Blog Post 4

When I interviewed Jimmy, a physical therapist, I felt as though it was a very enlightening experience. We covered a variety of topics, including patient-provider communication, education for physical therapists, and the healthcare industry as a whole. I also gained some insight into how effective communication can contribute to the successful outcome of rehabilitation treatment. There were really no challenges or barriers to conducting the interview.

Jimmy explained that listening is perhaps the largest aspect of his job on a daily basis. He has to listen to patients’ problems and concerns regarding treatment as well as any sort of nonverbal expression of pain. He told me that many of his patients exhibit behaviors such as wincing or favoring an injured body part without actually telling him that something hurts. It then becomes his job to be attentive to those symptoms and resolve the issue swiftly. Physical therapy demands skilled listeners, and Jimmy says that gaining experience is the only way to develop such a skill.

Education for physical therapists has evolved significantly since Jimmy obtained his certification. When I probed him more on the subject, he said that the shift to more biology-oriented courses has made education on patient relations less significant. Instead of focusing so much on biology and anatomy, Jimmy says that more classes in communications and psychology would be beneficial to up and coming physical therapists. It would also prepare them more for the day-to-day interactions that they have with their patients.

The healthcare industry is something that has transformed the business model for any physical therapy clinic. In my interview, Jimmy explained to me that without larges monopolies, his small clinic would have had to shut down. The introduction of the Affordable Care Act removed a lot of choice for people seeking physical therapy, so they had to join a much bigger organization with many branches across the state of Florida in order to survive financially. He said that healthcare reform would provide them with the opportunity to compete again instead of being part of a conglomerate of clinics. It is an issue that has yet to be resolved, but Jimmy expressed his dissatisfaction with the barrier of cost and skyrocketing medical care costs. He is hoping that something gets done in order for the physical therapy industry to improve.

My interview with Jimmy was a compelling discussion about the field of physical therapy, the improvements that could be made to the educational curriculum, and the desire for a healthcare system that would allow the clinic to compete independently. Moreover, his knowledge of effective communication with patients was fascinating to listen to. Physical therapy is more than just treating an injury, it about the whole person, and I think that is something that Jimmy understands very well. Overall, it was an engaging interview with a lot of interesting insight into the world of physical therapy.

Blog Post #3

Interview link: https://storycorps.me/interviews/interview-with-jimmy-jones-physical-therapist/

Blog Post #1: http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/truestories/2016/09/01/blog-post-1-interview-questions-3/

Blog Post #2: http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/truestories/2016/09/10/blog-post-2/

After my interview with Jimmy, a physical therapist, I learned that effective communication is a crucial part of successful rehabilitation. Without strong communicative skills, it can be nearly impossible to treat a patient thoroughly. Jimmy explained that the level of motivation in each patient varies so much that it is important to tailor a program to meet their specific needs, abilities, and willingness to keep up with the regimen. He also said that being a physical therapist requires much more interpersonal communication skills than a doctor or surgeon. Additionally, Jimmy expressed the need for more psychology and communication classes in the educational curriculum for physical therapists in training instead of such a heavy emphasis on biology and chemistry.

One of the more interesting things that I learned from the interview was that a physical therapist has to have exceptional “people skills” on top of being knowledgeable about the human body. The audio clip attached to this blog post is an excerpt from my interview in which Jimmy talks about the need for treating a person as a whole instead of just a single body part. This “treatment” includes psychological and emotional support in order to reduce pain and promote healing. If patients are not able to express themselves and if the therapists cannot properly comprehend their communication, then there is no sense in going through with physical rehab.

Jimmy has been a physical therapist for approximately twenty years, and in our interview he noted the dramatic shift in curriculum for PT students. Even though the profession has stayed the same, the classes that are required have more to do with biology and chemistry than with anatomy or kinesiology. Jimmy’s perspective, however, is that PT schools should offer more classes in psychology and communication in order to prep the students for daily interactions with patients. The knowledge of “hard” science is useful, but it will not make a therapist’s job easier when it comes time to meet with patients and assess their situations individually. As previously mentioned, a doctor can be concerned with an isolated body part but the physical therapist’s job is to heal the entire person. Creating a custom rehabilitation program can be much more rewarding when the therapist possesses the communication skills to be fully in sync with a patient’s needs or concerns.

This interview gave me an insightful look into physical therapy as a profession and the role that communication plays on a daily basis. I learned that putting a person through physical rehab is so much more than healing a single body part, and that a skilled therapist will work to boost the morale of the entire person. Above all else, being a compassionate listener and an effective communicator is perhaps the most important part of the job. 

Articles

http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/ptjournal/69/11/967.full.pdf

http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/ptjournal/87/5/586.full.pdf

http://www.cptbc.org/pdf/MakingAConnection.pdf

Blog Post #2

I am planning on interviewing Jimmy Jones, a physical therapist, personal trainer, and licensed massage therapist. Jimmy works at Sport Specific Training & Rehabilitation in Orlando where he helps athletes, injured workers, and the elderly to get back in shape and lead normal lives. The profession of physical therapy requires constant communication between both patients and providers, and my goal for this interview is to gain deeper insight into the importance of healthcare communication.

Many people might think that physical therapy just involves doing exercises or using an icepack, but there is much more to it than that. In fact, effective listening and communication skills are essential to developing a quality rehabilitation program for any patient. Additionally, attentive listening can be useful for when a patient is concealing pain or having trouble identifying the source of discomfort.

Physical therapy is classified as one of the “helping” professions in our class, and I think that this interview will be a perfect opportunity to see how skillful listening is used in the professional world. Just like lawyers, doctors, hospitality employees, and human resources personnel, physical therapy is a collaborative effort to meet the same goal. In the case of rehabilitation, the goal is to make the patient stronger and pain-free. However, this goal is nearly unattainable unless both the therapist and the patient communicate effectively. I am looking forward to this interview and I hope that it will prove to be enlightening.

Blog Post 1 – Interview Questions

I feel as though the best first question would contain a introduction with some biographical data in order to get a better sense of who the interviewee is.

  1. Can you give me a brief overview of your educational and professional background?

This question is helpful for both the interviewer and the people listening because it introduces the interviewee and sets the stage for the rest of the conversation. The combination of education and profession may also shed some light on whether this person entered college with their “dream job” in mind. If they did not enter college with a clear plan, their insight on what influenced their career choice may prove to be an interesting topic to expand upon.

2. Why did you choose this career?

This is an important question because it will introduce the interviewee’s passion and motivation for their job. Additionally, it will bridge the gap between the career and the role that communication plays in their everyday work, especially if they are in one of the “helping professions” as outlined in our lecture on 8/30.

3. How important is communication to your profession?

With this question I am putting emphasis on interpersonal communication and how big of a role it plays in daily interactions with clientele. In general, the workplace is an ideal setting to identify problems, develop solutions, and listen to the ideas of others. Communication may vary depending on the type of job, but I feel as though this question will be useful in gauging its prominence in the workplace.

4. What motivates you to make connections with the people you work with?

The motivation behind a career is always a fascinating thing to discover about a person. I am adding another layer onto this question by tying it in, again, with communication. Almost every profession requires some level of interaction whether it be with clients, coworkers, or executives. Therefore, I want to gain a deeper understanding of how personal connections via communication make for a more successful career.

5. What is your favorite part about working in this field?

This question makes the interview more personal, allowing for a dialogue that may include fun anecdotes or more meaningful experiences.