Field Clinician Josh Trimble on The Rapid Recovery Report™
Toree: Hi all. I am Toree McGee, and welcome to The Rapid Recovery Report, sponsored by ROMTech, the modern technology of rehab. So, welcome to another week of our series. And we’ve got a really special guest today. We actually are bringing in one of our very own, we like to call them ROM stars, Josh Trimble.
Field Clinician Manager Josh Trimble
So, Josh is ROMTech’s field clinician manager. And he started with us over a year ago, as we launched a number of our PortableConnect pilot sites across the country. Josh is based out of Saint Louis, and he has seen field growth from patient number 1 to patient 1,000, as one of our traveling field clinicians.
So, through ROMTech’s explosive expansion, Josh has played an integral role in hiring and training all of our new field clinicians who are responsible for facilitating the delivery and the education for the PortableConnect device to those new patients.
He also has an 11-year background in CPM and post-op bracing sales. So, working directly with patient recovery after orthopedic surgery, his perspective on other rehab devices provides us a really unique view on how the PortableConnect has been making an impact on the industry.
So, welcome Josh. We’re so glad to have you.
Josh: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
Toree: Tell us where you are right now.
Josh: I am in Brookfield, where our headquarters is, and I am actually back in where I spend most of my time here in our training room.
Toree: Okay, great. I see a PortableConnect behind you.
Josh: Yes, it’s back there. We just got done about an hour and a half ago, so still in the process of cleaning it up.
Toree: Well, thanks for sticking around after your long day to talk with us a little bit.
Josh: My pleasure.
Becoming a Field Technician with ROMTech
Toree: We’ll just dive right in. Tell us a little bit about the process of becoming a field clinician with ROMTech.
Josh: Yeah. So, it used to be just a brief interview, and you kind of got going, but now, we’ve upped our game a little bit now that we’re growing so rapidly. It’s a three-step process. They start interview with HR. And then if they’re qualified, they come to me, and I ask them a few questions. And I kind of go more in depth in what the day-to-day in the life of a field clinician.
The way it’s described is, oh, you’ll see patients, you’ll go in. You’re in the patient’s home, you educate them with that. There’s a lot more that goes into being a field clinician.
And then, if they’re gung-ho, and I think they’re the right fit, then I’ll pass them along to our national sales manager and marketing director Steve Harris. And then he closes up the final interview, and if they passed all three levels, we send them an offer, and hopefully they accept, because we want them obviously if they made it through that process.
Toree: So, what kinds of skills and qualities do you look for when you’re hiring a field clinician?
Josh: Really, what we look for is someone who, if hopefully they have had a similar job experience, like what we do currently here at ROMTech. I really look for compassionate empathetic people, people who really care about humans in general, people in general, because this is someone’s mom, aunt, grandfather, dad that we’re going in, and placing a PortableConnect in their home. So, we want people that are going to be compassionate, respectful. We are in their home, that’s their safe place, and we don’t want to go in, and make them feel uncomfortable.
So, we have multiple different experienced clinicians here. We have some that had no medical background, and we have some that have a lot of medical background. And when we train them, they have to have an open mind, because we could have different ways that they used to do things, and also too, the people who don’t have medical, they’re coming with a clean slate. We can kind of mold them, and they really absorb the information, and they catch on.
So, we have just difference of skillsets that people have here, and have been successful, and have been here for quite some time now.
Toree: Yeah, I would imagine the number one thing is personality and being able to interact, right?
Josh: Yeah, personality, being able to interact, being able to adjust with the patient, because when we go in, they’re not always in the best mood. They just had surgery. They’re in pain. And we have to adapt to that. We try to make them feel comfortable, and have fun with them, and enjoy what we’re doing.
It’s funny, because they’re kind of grumpy, and what is this. And when we come back, they’re like, I don’t want it to go, I want it to stay. Those type of people we have to have, because we’re there to take care of them, and we have to be able to relate to them, and earn their trust.
Toree: Absolutely. You said that you’re in Brookfield in like a training room. Is that the only place where you train field clinicians, or what is their process?
