[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”2512″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]I’ve had 12 years experience supervising physiotherapy students and mentoring physiotherapy colleagues. Over the past 2 years at Enhance Physiotherapy I have had the privilege of being able to sit in and observe our physiotherapists assess and treat their patients and I have learned a great deal from this experience.
Something I have pondered on over this time is what really makes an exceptional physiotherapist? Not just a good one, but a really really really good one? Sure you want a clear diagnosis and plan of attack (so to speak) and effective treatment that fixes the problem. But the reality is it actually takes more than that.…… In fact, I believe you can know everything there is to know about clinical diagnosis, and have impeccable treatment skills, but still not thrive as a physio. So here is a list of my 12 key characteristics that I believe are the ‘secret sauce’ of what makes up an exceptional physiotherapist:
- It’s all about human connection – as a patient you should feel a connection with your physiotherapist, you should trust them and know that they have your best interests at heart. Only if you really trust your physio will your mind and body cross that line that will allow you to fully heal.
- Holistic approach – if appropriate, your physio should think outside the square as to what may be contributing to your problem. Sometimes (often!) stress and other external factors can have a big impact on your pain and healing response. It’s really important they understand this.
- They listen…..and hear you. There is nothing worse than leaving an appointment feeling as though you haven’t been heard…
- They don’t pretend to know it all all the time – physios are human and the body is a complicated piece of bio-machinary, it’s impossible to know everything after one consult! But an exceptional physio can admit this and will do everything in their power to get to the bottom of your problem.
- Don’t overload you with complicated exercise programs during your first consult – chances are, you are in pain and you want it gone! An exceptional physio puts your goals first.
- Do provide a written treatment management plan – a treatment session can be information overload. Having something in writing is empowering and allows you to have confidence that your physio has a solid plan for your treatment.
- Will want to see you within 48 hours of a new injury – because they don’t want you to get worse and the more time between treatment the more likely this is to happen.
- Will put their hands on you – there is so much information to be gained from the hands of a skilled physiotherapist, and so much healing power.
- Will seek honesty from you – if you haven’t done your exercises it may be because your physio didn’t build that connection or take into account your life circumstances. A good physio will seek honest answers (not the ones you think they want to hear).
- Will remember you (and perhaps your dogs name or your childrens names…)
- Are clear and confident with what you should and shouldn’t be doing outside of physio – do you keep going to CrossFit, or have a break? You need to know the pros and cons right?
- You will remember their name and you will want to tell your friends and family about them – this really is the kicker…..and there isn’t much more that needs to be said!
So there you have it! I am really proud to be able to put my hand on my heart and say that all of the physios at Enhance Physio have the ‘secret sauce’ ? Keep in mind though that every physio is different and has their own unique personality, background, interests and skillsets – just like you! So it’s always worthwhile making sure that you and your physio are a good fit to get the best outcome.
I hope you found this useful!