A Hectic Day of No Shows

Every Tuesday, I have two back-to-back four hour shifts at the Joseph M Smith Community Health Center.  At Joseph Smith, each individual therapy session is 45 minutes, and us interns are encouraged to schedule five sessions during each shift.  This means that in an ideal world, I would see ten patients in eight hours today.

Of course, this never actually happens, due to our high volume of no shows.  A no show is exactly what it sounds like; it means that a patient does not come to a session without calling to cancel ahead of time.  So far today, I have had five scheduled appointments, but have only actually met with two patients.  The other three patients no showed.

In community health centers, this is a fairly common occurence.  Community health centers primarily serve working class individuals, many of whom do not or can not work, and many of whom have difficulties arranging transportation to and from appointments.  Although no shows used to bother me tremendously, I’ve come to understand that they do not suggest a lack of interest in therapy.  Rather, they reflect the difficulty that many of our patients have with the activities of daily living.

No shows are a funny thing, because when there are a lot of them, I always assume that I will have a mellow day.  Yet, this is never the case, because aside from conducting therapy, there are a number of other tasks that are required of us.  Today, for example, I’ve used my “free” time to return phone calls, schedule appointments, consult with another of one client’s providers, and send emails to supervisors and coworkers.

And now I see that I’ve successfully filled this current 45 minute opening by writing a few emails and this post.  I have a client coming in five minutes (theoretically, anyway), so I’m off to read through my notes to refresh my memory on the case.

About sskeenmspp

Hey everyone, my name is Sam Skeen. I’m currently a third year PsyD student. I’m primarily interested in individual therapy with adults and adolescents and assessment with people of all ages. This year, I’m doing my field placement work at Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center, where I am learning to conduct therapy in Spanish. I also have a part time job at MSPP’s Academic Resource Center, where I help other MSPP students complete challenging academic tasks. In my spare time, I like to exercise, cook, mess with my cat (an activity that once screened me as a potential sociopath on a personality test), update my fantasy hockey lineup obsessively, and of course, satiate my Words with Friends addiction.
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5 Responses to A Hectic Day of No Shows

  1. kanciljte says:

    Thank you for sharing these helpful post it is very interesting and read worthy… I like your way of writing, You break it down nicely. Keep these informative post coming! much appreciated!… thanks have a great day :)

  2. lamusak says:

    This signifies that 1 who is expected, but doesn’t seem. It is actually extremely frustrating scenario in some situations. In this a person reserves something like any appointment and neither makes use of that nor cancels. It causes challenge for the individual who has scheduled all the time based on person taking appointment. Neither that person nor everyone else can use the service in this case so it truly is pretty irritating situation.

  3. That’s not good at all! Hope you guys bounce back stronger.

    Mesothelial Cells

  4. VoIP Ireland says:

    No show means that one who is expected, but does not appear. It is very frustrating situation in some cases. In this a person reserves something like any appointment and neither uses that nor cancels. It causes problem for the person who has scheduled all the time according to person taking appointment. Neither that person nor anyone else can use the service in this case so it is quite irritating situation.

  5. Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends.

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