Josh: So, we start off here in Brookfield. They come in on Sunday, and they leave Saturday morning, so it’s a five-day training. We start off with just meeting everyone here at the company. They get the privilege to actually have lunch with our CEO when they’re here on Monday, so that’s a great experience. I’m really happy that Peter has done that, because they—
Toree: That’s awesome. I haven’t even gotten able to do that.
Josh: He introduce himself, and meets everybody, and they ask them some amazing questions. And Peter’s just the best. He’s just very personable, and to give the time. We all know how busy he is.
So, they’re here for a week, and then they will head out to the field, and they’ll be with an experienced field clinician, or they’ll be with a senior field clinician. We have four to five different sites that we like to send them to, to get trained. And then what they’re doing there is they’re basically seeing what a day-to-day is like with that field clinician. They are actually going on deliveries. They’re watching the clinicians do that. And then if they’re catching on really well, then they’ll actually start doing them, and start with the clinician, and start working with real patients.
Toree: Awesome. Well, that’s great. It’s nice to know, I guess, the extent of the extensiveness of the training that we have before sending them out.
Josh: Yeah, it wasn’t like that before. When I first started training, they’re now senior clinicians, it was four days in Saint Louis. And then they went to their site. In particular, James Johnson and Kale Modani, two of my senior clinicians, they have four and a half days with me. And Kale went back to Connecticut and James was our hardnose traveler. He was going all over the country.
So, it’s come a long way. I mean, there’s been a lot of people who have done such a good job to help develop this program, and get it to where it is today. And the third week that they have is the same thing. The third week, they’re really with another clinician. And now, they’re doing deliveries on their own. They’re actually helping at a busy territory.
Toree: So, there has bene a huge change then in training from the very beginning to now.
Josh: Basically, since July. Actually, May is when we really started training people, like hiring people on. It was just myself, Davis Shek, Steve Siegel, and Kelsey before that. So, it was just the four of us.
Toree: Have you heard a big difference in feedback from doctor’s offices or patients after having the extensive training, versus the way that it kind of used to be?
Josh: Yeah. I mean, not necessarily from the physicians, but from the patients. The clinicians are a lot more experienced and confident. Confidence is huge here, because there’s a lot that goes into this training. It’s not just taking the PortableConnect to someone’s house, dropping them off, showing them how to do it. There’s a lot of other things that go on behind the scenes with data entry from the patient into the portal, testing the PortableConnect before it goes out, setting up your route for the day. There’s a lot that goes into it. So, the patients are a lot more.
The feedback that we’re getting is just fantastic. We get shoutouts every day from patients about certain field clinicians throughout the country that love this clinician, did such a great job, spent so much time with me, was educating me, didn’t leave until I felt comfortable. They’re doing such an amazing job.
CPMs After Surgery
Toree: Good. So, let’s dive a little bit into your CPM or DME – DME means durable medical equipment – background. So, are patients typically afraid of using a CPM or a DME after having surgery?
Josh: So, a CPM, not really, because that’s just straight passive motion. So, they’re not really getting any active motion on a CPM. So, when they would come home, they’re on that. Starting really in the hospital, depending how long they stay. They have a CPM there. And then they would have one delivered to their home. They are lying in bed. They’re not very mobile, and the machine is just doing the work.
And on top of that, they weren’t really doing much home physical therapy. So, they’re not really getting any type of active motion or strengthening or anything like that.
So, back then, CPMs were the end-all-be-all, new patient knees feel better, decrease the swelling, help with pain management. But all in all, now what I’m seeing with the PortableConnect is, when we do demonstrations for other physicians, is that the common phrase is this is a no brainer. I’m not using CPM anymore, because now we have passive motion, we have resistance. It can pedal back. There’s a lot of different styles of treatments that we can do with the PortableConnect.
So, yeah, CPM was great 15, 20 years ago, but it’s kind of outlived its worth right now.
Toree: Now, Gio, can you post a picture of the PortableConnect on our screen here, so that we can kind of see the difference.
