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Can you "fire" your Physical therapist?

I'm 2 months out from ACDF 3-4-5. Healing is happening according to the x-rays. My doctor wants me to have an hour of PT 1/2 for my neck and 1/2 hour on my hips that are suffering from sitting for six weeks. Wasn't in great shape going into surgery.
I have seen 4 different PT's 3 before surgery and this gal post surgery. Not real pleased with her attitude and today ticked me off. I was using the arm bicycle machine thingy and had a vertigo attack. I can feel them start and said something. She told me not to finish and told me she was going to get her next client. Walked out of the room. No other staff were in the room-late day before a long weekend. Hello it was on my hour! I do not want to go back under her care. Can I ask for a change?


  • ask for a change but I am not clear why? Because she told you to stop the excercise because you told her that you could feel the onset coming of a vertigo attack but then she went out of the room to get another patient? It is very normal for a therapist to be working with more than one client at a time, during physical therapy. You were supposed to be working on the machine, so why did she need to stand there?
  • Yes you can certainly request that you get another therapist or schedule your appointments when someone else is there instead. However, I recommend you give her another try. I'm currently in water therapy and I've rotated out between 3 different therapists. They are all different. The first one was new and relatively inexperienced, but sweet. The second one was fantastic, pushed me like she is supposed to, good communicator. The third one I didn't take to right away. She was more abrupt, talks over you, and really didn't listen when answering my questions. However, she's good at pointing out bad posture or form, and adding increasing difficulty to my therapy. And yes, it's common to have two patients that overlap approximately 15-30 minutes in between the total 45 minute session.
    Isthmic Spondyliothesis Level II - III
    ALIF/PLIF L4-L5-S1, 2 cages, 2 rods, 6 screws (6/10/2013)
  • tigger334ttigger334 Posts: 11
    edited 09/17/2013 - 8:50 AM
    I have been gong to PT since the beginning of July. I had a PLIF on May 3rd. When I started PT, it was a brand new facility that was just starting out and I had the therapists all by myself for the full hour of therapy. Now that they are getting busier, it is not unusual that they overlap patients. In fact, last week for my water therapy I was doing it without the therapist, which I liked a lot. I know the exercises to do and I don't feel like I have to talk, I can concentrate on what I am doing.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    based on several reasons. Just make sure they are all valid reasons.

    When you stated that you did not like this therapist but you also saw 3 other therapists prior to surgery. Did you like them? Were they from the same rehab center?

    Is the place you are going small? How many therapists are generally on?

    I know that in almost every Physical therapist center I've been through in over 30 years they all have at least 3 PTs on and a number of aids. Surprising no one stop by the see you. When you stated that you were on your own, is the problem that you were by yourself when you felt ill or was it because it was your time slot to see the PT.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • You absolutely can ask for another therapist, however, I don't understand what was wrong with this one. I went to PT prior to surgery. Saw one PT and he would be handling at least 2 other people in the large open room while dealing with me. He gave a lot of his attention to each person as equally as he could. I've never seen a PT office dedicate one therapist to one person and that person only for that hour. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I've just never seen it. I say give this girl another chance. Go in with a positive attitude and just understand that while you are are there for that hour, you are not the only one.
    36 yr old with one degenerative disc (L5-S1)
    3 rounds of Epidurals in 2013
    6 PT visits in 2013
    Microdiscectomy L5 S1 on 9/5/2013.
    Re-herniated in January 2014.
    Epidural on 3/3/14.
    A/PLIF (L5-S1) 6/3/14
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