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Toni Talks about PT Today

Being Put on the Spot

Published October 16, 2012 9:44 AM by Toni Patt

I believe I've mentioned being a certified McKenzie therapist in my former (pre-neuro) life. I still use those skills, particularly when one of my horses needs some work. However, I generally don't talk about it. I like to avoid those "why aren't you doing that?" questions. Nor do I want to spend my lunch time fixing someone's back or neck.

Treating friends and coworkers is a very gray area. Yes, we've all done it at some point. On the weekends, I work with a wonderful PTA who put my SI back in place after my horse slipped, causing me to slip in the saddle. I felt so much better. Because it is a gray area, I limit knowledge of my skills to those I trust and know well. At least I did until last Friday.

Toward the end of lunch, the director of nursing came to the department complaining of back pain. I tried tuning it out. I tried concentrating on what was on my computer screen. Last month I had unlocked our COTA's neck and "fessed up" about my McKenzie past. Well, two of my coworkers who were privy to that conversation volunteered me to work on her. I'm not overly fond of her. Every time I try to discuss a concern about a patient with her, I get eye rolling and huge sighs.

I found myself doing something I neither wanted to nor felt comfortable doing. It was a very quick eval and treat. Turns out the injury was less than 24 hours old and movement in all directions hurt. I opted for a nice nap on a hot pack. Had it just been her and I, I would have politely declined. With an audience of two pushing the issue, I felt trapped.

I don't think they meant to make me uncomfortable. They have a much better relationship with that nurse and were trying to help. Maybe they thought of it as team-building. I'm writing this on Sunday. I truly hope I don't get a full report on Monday of how the weekend went. I'm not being mean or difficult. This is my personal preference of how I use those skills. That's why I don't mention them.


It is unfortunate that you peers don't seem to understand boundaries. They have no right to offer your services on your behalf. I also have concerns about your liability issues in this case. You weren't on the hospital clock for this treatment meaning they're not about to help you out if this person perceived a complication from your interventions.

You really seem to have been put in a no win situation. I hope at the very least the patient treats you with a wee bit more respect on the wards.

Dean Metz October 16, 2012 11:14 PM

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