Workaholic or Hard Worker?
Anyone in the profession of physical therapy knows there are several areas of contention surrounding the move to the DPT. Some I think are valid points. Others, I don't see the problem. One irks me to no end. I don't understand why a new grad DPT is able to leave on time. What is the point of leaving on time if you haven't finished your work? I don't think leaving work on time every day-no matter what-is a skill to be bragging about. I think completing your work, even if it takes a little longe,r is a sign of a responsible person.
Consider this situation. The census in my unit has picked up dramatically. Everyone is carrying a full load and then some. Because of the three hour therapy rule and the amount of documentation, it isn't always possible to complete everything in 8 hours. So, many of us are putting in the extra hours. Does staying late to finish our work make us workaholics or responsible professionals?
The answer to that depends upon what is considered to be more valuable. If it is more important to leave work on time, we are workaholics. What if leaving on time means paperwork wasn't completed? That bothers me because I was taught to never leave paperwork undone. If for some reason I don't make it in the next day, it might not get done. Or, if a patient discharges unexpectedly, it might not be possible to track down the chart later on. If I start my day doing paper work for yesterday, it's possible I might forget something. And, if I'm doing paperwork, I don't have as much time to prepare for my day.
If it's more important to finish everything then we are dedicated professionals. We're doing what needs to be done to fulfill our job requirements. No one wants to get home later. That cuts into family and leisure time. No one is looking for more work to do. Sure, notes I write late in the day probably aren't my best effort, but all the important information will be included.
Or, consider a person who has the same load as I do, the same documentation as I do, but manages to get everything done and leave on time. How is this possible? That person must be cutting corners somewhere. I would hope treatments aren't being cut short. You can only shave so much time off note writing and still meet the requirements for reimbursement. I suspect that person is skipping all the other "little" things that should be done but aren't absolutely necessary. Today I finished late because I had three conversations with physicians. I scheduled a translator for a patient. I redid my schedule for tomorrow twice to accommodate changes in patient schedules. I attended stroke rounds. And, I ordered a BSC for a patient who was finally ready to use it. None of that had to be done, but it was nice when done.
I fail to understand why so much emphasis is placed on not working as hard. Neither my co-workers nor I would be considered workaholics. We simply like to be thorough. Maybe someday someone will explain that to me. Maybe that same person will also explain why it's okay to stop doing the little extras that routinely come up. In the meantime I'll be working hard rather than hardly working.