Laurie's Blog


11 Mar 2018

We’re the super heroes!

Super hero dog

Okay, this one is a mix of fun, inspiration, and a good solid pat on the back!  I came across a blog entitled:  Top 10 honest reasons why physios are heroes.    

The physio who writes it tends to like to use expletives (which I’m okay with… but I know others might be shocked by), so I’m going to reiterate it in less ‘colourful’ language!  I do think that it pertains to what we do as animal rehab therapists!


So, here are the top 10 reasons why Animal Rehab Therapists are super heroes!


No. 1:  We take a lot of crap!  Basically, clients are reading up on the internet and come in with preconceived notions and pseudo-science, and we usually have to politely listen… waiting for a good place to slowly and softly interject real facts and ask for the opportunity to assess their animal to make a real assessment which may or may not correlate with what Dr. Google told them!


No. 2: We take more crap! Sometimes the bad advice a client gets is from their other healthcare professionals (aka. The referring vet or surgeon).  Perhaps they’ve been told that it is a quick fix.  Perhaps the surgeon said, “The dog is 8-weeks post op now, so you can let him off leash!”, despite not allowing formal rehab during that post-operative time.  Perhaps they were given a referral begrudgingly and the referring veterinarian told them that they were wasting their time (i.e. we’ve heard this a lot in conservative management cases).  Perhaps they were given a referral with directions to do laser, UWT, ultrasound, etc… when those aren’t necessarily the things that would make the patient better!  Then, when we tell the patient differently, we take the flack!


No. 3: Not getting paid well.  Could you make more money as a surgeon?  SURE!  Do we often make ‘diagnoses’ (even if you are someone not allowed to use that word) better than that of the referring practitioner, and complete a physical exam 10 x better, but dollars per minute are paid less?  Yup.  That’s the reality!


No. 4: We work hard!  When with a patient, we work hard (mentally and physically).  When not with patients, we think about patients.  As well, we use our spare time to do continuing education – to read, to go to conferences, to learn advanced skills, etc.


No. 5: We are busy yet patient.  Even with a full caseload and limited time, we make the time to listen effectively, build a therapeutic alliance, and give good advice… and still get it all done!


No. 6: We practice what we preach.  Most folks in the Physical Therapy (and Animal Rehabilitation) field are healthy folks – eating well, exercising, and carrying on busy professional lives.  However, we sometimes have to listen to clients explain how they don’t have time to do the exercises we prescribe (but they have time to watch TV or browse social media for hours!!).


No. 7: We are lifelong learners.  This is certainly true of FourLeg members!!  Real physio / rehab heros are looking to challenge their understanding and knowledge from many areas and sources, recognizing that there are many explanations of what we do and why it works!


No. 8: We try to make a difference.  Even if it is as simple as trying to get a patient to move a little more each day or help an owner think differently about a problem or issue (i.e. arthritis isn’t the end of the world!  It just needs to be managed!)


No. 9: We challenge the B.S.!  We know there are dodgy products and dubious claims being made out there.  With our background, we can help ourselves to differentiate the good, the bad, and the ugly, and help our clients to know more as well.


No. 10: And we do it with a smile on our face, because we know that WE have to be the ones who inspire, motivate, or take charge of care, even if we are faced with frustration, annoyance, exasperation, stress, fatigue, or even pain ourselves.  Physio (and Rehab) heroes know the power of humour and fun in the presence of pain and fear, and they know that if they can keep clients smiling and the patient engaged then they are on the right path to successful outcomes.”


Okay so there you have it!  When I read this, I did recognize all of these characteristics in my fellow physios and in many canine rehab practitioners as well.  So, have a read and think about where you fit within these categories.  Are you a super hero too?


Have a great week ahead!  




Tags: Super heroes

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