Working with Doctors

September 16, 2007 at 11:15 am 2 comments

I recently had an interaction with a doctor that I wanted to share, as I think that it is important to understand our own role and how we need to educate and interact with doctors.

  • I was getting ready to see a patient, but noticed that in the OT orders (everything is on the computer), the order said that the patient was on bedrest. I couldn’t find anything in the chart that would indicate why the patient was on bedrest. Usually, it is obvious; they’re being ruled out for DVT or PE, they’re scheduled to go to the OR, etc. But for this patient, I could not find any reason in the chart as to why the patient was on bedrest, and the nurse herself couldn’t figure it out. Finally, after a half an hour of trying to figure this out, I was able to track down the doctor who had put in the order. Turns out, she was in a lot of pain, and he figured it would hurt even more to get out of bed, so he ordered bedrest. In my mind, I was thinking that if every single patient we saw was put on bedrest because of some pain, I wouldn’t have a job as every one of my patients would be on bedrest. Instead, I had to explain to the doctor that as therapists, it is our job to get them out of bed and be able to work through their pain to be able to ambulate and complete their ADLs. I went on to explain that when we see an order for bedrest, the therapists don’t touch the patient. Needless to say, the doctor was a new grad, but I was happy that I was able to educate and explain our role as therapists. Combined with the fact that I did it nicely, the doctor didn’t feel insulted, and he even asked a few further questions regarding our role.

Entry filed under: acute care, doctors, hospital, new grad, occupational therapy, OT, phys dys.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Soju  |  September 16, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing that experience. I am a new OT student and I think it’s important for those new to the field to understand the importance of education and awareness to those that may be unfamiliar. I think the doctor was great by being so open, flexible and listening to what you have to say since patient care is dependent on a interdiscplinary outlook.

  • 2. New Grad  |  June 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for the post. I have been evaluating pt who are on bed rest. I don’t get them OOB but i just assess their ROM and do MMT. from now on i should just avoid evaluating pt who are on best rest.

    Also, i wonder why doctor’s order therapy and write bed rest as their activity tolerance. There should be a rule for docs, that if pt. is on bed rest, cancle therapy until pt is medically stable.


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