Take Credit for the Little Things

Often times I think we, as clinicians, sell ourselves short. We take for granted the education and training we have as if it were common sense.

I hear clinicians say things like, “what I provided there, anyone could have done. The patient didn’t need my services. That wasn’t skilled care,” after we’ve done something like taught an exercise, adjusted walker height, or other “simple” therapy tasks.

But these things are not innate for people. If they knew that adjusting their walker height would improve their breathing, make them more comfortable and less fatigued, they would have already done it. I have looked at a patient and thought, “all they have to do is get up and move a little and they would do better,” however, people need help in knowing how or what to move.

Sometimes we don’t pick people up for therapy services because we think it’s something Nursing can do or the family can do or that the patient can do for themselves. This, to me, is about more than increasing caseload. It’s about reaching out and helping people with even the simple things.

We’re really good at taking credit for the heavy-duty stuff. It’s the little things that we miss. The same is true with ourdocumentation at times. We need to ensure it captures the level of skilled intervention we provide and is professional and thorough.

It would be interesting to consider the last few patients that you have marked as “evaluation only.” Is it possible that we could have provided education or skilled services?

We got into this business because we wanted to help people, and we do. We offer a great service to all that are injured or disabled. We have been trained and practice as healers. We offer a gift that no one else can. I watch the expressions of gratitude flow in from the patients we help. I know that we are providing something that they can’t get anywhere else. So stand up and take a bow.

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