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Toni Talks about PT Today

The Pretty Blond Sales Rep

Published June 12, 2012 12:31 PM by Toni Patt

Last week one of our vendors came to the facility to give us an in-service on the company's modality equipment. I'm not a fan of modalities. To say I was less than enthused at the prospect was an understatement. Nonetheless I tried to play along. Everything went fine through ultrasound and diathermy. Then she proved she didn't have a clue about what she was talking about.

When she hit e-stim, she proceeded to describe how the machine altered the functioning of nerves to get them in sync, resulting in motor learning, all while the patient sat passively by. That pretty much flies in the face of the current thinking and research on motor learning. Nothing is passive. I asked questions. Why the references she provided were 10 years old or more? Why she was contradicting motor-learning theory? Her response was to refuse to argue with me.

I don't expect every vendor who comes along to be an expert on topics in physical therapy. I do expect that person to be familiar with her product and able to answer questions. This requires some basic knowledge of both science and therapy. If someone is providing an in-service, particularly an OTR, I expect a little more knowledge.

Apparently this sale rep doesn't share that belief. Her idea of an in-service was to recite something she had memorized nearly verbatim from the manual she provided. She couldn't handle any question that required thought. Based on her dress and behavior, I would guess she has been getting by on the "I'm pretty, don't ask me questions" methodology. My male supervisor fell for it.

If I tried that in one of my lectures, I'd be laughed off the podium. Granted, sometimes we need the old literature to support the new theories so a few older references are acceptable. But all 12? That tells me the science didn't work. Sadly she didn't even realize how stupid she appeared after our discussion. She just went right along as though nothing had been said. Even our tech noticed that she didn't know what she was talking about.

I did get one laugh out of the situation. I left before she finished so I could treat patients, having decided I wasn't going to get much out of the in-service. After she concluded, she told me she couldn't give me CEU credits because I left before she was finished. Since I didn't really learn anything, I didn't think it was a problem.

4 comments

As a rehab Director and PT myself, I am not always in control of what my facility contract with the modality company requires. My facility has me do four "in-services" a year as part of the agreement. Sounds like your facility has the same type of agreement. Sounds like to me your supervisor does not have any control as I don't about the inservices. Sounds like to me you were just being rude and just enjoyed disrupting the meeting. I recommend next time ask to be excused Before the meeting. You may have a longer career at this location than you have had at others you have posted about.

Katarinah Melody, RPT July 14, 2012 8:22 PM
Orlando FL

Let me guess. ACP?

Emile June 22, 2012 12:28 PM

I JUST LOVE YOUR BLOGS!!!!!! :)

keep em coming ;)

sean q, geriatrics - PT, LTACH June 14, 2012 4:18 PM
FL

This is funny.  However she was there to sell a product and the supervisor agreed to have her there.  If anything, blame him for not receiving product information and reviewing it prior to having her there to sell the product.  

It is not unusual to send the "pretty" people to sell the worst products.  Fortunately you have the sense to see through the facade and ask appropriate questions. It was kind of petty to not give you the CEU's, jealousy maybe for making her look and sound like she didn't know what she was talking about?

Jason Marketti June 14, 2012 1:13 AM

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