HELPING YOUR PATIENT REACH THEIR GOALS
TRUST, MOTIVATION, AND GOALS
The ability to get patients motivated is easier before you start treatment. Everyone wants to be able to lift, walk, or move again, but a major factor that can benefit you and your patient is
building trust. A patient who believes in your knowledge and authority will have a level of respect toward you. Engaging in a personable yet professional relationship can also help your patient
feel more comfortable with you. It will also let you know as a PT what to expect from your patient that day. As a PT you will need to recognize their mood and observe their form and function more
carefully. Setting small achievable goals is also ideal compared to setting a stretched goal that might be difficult to reach. The goal shouldn’t be to leg press 200 lbs starting out, but instead
try and add 2 lbs a week and help them track their progress. Whether it is a before and after picture/interview or daily positive feedback, an individual who feels good about
progress will continue to work hard. A technique used to do such is an interview technique developed in 1980; instead of yelling when they don’t do specifically what you told them to do, ask them what changes they are able and willing to make and then promote that desire and excitement to finish and follow through.
Self motivation is possibly the most difficult aspect of achieving fitness/rehabilitation goals. Not only do you have to find it initially, you have to be able to stay with it!
Fitness and rehabilitation don’t cease, they are a continuous loop. Some things that can help someone keep motivated are listening to music, partnering, and the desire to get back into a sport.
Small realistic goals are a phenomenal tool to motivate you because they are easy to achieve. Seeing yourself achieve these will spark invigoration to continue. Listening to music is a great way
to keep yourself zoned in during Physical Therapy. Partnering up with someone that has a similar injury is a beneficial strategy. When an individual is being pushed from a partner to keep
them accountable, to grow, and
evolve with them, they are more likely to stick with it because they want to look good to the other person. Another huge motivator is wanting to get back to a sport. An athlete who suffers a season ending injury will be much more motivated to work hard in therapy to get back to the sport that they love and continue playing.
SUPPORTING YOUR LOVED ONES
Spousal support is possibly one of the most important aspects of fitness goals. Your significant other probably has the most influence on whether you want to succeed or not so it is vital to have their support. It is easy to feel discouraged when you are alone or feel like the most important people in your life isn’t supporting you or helping you grow. Whether you are the patient or the one supporting them, you should hop on board with their goals and follow them along the ride. Make sure they know every step of the way you are with them, maybe even try physically making the journey with them as well instead of just emotionally! Be their biggest motivators on the tough days. Reassure them when they feel down. You can be the spark to finish and reach your goals!