This week was my first week in clinic seeing patients as I had been self-isolating for the two weeks prior. I felt very anxious as everyone else had experienced seeing patients and using the online system and I was worried I was behind. I shadowed a Masters student’s online triage with a patient and then completed an online triage of a patient with another student in my year. Once I got into clinic, I felt a lot more at ease and confident.
What I was thinking and feeling and what was good or bad:
Shadowing the master’s student made me feel more confident as I got to see how the video call worked alongside typing up notes, what questions to ask, what to do if any technical difficulties occurred and how to offer them a face to face appointment in the future. The Master’s student offered the patient a face to face appointment, which allowed me to see the decision-making process and how to justify offering this. It is interesting to see how some patients benefit from stretching and online treatment, whereas others require face to face and hands-on treatment to feel improvements.
I think the online triage makes me as a therapist take a more holistic approach and think about all available treatments, as often I feel anxious and then opt for massage or stretching, when other treatments are available which could be much more effective and beneficial for some patients or conditions.
The online triage I completed was with a fifty-year-old male suffering from shoulder pain. The pain began after increasing training-load at the gym using a plan he created himself in lockdown. After the subjective and objective assessment, we believed it could be caused by his biceps tendon which we will assess face to face and we also want to look at his training technique and plan to make sure there are no errors there which could be causing this injury and risking further injury. It is important to look at an individual’s technique as inexperienced individuals or those who train alone may pick up bad habits that they are unaware of thus resulting in muscle imbalance and other problems up the kinetic chain, leading to injury (Bahr, 2014).
What else could you have done/areas for improvement:
The student I completed this online triage with, has completed their level 3 gym instructor qualification and was very confident in exercise technique, prescription and noticing mistakes. This is an area I lack confidence in, and I feel I would benefit from improving on to make sure I am not just treating the injury but making sure I am eliminating the risk of them reinjuring themselves.
- When in the gym myself, I need to make sure I am following all training tips and considering which muscles I’m targeting, the movement the muscle performs and whether I’m performing the exercise properly and through the full range of motion.
- I will watch training programme videos and research training tips on how to ensure correct technique during key exercises
- Familiarise myself with the recommended reps and sets for muscle endurance, strength, power and hypertrophy to ensure patients are following the correct reps and sets for their goal
Bahr, R. (2014). Demise of the fittest: are we destroying our biggest talents? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(17), 1265–1267.