My first experience of observational learning.. 

So finally I decided to give this a try and it ended up being a successful event of my life.. This is my very first step in raising awareness about my profession and its power, that helps people live a life free from physical stress.. So as I had mentioned in one of my previous blogs, that instead of celebrating just one day as a physiotherapy day, we could spend one day a month to create awareness about our profession.. 
And I’m happy to announce that I took my very first step by doing an observation of the people and how they work in the State bank of India J.M road branch, and then giving them a feedback of what I learnt from the observation.. 

So  on the first day i observed how people at the bank used to work and their work station. Their working hours were considered and also their postures.. 

So the things i felt that put them under a high risk of musculoskeletal problems in future are as follows 

  • They work 8 hrs, comprising of sitting at the desk occupied with work after which they rarely get time for any form of exercise 
  • The posture – forward chin, protracted shoulders that increases the stress on the back muscles which are weak causing upper back and neck pain.. 
  • Their chairs, which are without a proper lumbar support leading to low back pain. 
  • They height of the computer screens are not at the eye level.. They compensate eye movements with neck movements leading to increased use of cervical spine which could cause early wear and tear. Over time this could also contribute to poor vision because of less use of eye muscles.. 
  • Constantly sitting in one place and less of physical activity puts them under a risk of gaining weight, which adds to the stress acting on their body.. 
  • Their gait, indicates less strength of lower limbs as they walk with short steps and externally rotated limbs due to tight external rotators caused by prolonged sitting.. 

      So exercises like chin tucks, shoulder shrugs, exercises for shoulder retractors, basic lower limbs exercises, for hips and knees, were taught and also advice on posture was given. Importance of exercise to build strength was taught.. Importance of pain and why it occurs was explained to them.. 

      Overall, this experience of observational learning was amazing.. The fact that my observation skills and knowledge were put into practice to serve people in the community working for long hours in State bank was a moment of honour for me.. The interaction of the bank employees with me was great.. The best part was they openly shared all their problems of back pain and neck pain with me.. And that’s how I could offer them a solution with for their problems.. 

      Hearing to their problems I realised that the Government should take measures to ensure a proper work station for people working at it.. 

      At the end, when the employees were so grateful to me just because i had carried out such a study and helped them with a solution their problems i felt proud of my profession.. Those words “thank you mam” were worth every bit of the experience I had.. 

      Last but not the least this experience made me realise that we as physical therapists can do alot for people outside hospital environment.. Physical therapists have the ability to make people realise that prevention is always better than cure.. And we are best at it.. 

      Physiotherapy is still unknown to many people and this step of mine not only helped people in need, but made people realise the Power of Physical Therapy.. 

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      Physical therapy

      What does the word physical therapy really mean? Regardless of the fact that the word is self explainatory, people somehow correlate it to massage.. And the question, why so, still remains a mystery for me.. 

      Nevertheless, the World Confederation of Physical Therapy, defines physical therapy as services to restore maximum movement and functional ability.. 

      But guess what, the day you see patients being treated you will realize its much more that we as physical therapists do, than just restoring maximum movement and functional ability.. 

      We are there in the icu, making patients move to help them improve, without even needing to prove.. Complications are kept at bay, when we, are here to stay.. 

      We help strentghen women, to make the process of taking care of the newborn free of physical stress.. 

      We help the elderly, age more gracefully, by making them realise that age is just a number, on life’s page to remember.. 

      We are who, make our patients forget what they don’t have and make them realise what they have.. We try to bring into light their strength, in order to make them forget their weaknesses.. And this is how we make things possible.. 

      We are who make our patients stronger, when they think so, no longer… 

      Physical therapy is the way of healing someone with not just your touch, but also with your words.. The reason I say so, is because often when we treat, we use words to motivate along with physical contact.. And trust me this works wonders.. We teach the patient, to never say i can’t and always say i can, which installs belief that helps them get better faster.. 

      We are no less than a motivational speaker for our patients… We motivate our patients to the point, where they start believing in themselves.. And that’s how we get things done.. 

