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PT and the Greater Good

Redefining the Work

Published September 21, 2010 3:36 PM by Dean Metz

I just participated in something called a "time-out session" at the falls clinic I work in. It involved looking at what the local commissioning board has stated they expect of our service and how well we met that expectation. It was done primarily to revise and inform the commissioners about how far we have come, how the service has evolved and whether they are getting what they paid for. It is an interesting process of saying, "Here is what you said you wanted, here is what we are providing, here is how it is (or isn't) working and here is what we think should be the revised remit for a new time period."

It was a great opportunity to examine our services, contemplate whether we were actually fulfilling the needs and advise those purchasing our services about how well things were going. We discovered that we met almost all the requirements we were commissioned to provide. Many of the things we didn't provide had either become irrelevant or were determined to be extraneous to our services. All of the original wording stated, "Nurse-led team..., nurse-led assessments... etc." It was really nice that the nurses volunteered this language was no longer appropriate because we were now a multidisciplinary team providing interdisciplinary assessments.

Through my work of the past year and that of the physiotherapist I hired earlier this year, this is evidence we have changed the mindset of our colleagues and they respect our work. As much as I have said I loved working for my last employer in New York, PTs were always kept in place by being reminded, "There's a reason ‘nurse' is the center of our company name."

It is nice to be respected and appreciated on this level.



Sounds like you've achieved interdisciplinary nirvana.  Too bad you had to go all the way to the UK to find it.  Turf wars are petty and annoying.  Glad you are free of them.

I've worked for places that had a process similar to your "time-out session".  The term I remember is "action plan".  We'd create measureable goals, then revisit quarterly to assess and revamp.  It kept us on track and helped us to evaluate what was important.  

If we set a goal and in three months found we hadn't addressed it at all, we had to evaluate if there was a problem in plan implementation or if the goal really wasn't important.  It also helped us to assess the effectiveness of our plans.  Sometimes what looks good on paper just doesn't work with people.  And sometimes, we impressed ourselves by blowing expectations out of the water.  That was always a cool feeling.

Goals can be scary because they bring accountability into the picture.  "Accountability" makes us squirm.  But, when you view a plan with goals as a vehicle to improving your service and enhancing your level of professionalism, then the payoff makes all the squirming worthwhile.

Janey Goude September 26, 2010 12:26 AM

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About this Blog

    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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