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PT and the Greater Good

What a Great Friday Afternoon!

Published September 13, 2011 11:46 AM by Dean Metz

Our falls/vestibular service is usually very busy and booked solidly. In order to find time to review literature, brainstorm or study a particular case, we have to block out space in our calendars (nearly impossible) or use our own time.

This past Friday, the four patients scheduled for the afternoon all cancelled on my colleague and I. The assistants were off for the afternoon and the nurses were running clinics elsewhere. My junior colleague and I had the chance to reflect upon cases we were working on, research unusual findings and discuss them together, and discover some things about vestibular rehab that we hadn't known previously. We shared a few "Aha!" moments and came up with revised treatment plans, revised work flows and most importantly, some new excitement for the work we were doing.

Structured time to reflect upon practice, research things that are new or have been forgotten, discuss cases and figure out the best approach to complex presentations shouldn't have to be a luxury. Yes, it is "non-productive" time in some books, but how much future time have we saved from the reflection of one afternoon? How much more will we be able to contribute to the practice of everyone in the service? I think it was well worth the cost!

2 comments

Dean,

Great post!  Doing some research for a book project, I picked up "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni.  In this leadership fable, the new boss initiates a mandatory "off site" protocol as her first management change.  The team grudgingly embarks on what they believe to be a most unproductive venture.  What results is productivity beyond their expectations.

At the end of the book, the author lays out an alternative plan for managing a team, which includes "approximately eight days each quarter in regularly scheduled meetings...most management teams balk at spending this much time together, preferring to do 'real work' instead."  His contention is that "a strong team spends considerable time together, and that by doing so, they actually save time by eliminating confusion and minimizing redundant effort and communication."

We've got to rethink what productive looks like and how our time is truly best utilized.  I'm putting together some blogs to share some of the author's ideas in hopes of challenging our concept of what teamwork and productivity look like.

Thanks for this great reminder of how important it is to take time to connect with research and colleagues!

Janey Goude September 16, 2011 2:36 AM

Totally agree with you!  I would love to have a few hours every month to review literature and read through some of my PT magazines, but the productivity pressure is so high.  Great opportunity for you!  

Lisa West September 13, 2011 8:41 PM

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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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