How can you work best with your rehabilitation provider?

You may be well informed about what your rehabilitation provider does for you. But what can you do for them? KATE THOMSON reports.

 

You are just about to start rehabilitation after experiencing an injury. You may or may not have noticed the extent of resources outlining what rehabilitation providers do for you. But what is less noted and advertised is what it is that you can do to support the process and work more effectively and efficiently in your recovery journey. Below provides a few important pointers to consider.

Understand their role

Inform yourself not only of what rehabilitation providers do generally, but what your consultant will provide specifically. Research the role and the assistance they will provide, but also speak to your case manager and/or your consultant directly to fully understand the services. Not only will this allow you to know what to expect, but it can enhance your experience, ensuring that you get the most out of your rehabilitation.

Communicate

It’s a no brainer that communication is important, and it’s no different in rehabilitation. In order to get the best out of your rehabilitation services from your team, communication is key.

Some key tips include:

  • Communicate clearly: don’t beat around the bush. Communicate clearly what you feel, want and need, and then your rehabilitation provider can work with you to try and achieve your desired outcomes;
  • Listen well: your rehabilitation provider is there to help you, plus it is their profession and they no doubt have valuable experience dealing with similar cases. Therefore, what they are saying is worth your time to listen to!
  • Don’t interrupt: not only is it rude and sends the signal that you are disinterested, it can also mean that you miss out the meaning of their message;
  • Follow-up or summarise after a discussion: this tip is useful for all parties, ensuring that you are on the same page. Specifically, it shows your consultant that you are paying attention and that you appreciate what they are saying, but it also means that you will be clear on exactly what they are proposing;
  • Be open to receiving feedback, advice or news that you may not want to hear: although the road to recovery is different for every individual, it will most probably be complicated or tricky at some point. Therefore, you may not always hear what you want to hear. But, your rehabilitation provider will be prioritising your health and wellbeing, so it is recommended that you take what they say on board.

Be Honest

Put simply, you aren’t going to gain much unless you are completely honest. This honestly extends from what you are feeling, to what you want, and what you have experienced regarding your injury. There is no way that someone can appropriately and safely assist you unless you are honest – and open for that matter – regarding your entire situation.

Additionally, it is useful for everyone if you are upfront with what you are comfortable with, including how you want to be contacted and when and where you want to meet.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may think it’s a silly question, but honestly your rehabilitation provider has probably heard them all before. Drawing from that, in order to make your rehabilitation process as smooth as possible, clearing up any misconceptions or worries may be exactly what you need.

Keep them informed

Allow your rehabilitation provider to discuss your treatment goals and expectations with your entire recovery team (e.g. your insurer, employer, treating doctor and/or psychologist). Each of these professionals offer something different and provide valuable insight from their own perspective. Thus, making sure they are all allowed to collaborate means that your intervention is covering all bases. In order to get the best out of your rehabilitation intervention, ensuring that all parties are kept up to date with your situation and progress is vital.

Additionally, you should stay in regular contact with your rehab provider. They are there to support, advise and guide you through your recovery. Going ‘missing in action’ is only going to disservice you. If you are worried or uncertain about something, then as previously stated, speak up about it! Most likely, they will be able to talk it through with you and help you overcome it.

Show respect and gratitude 

Throughout your recovery, it is important that you show respect for your rehabilitation provider. You may not agree with everything they say or propose, or maybe you are just hoping for a different response, but they are an expert in the field, and their opinion is in your best interest.  If you really oppose something, tell them in a respectful manner without being obnoxious or insensitive.  

Hopefully, throughout and by the end of your rehabilitation, you will feel good about your intervention and the services that you received. Showing your appreciation will never go astray. 

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