physical therapy

Physical Therapist Evaluates Patient But Refuses to Treat

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In a stunning turn of events, a physical therapist at St. Agnes Medical Center has evaluated a patient but is refusing to treat him.  The patient, 66-year-old Earl Watkins, was admitted for observation following a TIA, but has since returned to his normal neurologic baseline.  His admitting internist, Dr. Hal Schultz, placed a standard order for “Physical Therapy: Evaluate and Treat” to establish whether the patient was safe for discharge.  However, physical therapist Dana Wilson had other plans.

physical therapy“Evaluate AND treat?” she said.  “He’s at his baseline.  What the hell am I supposed to treat?  I can’t make him more normal than normal.”  Wilson came to Watkins’ room and performed a standard ADL assessment, finding no abnormalities.  She then filed a recommendation note saying simply, “Evaluation: Complete. Treatment: None.”  Schultz read the note the following morning and was floored.  “They always find something,” he said incredulously.  He attempted to get Wilson to work with the patient in the therapy gym, but was quickly rebuffed.

“He doesn’t get to tell me when to treat,” said Wilson.  “If I consulted him for hypertension and the patient had normal blood pressure, there would be no prescriptions to write!”  Dr. Schultz eventually gave in and discontinued the PT order.  The event has sent ripples through the PT and OT communities at St. Agnes.

The occupational therapists in particular are looking forward to evaluating patients but not treating them.  Josh Lewis, head of OT services, said, “I don’t even think doctors know what we do, they just order PT/OT concurrently.  I bet they don’t even realize we split up. We get all sorts of orders on patients we would consider normal.  Dana is really showing us a new path to evaluating and not treating patients routinely.”

At press time, Dr. Schultz had discharged Mr. Watkins to a skilled nursing facility, stating “With PT refusing to treat, I figure he must need some kinda rehab somewhere, right?”

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  • Avatar
    Kristen Grbavac O’Halloran

    Love this. Bookmarking immediately.

  • Avatar
    Heather Powell Cannon

    Kristen , haha! This page is like The Onion for medical people.

  • Avatar
    Margaret Wallbridge

    Love this, so true

  • Avatar
    Gemma Coller

    Meg

  • Avatar
    Laura Prosser Kruse

    I want to know how the MD got this patient admitted to a SNF for rehab after the hospital PT d/c’d him. We routinely eval and d/c if not needed. Definitely many MDs think OT/PT are not separate entities and have been asked multiple times “are you PT or OT today. “.

  • Avatar
    Michelle Hardie

    And you know where they sent him? Acute GEM!!!

  • Avatar
    Sharna Gale

    Haha story of my life Michelle Hardie

  • Avatar
    Michelle Hardie

    So true!!!

  • Avatar
    Carly Veldhuis

    Hahaha this is hilarious!!!

  • Avatar
    Michelle Hardie

    A must read Carly Veldhuis Sharna Gale

  • Avatar
    Susan Lafayette

    This reminds me of the Onion, but for medical folks

  • Avatar
    Susan Lafayette

    This reminds me of the Onion, but for medical folks

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Green

    This hits too close to home.

  • Avatar
    Ashley Cantrelle

    Katie Meyers Jenn Hall Gaubert

  • Avatar
    Terry Niska Watson

    Thomas !!! Lol

  • Avatar
    George A Prudden

    Radical thought – use the PT and/or OT to help with evaluation of ADL’s and appropriate disposition plans.

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    Lynn Decker

    Which is why those states that allow self referral to physical therapists, have it right…..The doc just writes eval and treat. They have no clue what the patient needs. I have done this three times and it has been successful. I learn the exercises I need to do and then care cor myself. Other states need to catch up!!

  • Avatar
    Hayley Carmichael

    Monique Luca d/c PT!!!!!

  • Avatar
    Aaron-Janelle Hart

    Shyla McCarthy, Krista Davis, Lindsey Oesch, Chelsea Wright…every freakin’ day!!!

  • Avatar
    Todd Vaughn

    Can I do this with vancomycin? Pharmacy declines to dose patient with unneeded antibiotic.

  • Avatar
    Monica Kampf Taylor

    Haha! Bridget , you’ll like this:)

  • Avatar
    Melissa Miller Patonai

    Melissa Lippencott

  • Avatar
    Heather Mateja

    Bryan Cloutier

  • Avatar
    Sherilyn Temple Huey

    Matt Huey

  • Avatar
    Audrey Morissette

    JP J-p Miron hahaha

  • Avatar
    Jesse Herrera

    Dustin Cross Kristen Martin Gomez Johnny Sauceda

  • Avatar
    Andrea Milne

    Melissa Brown – ha ha ha!

  • Avatar
    Daniel Maverick Falkoff

    But seriously, i was sent to PT for a condition they understood better than the doctor, and which they could not help.

  • Avatar
    Laura Smith

    I kind of assumed that was part of the joke… :/ Then again i struggle with thd line sometimes eg pts will look at how patients can go up and down stairs in the house and around. Then the ot will look at how many steps then the s/w might r/v for services who may refer to a dietician and my head hurts…

  • Avatar
    Sinéad Scanlon

    Roisin Begg

  • Avatar
    Justin Lindner

    Love it! Except, the good author should have known it is OT looking at ADLs, not PT. :)

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Slatter

    Jeremy Butz

  • Avatar
    Ryan Williamson

    Heather Halfaker

  • Avatar
    Alfant Gomez

    Lol!!!

  • Avatar
    Julie Graessle

    Matt

  • Avatar
    Robert Wiggins

    Garrett Hastings

  • Avatar
    David Sone

    Joy Capuno

  • Avatar
    Tessa Kankelfritz

    I can always count on Gomerblog for a good laugh!

  • Avatar
    Gurneet Bedi

    Reshma Bijal

  • Avatar
    Shannon Schmidt Powers

    Melissa

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