Want to improve your day? Thank your patients.

You will read a lot about the power of gratitude in leadership literature, blogs, and podcasts. Eric Mosely from Work-human talks about how important purpose, meaning, and gratitude are for the employee experience and workplace culture. We will come back to this topic in future blogs. I would like to take a totally different slant on gratitude and discuss a personal experience that I had at the end of last year.

These days, much of my workday is spent mentoring and helping our staff, and talking to referrers and insurers. However, towards the end of last year, I “inherited” a couple of patients when one of our staff was away on leave. Their recovery, like many covered by worker’s compensation, had its fair share of challenges. Involving not just their physical rehabilitation but also dealing with a workers compensation system that comes with different pressures and expectations. I often explain that when they have a work-related injury they immediately get 5 “new best friends”. The workplace (paying more attention to them), the rehabilitation provider, the GP, the insurer, and at least one treatment provider, Our job together is to work with those new “friends” but then to get to a point where that friendship is no longer necessary. Along with helping them to navigate this process came the not unexpected flare-ups, small hiccoughs along with small wins, and big gains associated with regaining physical confidence and capacity to get back to their meaningful activities. We always had the end goal at the forefront of the treatment process. As I supported, encouraged, and educated them, we shared confidences, got to know them, and worked to understand what was important to them. True “values-based” treatment. Through this process, we rode the emotion: Anger, frustration, tears, laughter, and even joy.

Both of these patients were ready for discharge just before Christmas break. Although occasionally experiencing “bothersome” symptoms, they were confident and were armed with the skills and understanding to manage whilst their bioplasticity did the rest, leading to a full recovery.

Reflecting, I realised what a privilege it is to have the trust and confidence of my patients and to truly make a meaningful difference in their lives. These days, I know that this is my purpose, and the tools provided by my profession, learning, and experience serve me well to be able to help others. I wanted to thank them for the opportunity.

I prepared a small card and gift, with some words of gratitude. Something along the lines of: Thank you for trusting me and for allowing me to help you. It has been a bit of a rocky ride, hasn’t it? You have done so well and you should commend yourself. Thank you for the opportunity and for giving me a reason to come to work. All the best, Dianna.

Then watch and feel the response. People love to help others. If doing your job, is not giving you joy, sit back and reflect on your “why” and then thank others for helping you to achieve it.

Dianna Howell Certmgr MIMIL MAPA

May 2021

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