As a physical therapist, it’s important to not only help your patients achieve their goals and improve their physical function but also to show them that you care about their well-being and overall experience even after treatment ends. Developing strong relationships with patients encourages them to continue on their treatment plan and offers opportunities for patient referrals. And, as you know, patient referrals are one of the best ways to keep your PT clinic operating.
Here are some ways you can demonstrate your care and support for your physical therapy patients:
One of the best ways to show your patients that you care is to really listen to what they have to say. This means giving them your full attention, asking follow-up questions, and actively listening to their concerns and needs. By showing that you are truly invested in their care, you can build trust and foster a positive therapeutic relationship.
But it’s not just about listening to them during treatment about their treatment. But listening to their likes, dislikes, weekend plans, family life, etc. This is your time to really develop a relationship with them that feels supportive and safe.
Ask More Questions
Asking questions can help you better understand your patients’ goals, challenges, and preferences, and can also show them that you are interested in their overall well-being. You might ask about their daily activities, hobbies, and other aspects of their lives that could impact their treatment. Finding out things about their life outside of treatment can make them feel seen as a person and not just a patient.
Physical therapy can sometimes be a challenge, but you can make it more fun and engaging by incorporating elements of play into treatment. This might include using games or challenges to motivate patients to complete their exercises, or finding ways to make therapy more interactive and enjoyable.
Empathy is a crucial component of caring for patients. By showing your patients that you understand and care about their struggles and challenges, you can create a sense of connection and support that can make all the difference in their recovery process. Empathy can be draining so we highly recommended taking on extra self-care steps and utilizing your vacation days so you aren’t pouring from an empty cup.
Encouraging words and positive reinforcement can go a long way in boosting your patients’ morale and helping them stay motivated. Whether it’s through a simple compliment or a word of encouragement, showing your patients that you believe in their abilities and progress can help them stay engaged and focused on their treatment goals.
By following these tips, you can show your physical therapy patients that you care about their well-being and are committed to helping them achieve their goals both in and outside of physical therapy.