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PTA Blog Talk

Making a Mess

Published August 6, 2014 9:44 PM by Jason Marketti

As I opened the gym door early one morning, I was stunned by what I saw. A large polyurethane mug with those beautiful white rings left from the wet bottom of the cup practically glowing on one edge of the mat table. Someone brought their drink into the gym, was treating patients, and left the cup and mess for someone to clean up. Outstanding.

Now it could have been a patient who left the cup, but I know better. I know who it was because this person always brings a drink and proceeds to slurp from it in front of the patients. I once met a psychologist who did the same thing while conducting interviews with new patients. When asked about it, she said she gets thirsty when talking with the patients and didn't see anything wrong with taking a few sips while doing interviews.

Perhaps if I brought in a 72-ounce jug and glugged from it, made that "aaahh" sound while smacking my lips, then maybe people would understand how unprofessional it appears to drink in front of the patients. I wonder if anyone would see anything wrong if I ate several slices of pizza in front of the patients and then left the department looking like a Katy Perry Friday night party. Some therapists probably wouldn't notice a difference.

There's nothing wrong with having water, soda or coffee at work. But why drink in front of the patients? Put the cup in the office and excuse yourself for a moment to take a drink while the patient is resting. Imagine if your surgeon came into the hospital room with a bag of corn chips and a Dr. Pepper, crunching and slurping away while trying to sound professional talking about what type of surgery you are going to have in a few hours.

Or how about a therapist spitting sunflower seeds into a cup while treating patients? Is that any more professional than having a six-pack of soda on ice next to the recumbent stepping machine in case you get thirsty? I would normally say use good judgment when conducting patient care; however, there are some brilliant therapists who refuse to do it.

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About this Blog


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