I’ll admit. I hesitated to join this course initially (after listening to Paul Gough and why I can’t decide on anything, I now understand why…). It wasn’t for the quality of the speakers – all of whom are near and dear to my heart on twitter and, as the kids say, IRL. It was for lack of understanding about what it was. What I could possibly take away from something that seems so damn obvious. Of course the patient’s need a good experience. I give them that. Don’t I?
Despite my inner child shying away from this strange concept I pulled the trigger. The course location being in Vegas didn’t hurt.

I will tell you in the first 4 hours I realized I knew little to nothing about patient care. Nor did I know a damn thing about the patient experience. I, somehow, have been lucky enough to survive this long in business as an idiot (it’s a lot clearer now what my mom warned me about years ago…).
I am lucky to have been in this course.

I’ll repeat that. I am damn lucky to have been in this course. To have been allowed to take it.

This course combines the best practice and the common sense of patient management together. And not just common sense. Really common sense.

It has opened my eyes to the journey of a patient – something I felt sensitive to before, but now – Christ – now I really see. It takes you through the journey of a patient BEFORE they ever see me. It taught me to be aware of what has gone on- personally, professionally, medically, non-medically, the steps this person has taken to take care of their problem before they ever decided to put foot in my shop.

Jerry is the patient guy. The experience guy. How can we be more aware of the patient journey? How can we fucking realize what this person is going through? (I feel like I owe Jerry a copyright for using the work fuck). How can we be fully prepared when they arrive and know them on a personal level – know their struggles, their journey – for when we know their journey, we know them. And when you acknowledge them, their concerns, recognize their fears, prior experiences and show you’re fucking listening you gain not only a patient who knows you hear them, but a loyal patient who isn’t afraid to follow your instructions, trusts you, and knows you have their best interests at heart. You have showed listening and understanding at a level that NO OTHER provider in their healthcare experience ever has. And for that, you are rewarded with patient loyalty and trust.

And then onto the clinical skills. Jeff brings the heat. Literally. He has a playlist he rocks out during breakouts Called “Healing Hands”. I mean… come on. It ranges from Old Crow Medicine Show to Snoop Dog to Stevie. And he brings it. The passion, the knowledge. The skill. In a way that nobody else can. Jeff talks about the skill of manipulation and low back pain management like a piece of art. But he dissects it down on your level.
The principle of K.I.S.S. is at work here. He does a great job of stripping it to basics. And then he executes. And we know who this will work for, and who it won’t. And why. And then we have the passion, the fluidity, and the grace of the skill execution. It’s a damn art form at it simplest. Like the guy drawing caricatures at Disneyland – looks so easy, but damn, when you try you make a bunch of scribbles. But Jeff takes you from scribbles to art. And he makes it easy. And you know why it’s easy.

You, PHYSICAL THERAPIST, need to take this course. I don’t care if you own a business or not. You need to take this course. Because even as a staff therapist, you are your own business, your own brand. You deliver something personal to a patient and build trust on a micro level just like a business will do on the macro level.

To say Jeff and Jerry have passion is an understatement. When their face gets red and their eyes tear up because they are tapping into the feeling, placement, and understanding of what a patient goes through; the knowing that we have the tools and the ability to fix them and the research to back it up you know you’re in a good place. And that they are angry because more folks don’t do it.

You can fully tell these folks love what they are teaching. Yes, they get paid for it. But I’d bet money if you get a bourbon, some good cigars, and a few hours and they’d teach you for free. Because they love it that fucking much. Because it’s in their bloodstream and soul.

You will never look at a patient the same way again.

I thought I knew this. I knew nothing. And I now have the tools to implement this every day to make things even better.

Because without this, we are all going to be lost sooner or later wondering what the fuck happened.

This course made me realize this.

On top of that, the real value of this course? The time spent outside of it- the conversations and accessbility the instructors had above and beyond the classroom. They didn’t shut if off just because the time limit was met. They live this all day every day and want to share this. The size of the course was great- plenty of folks to have some varied experience and background but small enough to get the attention and questions answered. And I now have something I can take back and address clinically on my patients but also set up a brand new process for my office staff to enhance my patient’s experience.

And for that. I’m glad my kindergarten brain was able to pull the trigger.
Kudos ICE.
Kudos Jeff, Jerry and Paul. I’m a changed man. And I also owe more to the swear jar now than ever before.