      For days we spend time to teach our patients to stand, to walk the same way as parents do with their children.. No matter how many times it needs to be repeated, we are always there trying are best to get our patients moving.. Wonder how? Try and test our patience, with our patients.. 

      We make patients stand high, when their hopes our low.. 

      When we treat patients its not just about gaining range of motion or strength, its about gaining patients confidence in themselves and in us.. Its about making them satisfied with their level of functioning in their daily life.. 
      Our patients would tell you forever about our contribution in their journey to get better.. 

      We are who, whose uniforms soil making you realise how much we made our patients toil.. 

      We are who spent our lives, adding life to lives of our patients.. 

      We are physical therapists.. We heal the world with Physical therapy.. And thats our weapon.. That’s our strength..

      Physical therapy, is a profession where therapists spend days, weeks, months and years just to get their patients moving.. We spend so much time with our patients, working for long hours just to get them back to daily living and still end up with poor recognition even today.. 

      I guess we are too busy working to add worth to the lives of others.. But that’s all that our profession is all about.. 

      And hence our profession demands not just respect but recognition all over the world..

      Happy World Physiotherapy Day….

      World physiotherapy day.. 

      According to World Confederation of Physical Therapy, World Physiotherapy Day is celebrated for the physical therapists, to create awareness about the crucial contribution, the profession makes to keep people well, mobile and independent.. 

      This day has been celebrated in India since the year, 2009..

      Today in the year 2017, we still live in a world which is unaware of our profession..

      The question is, why are people still not aware of physiotherapy inspite of us spending 8 years in making people aware of our profession..? 

      The reason is that, if we are trying to create awareness, it is a change in the people’s thinking and perception that we are trying to bring about.. And a change cannot be brought up in a single day.. A day out of the 365 days can be easily forgotten.. And what did we achieve by spending 8 days in 8 years talking and doing whatever we could do to make people aware of our profession..? 

      Did it serve our purpose? 

      No, of course not.. 

      Because even today, people have the question of what is physiotherapy, and people who think they know, consider it to be just a synonym for massage.. 

      No, i am not against creating awareness, on a particular day celebrated as World Physiotherapy Day but the what i am trying to say is that a change comes with time and it needs perseverance of actions.. 

      So now if instead of spending 1 day in a year if we could spend 1 day per month doing something big or 1 day per week on a smaller scale, would that help? 

      Maybe yes, we could always try, it would be better than 1 day per year right? 

      The whole point is, if we make a difference in our patients life by spending days in treating them, then why are we devoting just 1 day to make the whole world aware of how hard we work to make our patient’s life worth living? 

      People need to be made aware of what goes into making, what we make possible for our patients.. 

      It’s high time, 8 years have passed and now we need to make this year a memorable one for our profession.. We need to make the world aware that we put in our patience, knowledge and skill for days, months and years together, just to add life to years, of our patients and we never use massage for achieving that.. 

      Who was she? 

      As always, she stepped into the ward and reported to her senior.. The senior said could you just treat the patient on bed no. 9? Yes of course, why not.. As she walked towards the bed, she saw the patient lying on the bed with the leg covered.. She knew it was a case of celluilitis.. 

      She read the file and asked him, his complaints.. By his side, stood his wife answering all the questions.. She then said to the patient, lets get started with some exercises.. The patient agreed.. She kept asking questions answering which the wife started sobbing, complaining about all the problems.. Listening carefully to what the wife said, she replied.. Its okay it happens.. She knew well, that the patients wife needed someone who could listen.. And then there was a new speaker, it was the patient himself, for the first time, he finally opened up, to tell what all he had been feeling.. And now she listened even more carefully, which made her realise that the patients problem was in his mind.. He wasn’t stressed about his impairment, but about how he would be dealing with it.. 

            She made it her point, to make him realise how she could help him deal with his problem, listening to what, he felt content.. She then left saying, i want you to remember and do all that has been told.. 

