Yes, you read that right…”patience” engagement, not “patient” engagement. Many providers feel as though they do not have time for small talk. With pressures on documentation, productivity, and compassion fatigue (burnout), it may seem either more burdensome or even a waste of valuable time to be patient…with a patient. To listen.
Check yourself against these statements. Which are you already feeling?
- It feels absurd to ask a question that might have an open or extended response.
- My patients are not motivated.
- She shows up 5 minutes late, and then talks when she should be warming up.
- Can’t he see that I am busy trying to help him? Why does he talk so much?
- How is talking going to help them experience less pain…or get stronger? Right. I thought so. It’s not.
In contrast to these statements that you may be feeling or even expressing, consider two points:
- It often takes less than 45 seconds to ask and listen to information that can help you personalize an educational point or exercise.
- The more personalized you can make a session, the more attentive (attention and attendance), intense, and tolerant (to challenge or error) your patient will be.
Are there any providers that don’t want patients being more attentive (both forms), intense, and willing to thrive under appropriately-dosed challenge?
If you didn’t know that walking a wheelbarrow was important, you could not use that as an analogy OR an actual treatment idea to shape gait training with an engaging external focus.
If you didn’t know that your patient had been a chef, you might not have created the analogy regarding fitness and “Having enough resources to sit on your own and get to standing, is like having the right ingredients to make that meal. In performing these exercises, we are filling your pantry and your refrigerator.”. BTW, that one happened to me today, in inpatient rehab.