Using Our Time Wisely

Uggghhh I do so much driving….

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We’ve all said it, thought it, heard it… DONE it… it’s part of home health for sure. We typically look at it like a negative, but does it have to be?  

When I’ve worked in other clinical settings… being locked inside four walls always gave me a feeling of being limited and having no control.  Often times, what I needed or wanted to get done had to wait until late in the evening or early in the morning because while I was at the clinic… there weren’t a lot of chances to delve into personal matters.  I always had a patient in front of me and so I always had to be on my A-Game…. No time to shut it down… no time to shift gears.

The Mission of FTS is to Change The Culture of the Home Health Industry… this means culture, connectedness and creating a platform for our people to feel supported, acknowledged and grow are all important ideals to strive for.  Sometimes it takes a big effort and sometimes it only takes a well thought out question asked to the right person. It’s amazing what we can learn from each other if we take the time to ask and listen.

Personally, I am always curious how others have found good use of their time and habits to become more successful in all areas of life, so I recently posed a question to a bunch of our most productive and long time therapists (also the funnest to be around) and here is what they had to say.  

(Note… they all have a positive and productive outlook on time in the car.. Whether it’s work related or not.. I have rarely ever heard these people complain, only provide solutions and that is whey they are all a solid part of our company’s foundation.)

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Question:

“What have you found to be the most impactful/productive/enriching use of your time in the car when working Home Health?”

Answers:

Collin Williams PT - San Antonio

‘Using the FTS Fidget Spinner….. No, but probably anything that creates efficiency with documentation and taking whatever time you have before getting in the car to complete as much of your recent notes as possible.’

Elizabeth DeLuca OT - Austin

‘Audiobooks! It’s enriching to have a few minutes where I can decompress between patients’ Liz get’s audiobooks for free with her local library subscription and use of the ‘Libby’ App.

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Sarah Husson PT - San Antonio

‘I make phone calls (on bluetooth of course) to patients I need to schedule or with PTAs/Nurses I need to coordinate with when I need to be productive, or listen to music or podcasts when I need to decompress a bit between patients.  I listen to the ‘Kidd Kraddick podcast’ if I miss the show in the morning. I’ve listened to that show since I was a kid. I also like ‘Girl with No Job’s podcast’ because she’s hilarious. Usually not informative stuff lol, more entertainment/comedy.’

Courtney McClean PT - Austin

‘Phone calls (via Bluetooth of course).  And second, talk to text function, to dictate a note and then edit it as needed later.’

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Heather Andersen PTA - Austin

‘Enriching...because I can listen to Audiobooks I might not have read otherwise  Impactful… by helping me learn my way around a new city.’

Ray Alba OT - Austin/San Antonio

‘Catching up on phone calls, especially with new requests lately to call in MDs to get Verbal Orders and to coordinate with the team regarding patients…. I also talk to Jonson quite a bit so that we can make plans to take over the world! Jonson is the best!’

(Ok, I added that last part lol)

Amber Murray PT - Austin

‘I’m going to go with productive.  At the end of a visit (ALMOST all visits) I make sure the note for that patient is completed and all of the signatures are in the right spot and start my GPS for the next patient. (as to not have to dangerously fumble with it while driving)  If I have time throughout the day I will periodically call (on bluetooth) my patients for the next day to firm up my schedule. By the end of the day, most always my patients have been scheduled and notes done before I get home.’

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Abby Dejames COTA - Austin

‘I have found that my time in the car is best used for self-reflection and meditation.  I feel that it reduces any stress I may have that could cloud my thoughts or emotions. Therefore, when I walk into a patient’s home my head is clear which allows me to focus solely on the patient.  (insert smiley face!) I like the ‘Calm’ Meditation App. They are easy and short guided meditations that you can hook right up and play like music. There are different ones that focus on various topics or you can even choose calming sounds to breathe to.’

Amelia Ball OT - Austin

‘Definitely listening to podcasts while driving to further educate myself on so many topics!  I mostly listen to health/wellness/self-help/spirituality type podcasts. The ‘Model Health Show’ would be one I recommend in the therapy realm.  And ‘Move Your DNA with Katy Bowman’. I also find a lot of others for my personal interests like ‘Rewild Yourself’ and a really funny/girly one called ‘That’s so Retrograde’.’

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Jonson Yousefzadeh PT - Austin/San Antonio

‘Personally, I have found that good relationships take work… you have to make an effort to keep in touch with old friends and check in on family… so I make a lot of personal calls on my longer drives.  I also bounce back and forth between listening to a bunch of different podcasts or audiobooks using the audible app. Productivity wise I have found it helpful to pre-schedule my patients in an order I like, then throughout the day I will call to confirm appts for the next day so I feel organized going in to the next days activity.’

How do you spend your time in the car?