            Next day, when she walked towards him, she saw him smiling, she knew, she was rendering the right treatment.. She asked him how do you feel, he said alot better.. She then said, i would like to see how well you remember the exercises taught. Before she could, move on, the patient said madam, I wanted to ask a question.. Yes of course, she said, go on.. He said, mam is it okay if i have a bath, as i am a bit apprehensive about the water entering the wound.. She replied, asking what was told to him by the medical professional, and he said, yes the doctor has told me have a bath, but I thought I should ask you once.. 

             Those words asking for her permission, for a query small as such, inspite of the authority, higher than her, telling him what to do, left her with nothing to speak.. She tried her best, to make him understand that he should be doing whatever he was told to do, by the doctor, without any hesitation.. 

             There she stood infront of that patient wearing that white coat, with a mindset and a badge of just a 2nd year Bpth student.. She was now,  being compared to a MD(Doctor of Medicine) by profession.. 

             She knew well that her knowledge at that level of education was not even worth the comparison.. But the way she portrayed the values of humanity was worth all the respect she was endowed with.. 

            That day she was enlightened by the fact that the respect she received was not for the white coat she wore, but the attitude she bore.. 

            Now, she knew the reason of her patients compliance.. It made her happy to see her patient remember all that was told to him.. 

            Her happiness knew no bounds, because now she exactly knew, who she wanted to be.. Her patient himself, defined her worth.. What more could she ask for? 

            All she did to get that respect was, she listened to whom, no one listened.. Cared about whom, no one cared.. 

      She was the patient’s physical therapist.. And now she knew her real identity.. 

      Why do i care? 

         Often people ask me, why do I go to the wards and check upon my patients regularly.. They ask me, do you get emotionally attached to your patients? And honestly I prefer to keep quiet, and let the silence answer this one.. 

         Well the truth is, its not about getting attached to a particular patient, its about caring enough about the patient you’ve been treating in the hospital for a while.. Its about checking on how their improving.. It makes me feel good to see my patients improve.. And it isn’t a sin, right? 

         It’s not about, being emotionally weak, that makes me feel my patients pain, its about me being a human.. The fact is that I’m not just a therapist, but also a human.. I agree to the fact, that getting deeply involved with a patient, so much so that, it starts affecting my personal life, isn’t a good thing for me.. But for me, it’s just that i care.. And I still have a personal life, trust me.. And guess what? This is exactly, what has helped me gain respect for that white coat that I wear.. It was never for those marks that I achieved, it was never for the treatment I gave, it was just the way I made them feel, I cared.. 

          Infact whatever I do for my Patients makes me worth their rememberance.. And this is the most precious thing for me.. If my patients could remember me for how much I cared for them, in times of their need, it makes me a successful therapist.. Thats all I know.. 

          I don’t know why, people fail to realise that a patient would understand your ability of being a great medical professional on the basis of their(patients) own knowledge.. And their knowledge is very limited in terms of their right treatment.. No matter what treatment I give, the patient would always judge me only on his/her own knowledge..

           Every therapist learns the same things and has the same amount of knowledge, leading them to get their degrees, right? 

          The question is, then why do patients prefer a particular therapist, to get themselves treated? 

         The reason is, it’s not the treatment, but the way you treat and care for the patient, that helps them judge how good you are at your job, because this is exactly the extent to what their knowledge is limited to, and that is what makes you worth their rememberance.. 

           And this is why, i check on my patients regularly, to let them know, someone cares.. And this is something they would remember me for, not for the treatment.. 

           Most of the times patients and relatives complain that no one listens and no one cares, and when I do, they value it.. I give my patients what they need.. And that’s all, that is required for them to feel better.. 

          This is what I want my patients to feel, and this is what defines my worth as a therapist in my patients mind.. That is all I care about.. 

          Where people belong to a profession same as that of mine, where the patient is the main priority, a question as such could still arise? 

          Why do you check on your patients regularly? Well because, MAY BE THATS MY JOB…