#PTonICE Daily Show – Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 – Push, don’t pull, to attract a fitness-forward culture

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, join Modern Management of the Older Adult lead faculty Julie Brauer discusses how to introduce a fitness forward philosophy with your clinic/co-workers. Julie describes four main points to use when trying to change practice philosophy: put fitness forward on display, host in-services, let patients be your voice, and be a mentor to other clinicians.

Take a listen to learn how to better serve this population of patients & athletes, or check out the full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog.

If you’re looking to learn more about live courses designed to better serve older adults in physical therapy or our online physical therapy courses, check our entire list of continuing education courses for physical therapy including our physical therapy certifications by checking out our website. Don’t forget about all of our FREE eBooks, prebuilt workshops, free CEUs, and other physical therapy continuing education on our Resources tab.


All right, good morning crew. Welcome to the PT on Ice daily show brought to you by the Institute of Clinical Excellence. My name is Julie and I am a faculty member of the older adult division. This morning, I am going to be answering one of the most commonly asked questions that we get in our online courses and our live courses. That question is, how do I get others on board to a fitness forward philosophy? How do I create consistency when my coworkers don’t understand this philosophy or potentially they don’t care? The answer to that question is that we are going to pull and not push. We want to pull, not push to attract a fitness forward culture. So let’s unpack it and I will give you guys a few actionables that you can start implementing right away.

So what do I mean by pull, don’t push? You want to be attractive. You want to be magnetic. You want to pull people towards you and towards a fitness forward culture. You want people to be drawn to you versus pushing your agenda on others aggressively versus sending a message that could potentially be received as my way is better and I am better than you. All right. So I want to relate to so many of you in that I know so many of you are incredibly fired up and passionate about underdosing older adults. You get, I mean, your blood boils when you see that out in the clinic and I understand this. I’ve been there. And I know that it makes you want to call people out left and right. been there, done that, and I’m telling you that’s not the way to get people to change the way that they do things. Now, I do think it’s incredibly important to call our profession out as a whole. If you’ve been to any of our live courses or taken our online courses, you know that we call our profession out. and we ask our students to self-reflect on their clinical practice. However, I do think there’s a way where you can be aggressive in that messaging and aggressive towards this mission of ending the professional pandemic of underdosage, but there’s a way to do it and be kind about it.

What I want to emphasize is that we have to approach this with grace. And believe me, I have made a ton of mistakes in my messaging and been way too aggressive. And that’s not going to change culture. That’s not the way to do it. But we need to realize that behind a lot of underdosed exercise that we see, there’s still humans behind that underdosed exercise. Many of these humans are burnt out clinicians who are just trying to do their very best. And many times in a system that does not set them up for success. I know this to be true. I have hurt feelings of my own friends who are colleagues who are really good clinicians because of my aggressive messaging and because I wasn’t realizing that people are out there and they have, they are in different seasons of life. They could be going through a lot of crap. And they’re just treading water and they’re doing the best that they can. It’s not that always someone just doesn’t care and wants to phone it in with older adults. We don’t know what people are going through. So many people are in tough seasons of life that last a short amount of time or a long time. And we have to have some grace there. So instead, we want to invite people in towards this fitness forward culture. We want to be attractive. We want to be magnetic. So how do we do that? Here are a couple ways.

Number one, do your sessions out in the open. Put that fitness forward philosophy on display as much as you possibly can. Why? Because it’s the most powerful way to share this message. And instead of, again, pushing a message or telling people what the right way is, you get to show them. So imagine this. You work in inpatient rehab. And instead of kind of flying under the radar, this is what I did a lot for a long time, and you bring your equipment in your own bag and you do that session in the room because you don’t want people to ask questions and you just want to do your thing and move on. Instead, go do it out in the open gym. When you know all the people around you, you’re going to look around and see we have yellow TheraBands, we’re playing balloon toss over there, people are on the new step and chatting it up for 10 or 15 minutes, but you are in the middle of the room. You are loading your patient up with a kettlebell, they’re doing a deadlift, you are blasting like really pump up music and drowning out the really like low slow music that doesn’t make anyone want to work out so you’re pumping the jams your patient is working really hard they’re having fun you’re having fun everyone around you gets to look over and see like damn i have that patient later in the afternoon and i saw them yesterday i had no idea they could do that Huh? They look like they’re having a really good time. That is how you start to get people curious. Like, Whoa, how are they doing that with that patient? That’s awesome. I want to learn more. You are pulling people in towards you without saying a word, without telling people, Hey, I want you to do things my way. So that’s number one. Do your sessions out in the open as much as you possibly can. Put that fitness forward philosophy on display. Okay.

Number two, put on an in-service. Be a wave of influence here. This is one of the easiest ways to spread this message to as many people as possible. Okay. Now, a lot of you are like, I don’t have time to put together a workshop or an in-service. I don’t like to speak in front of a group. I totally get it. That is why the MMOA division has created workshops for you. They are done. They are skeleton slides. You can put your branding on them. You can add to them. You can do whatever you want with them. They’re all done for you. They are on topics such as One rep max living, osteoporosis, arthritis, build better balance, learn how to fall. They’re done for you. Even better, if you’re thinking, okay, I love that the information is there for me, but I’m really nervous presenting in front of a group. We have a solution for you too. The workshops also come along with a recording. of one of our faculty members presenting this information to their communities and to other individuals. So all you have to do is watch the recording and you can say the phrases and do exactly what they do. So it completely mitigates this fear of public speaking because you have a perfect example of how to display this information. I will put the link to all of the workshops. They’re on our website on mmoa.online under free resources. I will link it there for you. But that’s one of the easiest ways to spread this message to a lot of different people. You get everybody in the same room, hopefully not only clinicians, so your peers, but managers and supervisors. If you were able to get some of the rehab doctors in on that workshop, that would also be amazing. So a wonderful opportunity there to spread this message wide, be a wave of influence.

