Are you receiving good care?
The first question is obvious: Are you objectively improving? We tell our patients that they have the right to expect improvement with EVERY treatment. There should be some subjective change ( your opinion ), some objective change (our observation), and some functional gain. In addition, there should be some progression of treatment. The same thing done repeatedly is only effective at keeping you where you are.
Red flags to watch for:
- No improvement and no change in treatment
- No ongoing checking if your problem is improving by the therapist
- As a consequence of treatment a new problem is emerging
- Your care is predominantly delegated to someone else (assistants, technicians, aides...)
- Excessive use of modalities (ultrasound, heat, electric stimulation; they may feel nice but there is minimal evidence behind them)
- You are predominantly doing your own treatment, performing the same exercises you are already doing well at home while someone else watches you (or even worse, you are not watched at all!)
- You spend minimal time with your therapist
- The office appears to be a turnstile business more than a clinic focused on outcomes
- You ask questions of your therapist and get vague, philosophical, or theoretical answers without objectivity directly pertaining to your present condition
- Your therapist holds court in a bullpen of multiple patients (check your statement, this should be "group therapy")
- The therapist is treating the X-ray or MRI and paying no attention to how treatment affects you, the patient
- Everyone seems to be getting the same treatment, with no apparent rationale
- Immersion in an environment of sensory overload with big screen TV's, music, and scores of people exercising around you as a substitute for the energy that should be directed to resolving your problem
- A lack of enthusiasm on the part of your therapist for identifying your goals and progressing you towards them
We are the strongest of supporters of good therapy.
Those who are delivering substandard care are undermining the foundation of the profession and destroying the trust necessary for patients to place their physical health needs in the hands of another. This is totally unprofessional, unethical and should be illegal. There are many good therapists in this state. If you feel that you are not getting good care, speak up. If you are right, then either you, your insurance company or both are being unprofessionally deprived of your time and money. If you need help finding a good therapist feel free to call us. We have clinicians who have been practicing and teaching in the same place for decades now and know quite a few capable therapists. If we don't know one near you, at least we will know someone close to where you live who can guide you from there.