In my research at the Courage Center in MN we discovered how many of our colleagues were "playing in pain." Pain from:
- Lost Spirit
- Musculoskeletal Strain
- Numbness and flat affect
Now this month in the Physical Therapy Journal there is an important study (see below for link and summary) that examines what turns out to be a far too common phenomena:
PTs and OTs in higher than normal levels experience pain
and continue to work with it!
What's most shocking is why. For the PTs at least, branded as heroes/heroines and sages by their national association, the reasons are neither brave nor smart.
What is needed is what I blogged about last month: Rehab Burnout
As professionals that are trained and practice in a disassociated mindbody manner, we ignore, work through and press on, ignoring our own important mindbody relationship….and in the end both we and our patients suffer as a result. My colleague Matt Sanford delivers a powerful 50 min keynote here to young healthcare students…make time to listen. When the peers we worked with in MN began to tend to their own mindbody relationship, not only did they soar, but it spilled over to their patients as well.
When is this insanity going to stop?
Hard to tell. I was scheduled to be in Boston tomorrow to teach a 2-day pre-conference on Mindfulness in PT….but no one signed up and we were scratched from the docket.
Hmmmmm, and we talk about our patients being clueless???
So this summer I'm going to roll out a new way of being in rehab…it's going to blow past all the deadwood CEU material and address US….the rehab pros and our urgent need for creativity and change within a culture of fear and self neglect.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts/experiences around this topic of rehab pros "playing in pain"?
Impact of Work-Related Pain on Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists
Vol. 90, No. 6, June 2010, pp. 905-920
"The participants noted substantial effects of work-related pain at work, at home, and in their career plans. All of the therapists were concerned about their potential clinical longevity. The professional culture complicated these effects by forcing therapists into a professional ideal."
Please send this along to your network…it has to stop.
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