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Toni Talks about PT Today

The In-service that Wouldn't End

Published November 23, 2010 4:40 PM by Toni Patt

Many facilities schedule staff in-services and meetings during lunch because it is often the only time everyone is free. Most of us accept it as a part of life and work around it. To me, it is a huge inconvenience. I use my lunch time to write notes so I can shave some time off in the afternoon. I never finish but it cuts down on what I have to do at the end of the day. The few times we have mandatory meetings or staff in-services, I suck it up and make the best of it.

That is, until last Friday. A long-term care provider came to our unit to educate us about the services they provide and funding sources they are able to tap. What could have been a fine 15-minute in-service with a few extra minutes for questions took an entire hour plus questions, with most of the information repeated several times. I had to sit on my hands to keep them still. I kept thinking about the notes I wasn't getting written and how little of the information applied to our population.

I don't have a problem hearing what other facilities have to offer. I never know when I'll have a patient that needs exactly that at discharge. The problem was making me waste an hour of my time. If I'm expected to sit through a presentation and be respectful, I expect the presenters to be respectful of me and my time. I sit through hour-long meetings because information I might need is presented. I attend student in-services out of respect for the student. Staff in-services are not mandatory and infrequent, so I can choose which to attend.

I know I'm restless because I have school deadlines looming over me. It makes me more aware of my time, so I'm acutely aware when it's being wasted. The in-service would have been more effective if they'd hit the high points, then asked for questions. Those with questions could remain and ask them. Those without could return to our lunches or work. Better yet, they could have provided the address of the website and posted their pictures there. I could see the facility and research any questions. I really don't want to watch a PowerPoint presentation scroll through pictures while people are talking just to hear themselves talk.

I hope I don't have to do that again. Next time I'll skip the thing and pretend I forgot, unless the presenters can wrap it up in 30 minutes or less. Now I'm inclined to not only not recommend that place but instead recommend a competitor because the competitor didn't waste my time. If it had been important or useful information, I would have paid attention. It wasn't and I didn't.


I just started reading your blog today. I find it very interesting so far and I find you to be very open and straight forward. I am a stroke survivor (not quite 3 years) who also has a background working as a technician and teaching assistant in our local Faculty of Medicine, and program coordinator in our hospital's dept of Genetics. It is interesting to look at your comments from both sides.

At the moment I am feeling a little extra sympathy for my PT after reading some of your comments.

Linda in Winnipeg

Linda Cooper March 20, 2011 11:12 AM

There are times when people are longwinded on short subjects.  I have asked for an agenda for meetings and then determined whether any of the items met my interest, if they didn't, I stayed away. Unless lunch was being served.  If a speaker brings lunch I bring my ears.

Jason Marketti November 24, 2010 2:52 AM


It's time outside vendors really understood how valuable our time is. You are too polite...I get up and walk out at a certain point.  They will get the idea.  

Christie November 23, 2010 8:07 PM

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