"Scary" post-surgical client

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"Scary" post-surgical client

Postby jdcan on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:59 am

I've been working with a client referred by another client for about a year. They are friends.

Client had shoulder surgery (R. Cuff) and a bicipital tenodesis just 11 days ago; going back to work tomorrow full time. When I originally said he'd need Dr's permission to come back, he scoffed. Now he wants to come in in just a couple of weeks. I again asked via email for Dr's permission. His response was "If your not good with me coming in that's fine, I will find another avenue."

I had not yet sent him the actual form, which I can attach to an email. I am NO LONGER comfortable working on him. Should I:

1. Simply not respond
2. Send him the form and explain I wasn't singling him out, it's standard for my organization. Possibly let him know others do not belong to my organization
3. Tell him my organization requires the form
4. Hand the form to his friend, my other client, who knows he had surgery and ask her to pass it along, telling HER it's required before I can work on him again
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby Jonathan on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:29 am

I would tell him without knowing the contraindications and any precautions that you could very well cause further harm. Also, if he can't help you with that you are not ethically able to work on him. Caution him on going elsewhere for the same reason. 11 days doesn't seem very long to be going back to work, especially without restrictions/limits.
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby jdcan on Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:43 am

Thank you Jonathan for the quick response. I'll incorporate some of your words if I do contact him.

Yes, I agree 11 days is too soon to be going back to work, especially full-time. I actually want to avoid working on him because I do think he's going to hurt himself and I don't want to be a part of that.

Anyone have any ideas on how to make sure he doesn't come back? I'd like to keep working on his friend so I'd have to word it carefully.
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby JLWmassage on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:09 am

I tell people 6 weeks till I will touch you 8) or with a doctors note for sooner
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby Jonathan on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:30 pm

WIWD (what I would do)- Being old enough that I might forget stuff, I would tell him something I could remember more easily, i.e.; the truth. You have already said it in your posts. I am uncomfortable working on you as I do not wish to be a party to you re-injuring your shoulder. If your client/his friend values your work and can appreciate the truth she will stick with you.
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby jdcan on Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:27 am

Thanks again. I actually had previously mentioned 6 weeks. Here's what I wrote:

Dear ...,

In response to your last email, I understand you need to find another massage therapist. I do want you to know I was not singling you out. My professional organization has a standard physician’s release form (see below) and it would be considered unethical to work on you without it. There can be contraindications or precautions that if not known can cause further harm to you during your healing process. Please let your next massage therapist know how long it’s been since your surgery, as well as the details, so she can work within her scope and avoid causing damage.

Thank you,
...
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby Jonathan on Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:11 pm

Sounds pretty good to me, hope it works out for you.
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby jdcan on Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:28 pm

He wrote saying he'd try to get it filled out today.
How's this response to him:

Dear...,

I didn't send you the actual form. I have it printed out. I just copied and pasted so you could see what is on it.

You didn't want to get the form filled out and I couldn't work on you without it. When I again didn't hear from you, I really thought you were moving on so I already filled another ongoing appointment slot. I'm sorry but I am unable to take on any more clients at this time because I am at my physical limit.

I did put in a call to another therapist who does post-surgical scar tissue release who may be able to help you. I haven't heard back from him yet.

Please find another knowledgeable massage therapist who can work with you post-surgery.

Thank you,
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby tranquilspirit2006 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:47 pm

I know you've sent it by now and it sounded great but Option C should never be considered. Not only is it not another client's responsibility to get forms filled out for you, it's also very much a violation of confidentiality. I know, I know, she referred him, they probably talk about massage, she knows he goes there. But that's the client's prerogative to talk about it themselves, you don't discuss clients with each other or involve them in another's treatment, no matter what their relationship is outside your office. And I agree with you about wanting clearance, I'd want it too.
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby pueppi on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:50 am

jdcan wrote:He wrote saying he'd try to get it filled out today.
How's this response to him:

Dear...,

I didn't send you the actual form. I have it printed out. I just copied and pasted so you could see what is on it.

You didn't want to get the form filled out and I couldn't work on you without it. When I again didn't hear from you, I really thought you were moving on so I already filled another ongoing appointment slot. I'm sorry but I am unable to take on any more clients at this time because I am at my physical limit.

I did put in a call to another therapist who does post-surgical scar tissue release who may be able to help you. I haven't heard back from him yet.

Please find another knowledgeable massage therapist who can work with you post-surgery.

Thank you,



I'm jumping in late here, but I really like this section of new e-mail you sent him (bolded for your convenience), and both e-mails sound very professional. :)
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Re: "Scary" post-surgical client

Postby jdcan on Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:14 pm

Thank you.
I haven't heard from him since I sent that email.
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