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PT and the City

Rehab Supervisor

Published August 5, 2013 10:22 AM by Lisa Mueller
Last week I was promoted to be a rehab supervisor. I'm grateful for the opportunity and excited for the challenges of my new role. Over the past few weeks I've thought about this position and the differences between patient-contact roles (physical therapists) and administrative positions and the skills needed in both roles.

The first thing that comes to my mind is communication. As physical therapists, we need to communicate effectively with our patients and other healthcare providers in order to effectively carry through a plan of care. Supervisors also need to be clear communicators to express changes to the department.

Both roles require patience -- with patients and with colleagues who may work differently than ourselves. Both roles require planning ahead or organizational skills. Physical therapists think forward to what our next session plan is with a patient and how we'll adjust a plan if the patient's symptoms remain or worsen. In administrative roles, planning may be needed for staffing changes or new clinic openings, or in anticipation of process-improvement initiatives (new documentation software, for example).

I'm hoping that many of my skills as a therapist will carry over to my new position. I'll be participating in a leadership training next month and am looking forward to learning more during that time. What do you think? Have you ever held an administrative position within the physical therapy profession? What qualities are most important to be successful in those positions?

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2 comments

Irene- thanks for the great feedback. I appreciate the advice.  

Lisa Mueller August 6, 2013 12:08 PM

Lisa - congratulations on your new role. Having spent >25 years in varied administrative roles within the profession, I'd like to offer several suggestions: read Crucial Conversations,  put VitalSmarts.com on your favorites list and remember -- what gets rewarded gets repeated.

Irene, PT - Supervisor, VACIHCS August 5, 2013 11:23 AM
Des Moines IA

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