Last Thursday was a long day for me at work. It’s usually one of the days I work 12 hours. By the end of the day I was exhausted mentally and physically for some reason. I am used to working longer days because it comes with the territory of working in outpatient Physical Therapy. This day for some reason was just longer than usual. I had an unusual amount of cancels because we had just had a snow storm the night before. And for those who know southwestern PA, people will use snow as an excuse to miss just about anything, Physical Therapy being one of them. I was on my way home from work listening to one of my favorite podcasts: The Physical Therapy Business School by Paul Gaugh. As I came to a stop sign another car got to the opposing one just after I did. I flicked my lights to tell him go ahead and of course they did. The next thing that came was not a shock, but a reminder…he flicked his lights back as he went through the intersection. The universal sign of thank you in car talk! It dawned on me that having someone say or gesture thank you can go a long way. It makes you feel good to do something for someone and they return their gratitude.
I work in a field of helping people every single day. Every person that comes through the doors of my clinic is going to be helped in some way, shape or form. Sometimes I even inadvertently help the parent, caretaker or significant other all while helping my patient. In return I always receive a thank you! If you think about it, I get a thank you between 14-30 times a day! A DAY! That’s crazy to me! Some people get a thank you maybe once a day at most, sometimes once a week or month, but 14-30 times a day is just insane!
My intersection thank you reminded me of how lucky I am to work in the field that I do. It reminded me that just a simple thank you can have a huge effect on someone. Think about it for a second…how does it make you feel when you do something nice for someone? When you give someone a present and they light up with excitement and say THANK YOU! It’s one of the best feelings in the world! I get to have that experience on a daily basis! Especially when I am discharging someone that initially had a rough start and can now walk and play with their kids again!
The reason I got into the field of physical therapy was to help people. I wanted to make people well. I wanted to get people back to what they wanted to do. I never once wanted anything in return from them. I still don’t, other than for them to do their program at home!
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