other tasks on my plate can sometimes be overwhelming. I wouldn't have it any other way, and the lessons I'm learning, both expected and unexpected, will be woven into my theoretical belt.

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