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Sisyphean Tasks

Published August 12, 2009 4:27 PM by Jason Marketti
Sometimes I feel like my work is to no avail.  The endless stream of "revolving door" patients and constant repetition of instructions can drive me insane.

I get frustrated when I give a patient HEPs and theraband with detailed instructions on its use only to be told they did not do them the whole weekend and stayed in bed to "rest." 

Then the next week the patients will say they want to leave and wonder what I am not doing for them so they can achieve this goal. I turn this around and ask the patients what they have been doing to ensure they will go home.  I will sometimes assist them in breaking down their day by the hour and figure out times they can do independent exercises.  This is usually frustrating on their part because it brings to light what they could have done but choose not to. 

I generally drop it there and encourage them to increase their participation with activity to their tolerance and get out of bed every day and wheel themselves down the hall independently. 

I remember reading in ADVANCE one time about a PT who took another perspective on this. She wrote that every time she instructs someone in exercises she reminds herself that it is probably the patients first time learning how to do them.  I must remind myself this and not get frustrated about it. 

I will try to be a good coach and a better therapist. 

1 comments

Do you like what you do?

Jeanne Powers August 15, 2009 4:54 PM

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About this Blog


    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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