It’s been a tough winter at my IRF. We’ve been short staffed, and have had a LOT of very messy patients. Some of them are just unfortunately at a low functioning level, others are so far gone cognatively there’s not much we can do. Then there are the ones that the root of their problems are psych or social issues. Occasionally there’s the patient that has had so much work of other people put in, there’s no getting back to some degree of “normal”– whatever that is. Now put all that together and there you have a “messy” patient.
Even though these patients are tough, these patients make us grow as we use our creative problem solving skills as clinicians. Put your thinking cap on and stand on your head, pick a colleague’s brain … or whatever works to get your messy patient to take off. These are the patients we remember in the long run. Not because they were easy, but because they were hard and we helped them reach their goals.
So this me, encouraging you (and myself) to not give up on that messy patient. They and the future you will thank you. Get out there and play that unplayable piano.