Tonight I’m thinking about how lucky I am to be on such a great medical team with Alli Mahmood, ATC. I just spent 3.5 hours with her watching Henry Sibley girls and boys basketball (Go Warriors!) defeat the visiting South St. Paul Packers teams.
Physical Therapy Requires A Partnership
Alli and I started working together in the summer of 2011, about a year after I started with OSI Physical Therapy. Henry Sibley was contracted with OSI for athletic training services, but the relationship wasn’t what it could be. Bringing Alli on board changed all of that. In two and a half years, the bond between OSI Physical Therapy in WSP and Henry Sibley in Mendota Heights has grown significantly, and I’m thankful to everyone involved in that process for growing this partnership to what it is. I’ve been asked numerous times what some of the keys of our success has been, and I would like to share some pearls of value that I believe have contributed to this fun adventure.
In our digital society, I think the value of physical presence has been somewhat overlooked. When I started working with Henry Sibley, I realized that one of the most important aspects to working with these athletes is to be where they are. I choose to spend as much time as I can with Alli and the athletes so that when someone gets hurt, and Alli determines they could benefit from therapy for a quick turnaround, the OSI brand and my name are not mysteries. This is also important for coaches and parents so don’t be surprised if you find me wandering the stands catching up with as many people as I can say hi to.
When Alli and I preach preferred service, we mean preferred service. There have been countless instances where I get a text from Alli during 2-a-days or after school requesting that we get an athlete in, and I can’t think of one instance where we have had to turn someone away because of a scheduling issue. We just make it work.
Going to school for physical therapy did not prepare me to be an athletic trainer. But I was well prepared to participate in a team environment where we share ideas and learn from each other. I learn new stuff about injury management all the time from Alli, and when she is able to spend time with me in the clinic, she is able to pick up on some things I know so she can continue providing excellent care in the school environment. I’m pretty sure that I ask her about every 6 months to show me how to tape an ankle or wrist, she is way better at it than I will ever be.
One of the greatest advantages we have as a team is a high level of communication. When I see an athlete from any school, I am very specific to establish a communication link with the parents, coaches, and trainer to ensure that the same message is being delivered across all levels. With Alli, I’m able to simply text her updates or thoughts on return to play, and then she can communicate that to the coaches so they have the most recent information available to them. It is great to have such close and consistent communication with my team mates!
This extends beyond just the team of a PT and an ATC. In some instances, an athlete may need a physician consult, whether it is family medicine or with an orthopaedic surgeon. Because of the contacts we’ve been fortunate to have and maintain with OSI, Alli and I are able to expedite the process of assisting an athlete and family to and through a further medical consult. This means that, when necessary, we are able to get athletes in to have imaging done if needed, or the ability to see a surgeon if that is appropriate. We are able to save families time, effort, and money by expediting the process whether it is to therapy or something more involved.
Those are a few things that stick out to me as I think about what creates a great team. I hope to see you in the stands soon!