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PTA Blog Talk


Published July 7, 2010 9:59 PM by Jason Marketti

We all get interrupted during our work day. However, there are some staff members that do not seem to understand it is not OK to interrupt therapy because there is a movie in activities or a prayer meeting will be in a half hour.

This is what I want to do: Turn the movie off in activities and tell my patients they need to get down to therapy and then go interrupt the pastor during his sermon to announce that therapy will be available after the last Amen. I am sure they would be as pleased as I am about the interruption.

So what do I really have to do? Smile, nod my head and not interrupt them because somehow their services are more important. In every facility I have been in we are cautioned about not removing patients from activities. So when I wait for an hour until Bingo is over and get a refusal from the patient, I am asked why I am in the facility so long with poor productivity.

I sound cynical but I am not. I recognize that patients are in the facility and often need an outlet to take their minds off their situation. Entertainment works to forget the pain they may be in. And the power of prayer has been known to work for more patients than I can count. I just wish more consideration would be used when other staff members come to our therapy door and make a general announcement to everyone there.


Here is what you need to do:

Go to the individuals who are making the announcements and respectfully share that their interruptions compromise your patient care.  Explain to them that you plan your sessions around their activites and appreciate the ways they improve the clients' quality of life while they are at the facility.  But that their announcement serve as a distraction, making it difficult for the patients to get the most from the therapy session.  If they continue to interrupt, you get a little tougher and explain that it is no different than if you interrupte their movie or sermon - on a second conversation, you get to be that blunt.

Most people are truly trying to be helpful and don't realize the harmful side effects of their actions.  If you gently explain to them how they aren't being helpful, they'll likely stop.  

None of us are mind readers.  We can't be held accountable for continuing annoying practices if noone has told us we are being annoying.  Tell them.

You might also suggest an alternate way of notifying them...perhaps they could post a sign in the therapy room.  Brainstorm with other therapists any suggestions you might be able to offer the other acitivities as alternate ways to keep patients apprised of events.

I try to bring an option to the table.  Even if your option isn't one they like, it makes your complaint more valid when you have put time into trying to come up with a solution and aren't just whining about what you don't like (not that you'd be whining, just a figure of speech around my house - says the lady with four kids!).

Janey Goude July 12, 2010 1:40 PM

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About this Blog

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