Are you taking your patients condition seriously enough?

Reference:Bahram Jam, PT

I urge you to put this simple question in your patient intake questionnaire.

Do you feel that people aren’t taking your condition seriously enough? Yes No

It seems like such a pointless question to ask, but you may be surprised at the number of patients who will respond with ‘yes’ and feel that no one is taking their pain seriously.

Perhaps they feel that the nurse adjudicator at Workers? comp is only out to get them, or that their family doctor is brushing them off, or that they were treated like in an assembly line at the last ‘Physio’ clinic they went to, or that their spouse is getting frustrated and no longer sympathetic to their pain.

Here is a quote to remember for the rest of your PT career, “How can a patient get better, if they have to always PROVE they are in pain?”

Think of it, if a person feels people, (e.g. employer, co-workers, insurance adjustor, family members and health care providers) are not taking their pain or condition seriously; their central nervous system will be on a continuous mission to prove their pain.

I have experienced this several times, if I make the patient feel that I am fully listening and bluntly say, “I want you to know that I am taking your condition seriously.”
…their symptoms improve based on the fact they see me as an ally and not an enemy trying to minimize their pain and suffering.

In summary, my goal is to have my patients prove to me their function, not convince me of how bad their pain is.

Posted on: December 15, 2011

Categories: Relevant Physical Therapy Articles

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