So, a CPM, basically is like a mechanical sort of brace that would go onto your leg, and automatically move the knee to go up and down. And you’re kind of bedridden when you’re using one of those, versus this is our PortableConnect, so this is what you can see the screen in the background of where Josh is. And there’s pedals on both sides. They’re adjustable as far as range of motion. And independently, so one side could have a wider range of motion than the other. And this way, your uninhibited leg is able to continue movement, and you’re not losing any of your muscle mass during that portion of recovery essentially that you would otherwise be losing just from lack of movement, using a CPM, and being stuck in bed.
Patient Reactions to PortableConnect
So, how are patients reacting to PortableConnects when they’re being delivered in the home?
Josh: Well, their reactions are either they’re super excited, or they’re like, what is this thing. When we make our call, we go over to describe what it is, but when they actually see it, they’re, wow, this is bigger than I thought it looks like a bike or something like that. But obviously, it’s not that. The range of motion or some of that, this is way more anatomically correct than the CPM.
But they’re very timid sometimes. I mean, when you finally get them to sit down, and start their treatment session, they’re normally very tensed. They’re grabbing the chair. They’re like, I know this is going to hurt. And again, that goes back to the topic when we’re hiring. We have to understand that. We have to understand that this is something completely taboo to them, and moving that knee is the last thing they really want to do right now.
So, we kind of talk them through it. We just basically say, give us 60 to 90 seconds. I swear you’re going to feel so much better. And then just kind of engage them in a conversation. And then all of a sudden, they’re three minutes in, and they had no idea that it’s feeling so much better.
So, their initial reaction is kind of what is this, doesn’t look like something that’s going to make me feel better. But again, like I said earlier, but when we pick it up, they just don’t want to see it go.
Toree: Yeah. I bet it’s fun to kind of watch them go. Not that it’s fun to see the patients be afraid, but to watch the white knuckle, like immediately go away.
Josh: Yeah, I’ll make jokes. Like if they’re grabbing the chair, I’m like, you might want to release that tension, because you’re going to dislocate your elbow. And they’re like, I know, I just don’t know. Does that hurt? I’m like, just take a couple of deep breaths. And literally, within 60 seconds to 90 seconds, they’re like, this is amazing.
Josh’s Favorite Patient
Toree: That’s great. That’s so awesome. So, do you have a favorite patient story?
Josh: I have one. This is back in, gosh, probably like June. I delivered the PortableConnect to like a 69-year old gentleman who is an avid tennis player. He loves tennis. Every time I did my follow-ups with him, tennis was on TV. He’s like, I heard that this is going to help me recover faster. I need to get back to playing tennis. All my buddies were in a tennis league, and I got to get back because I play doubles. He’s just going on and on about tennis.
I showed up to pick it up, and I opened the door, and he has a tennis racket in his hand. And he’s like, “Josh, look what I can do.” And he’s like stepping forward, and doing a backhand, and he’s stepping forward, doing a forehand. He’s backing up, and showing how he can do this. And he’s like, I’m strong. I can straighten my legs. I can do this. He’s like, I think I can go play tennis now. And I’m like, no, we have to crawl before we can walk, but it was astonishing to see, because he was, again, one of those patients that was very unsure about this, but was willing to give it a try.
And I think he’s one of my patients that was the most compliant. I think he only missed eight or nine sessions out of the 91 that he had to do in 21 days. And it just shows that compliance with this is everything. We tell them we want them to do five sessions a day, but if you can be 80% compliant, which is four out of five. Now, we’re patients being able to walk with minimal assistance between 16 to 18 days, which is unheard of. It’s amazing.
And he was so happy and smiling. Would you like a glass of water before you leave? I’m like, I appreciate that, but no. So, he was one of my favorites, because he would call, he would text me, and give me feedback. And this was before we’re really with our customer service. They were still reaching out to myself with anything that they needed. And he was, “Hey, I had a great day, I did five.” He was an amazing man. So, yeah, I was just afraid he’s going to hit me with that racket.
