How to Answer: Give me an example of a tough patient you had to deal with.
Advice and answer examples written specifically for a Physical Therapist job interview.
7. Give me an example of a tough patient you had to deal with.
How to Answer
A tough patient might be someone who was angry or had a bad attitude. It could also be someone who had an impairment that made it difficult for you to communicate with them. In your example, focus on how you handled the situation, rather than the issue that made it difficult.
"During my internship, I was working with a patient that clearly wasn't invested in his rehabilitation process. I became frustrated when I realized that the patient wasn't following the physicians orders to keep full weight off of his injured leg and I could see that he wasn't obeying by his lack of progress each week. I was pretty direct with the patient and talked to him about the need to be non weight bearing on his leg while outside of our time together and talked about how the healing process could be seriously impeded. By explaining the effects of his actions, the patient was able to understand the harm he was doing to himself."
"I had a patient last week with a hearing impairment. I didn't have a lot of experience with this and I didn't know sign language. We figured out a solution together. I wrote him a message asking if we could communicate in writing, and we ended up writing messages back and forth. It was much easier to deal with than I expected! Sometimes you just have to get creative!"
"The toughest patient that I ever worked with came very early in my career and gave me great perspective on how to work with similar patients in the future. He was a large man that became very vulgar when in pain and at times right away, I feared that he may become violent. I asked a co-worker to treat the patient with me at first and we moved our treatments to a more open area of the clinic. By doing this, the patient was less prone to cuss and had a much better attitude as he knew others were watching."
"I remember an occasion during my internship when an elder male patient that just had a hip replacement operation came to our department to receive treatment, but he was in a very bad mood and with a very bad attitude towards all of the staff, so I was assigned to deal with him after a couple of my coworkers couldn't bear with him after he was using inappropriate words, so I tried straight away to be a little firm and assertive with him and tried not to give him the time and space to behave as he did with my co-workers. So by doing that, I managed to calm him down and made him focus on what he needed to do to help himself to recover as soon as possible and get over this uneasy situation."¨"
Written by an Anonymous User
Our Professional Interview Coach
Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer
It sounds like you handled this patient very well! I have tweaked your answer a bit to help make it more concise.
"During my internship, an elderly male patient with a recent hip replacement came to our department to receive treatment. He was in a terrible mood and had a bad attitude towards all of the staff. I was assigned to him after a couple of my coworkers gave up trying. I was more firm and assertive with him and did not give him the time or space to behave poorly. So by doing so, I managed to calm him down and help him focus on what he needed to do to aid his recovery."