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3 Tips for Handling an Unfair and Unfriendly Surveyor (And Why It's Important!)

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Since most Joint Commission surveyors are older and more experienced than those they have paid to have them come out to do the physical inspection, its easy to feel intimidated and frustrated if you feel they are not being as friendly or as forgiving as you hoped they would be. Even if it’s not what we want, there will always be people who judge us before they know us. When working in any environment, it is inevitable that you will encounter some people who are rude and unkind. But even if you end up working with some unhelpful or toxic surveyors, you can still thrive by keeping your head up and being the best version of yourself in spite of their negativity. In this blog post, we’ll give you three tips for handling an unfair and unfriendly surveyor (and why it’s important!).

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Be Polite and Professional

Yes, this is important in any profession and on any job, but when dealing with an unfair or unfriendly surveyor, it is essential. Whether you think you’ve done something to deserve their unfriendly treatment or not, you must always be respectful and polite. Not only does this show the surveyor that you are prepared to do your job well, it also shows that you are someone who can be trusted and is easy to work with. This can go a long way in making your examination as smooth and painless as possible!

Don’t Take Things Personally-handling an unfair and unfriendly surveyor

No matter what, do not let the unfriendly words or actions of the surveyor (or anyone) get to you! Some surveyors may just not be accustomed to younger and/or less experienced physical therapists, or they may not realize how much stress the exam can be. Or, they may just be having a bad day and taking it out on you! Whatever the reason, do not take it personally!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you are unsure about anything from start to finish, don’t be afraid to ask the surveyor for clarification and/or help! Not only will this show them that you are serious about doing your job well, it will also make the experience a lot less stressful and overwhelming for you. And while some surveyors may be weary to help, most want to make sure that you are prepared and as comfortable as possible with the process so that you can do your best!

Learn From the Experience

Let’s say that your first encounter with an unfair and unfriendly surveyor goes as expected and you don’t get the results you wanted. First off, don’t get discouraged! Many therapists have had to encounter more than one unfair and unfriendly surveyor in their careers. If this happens to you, don’t dwell on it or let it get you down. Instead, think of it as a learning experience, and use it to better prepare for your next examination.


If you follow these tips, you will find that handling an unfair or unfriendly surveyor will be much easier. Remember that a surveyor’s job is to evaluate your skills and determine if you are qualified to do your job. The surveyor’s job isn’t to be your friend or to make you feel better about yourself.

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