All right, number three, guide your patient’s voice. Guide your patient’s voice. If you want your colleagues to get on board with a fitness-forward culture, empower your patient to help you guys out. Think about what’s going to be more effective here? You going to your colleague and saying, hey, I want you to do this with my patient or your patient when they are with one of your colleagues for their session that day or that week saying, hey, I did this thing called a deadlift with a kettlebell last week with Julie, and it was really awesome. I loved it because it really helped me realize how strong I can get so that I’m able to lift my granddaughter up from the ground. If a patient comes to you and says it like that, and they’re so excited, you sure as hell bet that therapist is going to be like, okay, this is exactly what my patient wants to do. I’m going to figure out how to replicate what that other therapist did because clearly my patient is all about it. That is really powerful if your patient can also use their voice to help drive this change. So that could be a conversation you have with your patient. Hey, do you think what we’re doing during this session has been really helpful? Your patient’s going to say, yeah, I mean, it’s hard and it’s strenuous and I sweat, but I know this is going to help me. Then you guide them, all right, so next week, because I’m not gonna see you for another two weeks, let’s figure out a way where you can advocate for yourself and so your next therapist continues to do this work so you continue to get better. So you and your patient come together and figure out what that conversation looks like and then your patient goes to your colleague and has that conversation. it’s going to be a lot more powerful than you directly just saying to your colleague, do this, don’t do this. Guide your patient’s voice. All right.

And then lastly, be a mentor, be a mentor. So we have a lot of people who at our courses will say, you know, let’s say it’s a, let’s say it’s a CODA. Okay. and who’s at our course and they’re like, well, what’s going to happen? I mean, I will be doing this stuff, but my OT isn’t going to be doing this stuff. Or it’s a, it’s a PTA saying like, I love this stuff, but my PT is definitely not going to do this stuff. What do I do? You want to be a mentor. Look at it Not like me versus you, right? Not what I’m doing is right, what you’re doing is wrong. Look at it as this is a really great opportunity to teach my colleagues. how to do these things and and think about in a way not just because you know it’s going to benefit your patient but because it’s going to benefit your colleague. We all want each other to be elevated and we want each other to be inspired to do one percent better the next day with older adults. So why wouldn’t we want to invite them in to share how to do this stuff? There could be a lot of reasons why your colleague isn’t following your plan of care. They may not understand what an EMOM is or an AMRAP. They’re like, what are those letters? I have no idea. Like we’re spell check. I don’t even understand this. They could never have seen a deadlift before in their life. And they’re just very confused about what these movements are. Again, there could be a lot behind it. Don’t assume someone is not reading your documentation or likes what you’re doing. It could just be that they lack the confidence and they don’t have the knowledge. So be a mentor. This is where you can go to your colleague and say, hey, Betty is loving what we’ve been working on. We’re doing some really cool loaded carries and squats and deadlifts. I would love to show you what we’re working on so that we can maintain consistency, because I know that Betty’s going to get better faster if we do that. You can use your time. Donate your time as a mentor to pull them over, show them some of these movements, show them how you document them, and even better, If they have some time, be like, hey, I’ve got Betty at this time, right? Maybe you can have some overlap if you’re in home health, or you can have some overlap if you’re in acute rehab and be like, hey, could you come over and watch a little bit of my session with Betty so you can see what we’re doing? and you really make it that individualized mentoring experience. And I guarantee you guys, if you approach this with kindness and try and pull people in and get them to be curious and present yourself as someone that an individual, your colleague can come to you and say, I’m a little nervous, I don’t know how to do this. If you’re able to do that over and over again, you’re gonna start to have a lot of colleagues asking you questions and getting curious because they know that you’re an approachable individual that they can seek mentorship from. And I promise that’s going to make you feel really, really good about not only the work that you’re doing with your patient, but being able to give back to your colleagues. All right. So those are the few ideas of how you can pull people in towards that fitness forward culture versus pushing that agenda on them.

So to recap, number one, do those sessions out in the open. Put that fitness forward philosophy on display. Make it as visible as possible. Two, do an in-service. Be a wave of influence. I’m going to link that website for you guys in the comments of this post. Three, guide your patient’s voice. Realize it’s going to be so much more effective if your patient is advocating to do these fitness forward things versus you just telling your colleague to do them. And then lastly, be a mentor. Donate your time and energy to showing and educating your colleagues how to do this. realize that you’re going to be helping them enjoy doing their jobs more, not just benefiting your patients. So it’s a win-win. All right, guys. Lastly, I will let you know about what courses the older adult division has coming up. So in March, we’re pretty darn busy. Well, first, well, yeah, March is this weekend. It’s crazy. So we are in Maryland as well as Georgia this coming weekend. There are spots open for those two courses if you want to snag one. Then we will be in Madison, Wisconsin and Kansas the rest of the month, and we have our next L1 eight week online course starting March 13th. So March is super busy. Go ahead and jump into one of our courses. We would love to see you on the road. We would love to see you online. Have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday. Let me know if some of these techniques worked for you all the rest of this week.

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