In the Words of a Student… David
Sometimes you don’t ever really know the impact you have on a patient’s life after they are discharged. Of course, you know whether or not the patient’s goals were met. You know whether they improved on mobility, strength, independence, and outcome measures. But how did they feel about their therapy, and about you as the therapist? I was fortunate enough to get a glimpse from a former patient over this past weekend.
It was Black Friday weekend, and the masses of people were out shopping for a bargain. Yet, this former patient spotted me across the retail store and took time out of her morning to come over and say hello, introducing me to her shopping buddy as one of the therapists who helped her walk again. This was followed by a friendly conversation with me about the holidays and traditions, and she regarded me with the warmth of a long time friend. As they left the store, my former patient was still talking about the therapy she received.
It was a brief, yet touching moment for me as a future therapist. It reminded me that the interventions we provide to patients go far beyond strengthening and functional exercises; there is a psychological component to wellness that we are in a unique position to provide, and this component is just as impactful on a patient as the physiological gains they achieve. I’m grateful for this patient, who gave me a glimpse of the “after care” that therapists don’t always get to see. David Lawson