Toree: Well, that makes my heart so happy that he was able to get back to what it was that he loves to do.
Josh: Yeah, he was super excited.
Challenges of Being a Field Clinician
Toree: Now, favorite patients’ stories are one thing, but what are the challenges that you would tend to run into in the field?
Josh: Well, obviously with us being startup and fairly new, it is keeping up with the growth of what our amazing sales staff is doing. Growth is obviously fantastic. But on a day-to-day, it’s trying to figure out who’s going to go where, and how fast can I get them there. So, we have an amazing team of travelers, as well as local clinicians that will also step up to the plate, and say, “Hey, I can go there and do that.” I’ll go step up and do that. I’ll go do that delivery. I’ll fly here just to do that for you.
But yeah, we’re growing so quickly, and we have so many physicians that want this in their sites and in their cities. And it’s my responsibility, as well as my seniors, to figure out how we’re going to move people around. But I have someone always steps up to the plate here, always. I’m stressed about it, but I’m never like going to say, okay, I can’t get anybody there. There’s always someone that steps up, and says, “Josh, I’ll do it.”
I would say that’s the biggest challenge, is keeping up with the demand, the demand of the physicians that want those.
Toree: And that’s a great problem to have.
Josh: A fantastic problem to have. It’s an amazing problem to have, because the PortableConnect is lifechanging for these patients.
The Best Part of the Job
Toree: Yeah, absolutely. Now, we’ve got a couple more questions, but I know that we still have favorite part of your job.
Josh: My favorite part of my job, I love being with the patient, being out and doing the delivery is where – I just love being with the patient. I love being there. I love listening to them, and showing them our product.
And then 1B is working with my team. Like I said, we have an amazing team, whether it’s from our C-levels with Peter and Steve, and working with customer service. We all just seem to work together. We grind up for days. It’s always positivity and we know we can do it. We have a big laugh at the day if something didn’t go right that day, but it’s just something that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love being with patients, and the product speak for itself, so it kind of makes my job a lot easier, and makes me a lot happier. I mean, it’s just a fun place to be. It’s a lifechanging opportunity that ROMTech gave me last year.
Toree: Yeah, you’re definitely a people person. And in case you guys weren’t aware, Josh is the kind of person that we’re surrounded with here at ROMTech in every department. And I’ve worked in a couple different departments here with this company. And it seems seem like every time I turn around, it’s just another barrel of really good apples. So, I love that about ROMTech here.
So, this one was kind of a part two, I guess. Is favorite part, and then how do you stay motivated and driven in your job?
Josh: It’s not hard. I mean, ROMTech, I live, breathe, and eat it. I mean, I want to see this company succeed. I want to be a part of that. I want to continue to see us grow, and I want to continue to see the product help more than a thousand. I want to see millions and millions of it.
Every day is different here. There’s changes. There’s things that we have to grow around, and that’s what I love. It motivates me to be a better clinician, be a better manager. Like I said, having a great support staff when I may not understand or know how to do something, I know that I can reach out to somebody, and they will give me the time that I need. So, just seeing this through and watching the product grow and get better, and getting all over the country, more than just where we are, nationwide.
Toree: Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you. Well, I think that’s it that we’ve got for questions. We did have Britney Brown ask who your favorite field clinician was, but she was just kidding.
Josh: You’re all my favorite, Britney. I don’t have a favorite.
Toree: Smart answer. We still have to come back to work tomorrow.
Josh: I coach two teams, and they all want to say, who’s your favorite player.
Toree: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and the patients are favorite and everyone that I work with is a favorite for sure. Including you, Josh. You’ve been so much fun to talk with. Thank you so much for answering all of our questions, and giving us a better insight into the fields.
So, thank you guys so much for taking the time to watch us here. Be sure to subscribe to our channels on YouTube. Follow us on Facebook, on Instagram, Twitter. We’ll be doing one of these every Thursday night, and we hope to see you guys next time.
Josh: Thank you.
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Great episode. Keep it up!