When you work with a wide array of people, you’re bound to oftentimes get paired with some patients that say the darnedest things. And, frankly, sometimes they say things we definitely do not want to be hearing. Ugh.
But alas, we are professionals and can’t cover our ears and say “la,la,la. I don’t hearrrrrr you…” when these episodes of patient word vomit occur. These are the things that we do NOT want to hear coming from our patients.
“This is TOO EASY.”
Patients should realize that some exercises will be simple while other ones will be more challenging. Okay, I get where a lot of people are coming from when they say this. When you think about exercise you think that if you’re going to get stronger, it’s got to be difficult? Well, actually, no. You need to mix strength-adding exercises with simple movement performance so that you can get used to those movements in everyday living. Listen to your PT. We know what exercises will benefit you!
“Do you think I should take this medication my doctor prescribed?”
Woah, woah, woah. Why do you think you need to ask your physical therapist if you should take a medication that your physician has recommended? It is NOT the job of a physical therapist to give advice about prescriptions. All a physical therapist CAN do is try to lend some general advice about how your medicine might affect your rehabilitation process. Other than that, don’t ask us if we should take it. Your doctor didn’t prescribe that for the fun of it. But, if you are unsure about it, ask a physician.
“You have such an easy job!”
Although from a bystander’s perspective it may appear that a physical therapist is just ordering their patients around or just watching you as you complete your exercises. But, we actually are busy working hard to evaluate the way we care for you as well as working out the best course of action. Additionally, we work hard to keep our patients motivated. And, depending on what kind of setting a PT is working in, there may be some seriously heavy lifting going on. Moving patients from chairs to bed and vice versa take a lot out of someone, even if they’re in good physical condition.
“On a Scale from 1-10, my pain is 11.”
If your pain is genuinely at an 11 out of 10, then maybe you should be riding off to the hospital and not sitting with a physical therapists. We can’t help you feel better until we know just what you’re feeling. Be honest with your PT. We only want to help!
“Do I get my rubdown soon?”
Who doesn’t love a good massage at the spa? And, there can be a lot of pain and mobility improvement that can occur from using massage on orthopedic conditions at the PT clinic. But the word “rubdown” drives a shiver down my spine. Such a gross and vulgar phrasing.