It’s officially the Holidays, and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. So I decided to catch up with @NickTNpt. I’m extra grateful to Dr. Nick Nordtvedt, DPT, Cert MDT for being my first interviewee and getting my interview series rolling. You can read the first interview here.
Enjoy Round 2!
First, what did you have for breakfast today?
What sparked your initial interest in Physical Therapy?
I spent my first two years in college bouncing around between a few different majors. I hadn’t studied anything that really excited me. I started working at a physical therapy clinic for about a year, and I really enjoyed the interaction with people and helping improve their quality of life. I also liked the private practice atmosphere.
What is it about the Private Practice atmosphere that you find so attractive?
I like the idea of “being my own boss.” I have never owned a practice that I’ve worked at, but I have always been involved in day to day operations of running a clinic. I like to drive my own referrals and network with other medical professionals and businesspeople around me.
Per our first interview, you were reading Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes. What did you make of it?
Honestly, I haven’t finished it yet! I think it’s about 6 inches thick. I’ve read it on and off over the last year, and have used a lot of the information to apply to patients seeing me for orthopedic issues besides just running.
I just finished reading The Zappos Experience by Joseph A. Michelli. This is a great book about Zappos focus on the entire customer experience, a must read for anyone in business or private practice.
What ideas or concepts from The Zappos Experience stand out to you?
Wowing customers by providing them with an exceptional customer service experience. Most people don’t go to physical therapy because they want to. Something has happened, known or unknown, where they find themselves in need of rehabilitative services. My first goal, and what I tell all my support staff, is to make every person that walks through the door feel as comfortable and welcome as possible. Next, you have to go out of your way to make the patient’s treatment about him or her, not about you. You can talk about yourself or share a story, but it should always be to engage the patient so you can learn more about them. Finally, give more than they expect. This isn’t necessarily giving them an object or something they can possess. This means taking the time to listen and understand what they are trying to tell you, and going the extra mile to provide them with an unparalleled customer service experience that they won’t receive any where else.
Imagine you had an unlimited budget to set up your Private Practice. How would you spend this unlimited budget on your fantasy clinic?
Wow! I’m not sure where I would end, the possibilities are endless! But, I definitely know where I would begin. I think that the most important things to invest in off the bat in a new business are a great support staff and community support.
If you don’t have the right people in place, your business will struggle. This goes for front office staff just as much (maybe more so) than clinical staff. The initial contact a patient or physician’s office has with your clinic is so important. If they don’t get a feeling of welcomeness and understanding from the non-clinical staff, that makes for a much more challenging experience for the clinician. With my unlimited budget, I would first make sure that I had the right staff with the right training.
Second, I would invest in community activity and support. This should actually not be all that expensive if you look for the right opportunities-community festivals, sporting events, health fairs…the list could be endless. Being a part of the community and talking to people will get you a whole lot further than a fancy TV ad!
Let’s fast-forward to your retirement party. What would you want to be able to say about yourself as a Physical Therapist?
I can’t say that I’m looking forward to retirement anytime soon, but when (if) I retire, my hope is that people say that I listened to them and had a genuine interest in helping them.
Top 3 favorite blogs?
Limit to three?! I can’t limit to any less than 5-in no particular order:
What are your best ideas to increase APTA Membership?
We HAVE to make students understand the importance of membership and maintaining membership once they become professionals. This has to be done in both arenas of didactic education. Engaging students to participate in APTA events would go a long way to seeing the value of APTA membership. I think PT schools discussing current events in PT practice on a weekly basis would be an easy way for students to further understand the value of APTA. In the clinic, CIs need to take students with them to chapter meetings, state meetings, and legislative events. What worries me is that we will lose some aspect of our practice before people wake up to the need to be an active member in APTA.
How do you decide which Continuing Education Courses you take? What factors play the biggest role in your decision-making?
The biggest factor in deciding which CE courses to take is word of mouth from other clinicians that I know and respect. There are some courses that years ago I would have never expected to take. In talking with other clinicians that have taken certain courses, I discover ways to integrate new ideas and techniques into my current mode of practice to get better results with my patients.
Pick one of the following you want as a Mentor? And why did you choose him/her?
• Jason Bourne
• Wonder Woman
• James Bond
• Princess Leia
• Prof. Charles Xavier (of X-Men)
I would have to choose Jason Bourne. I was on the fence between him and James Bond, but I think Bond gets lucky a lot of the time! Jason Bourne is very self aware and deliberate in his actions which is how I try to act in practice. Plus I’m pretty excited about the new Bourne sequel coming up!
Thanks Nick! Hope 2014 was a great year for you!
You can get in touch with Nick on Twitter @NickTNpt
And find me on Twitter @Cinema_Air