Dear PT Students,
As a new grad, I was struggling with a patient and voiced my frustrations to a co-worker. She listened to me and then asked me the following three questions:
1. Are you using all the resources you have to help this patient?
2. Are you trying your absolute best?
3. Will you keep trying?
My answer to all three questions was “yes”, but this did nothing to calm the frustrations. And then she looked at me and gave me the one piece of advice that I still carry today:
“You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep getting better.”
Perfection is unrealistic. While we all want to be perfect, chasing perfection is bound to leave us feeling like we aren’t good enough, as it did for me with my patient.
Chasing improvement is where growth replaces the fear of failure. So, whether a difficult course, a tough patient case, or an experience that scares you, focus on getting better. And ask yourself:
Am I using all my resources, am I trying my...
At my work, a texting system is the main communication between the front desk and the therapists. When a patient arrives, we get a text or if there is a walk-in evaluation we will get a text. Sometimes a text will simply be an update or a question, but for the most part, it alerts us that a patient has arrived.
So, at 7:56 am my phone vibrates. I take it out and my 8 am patient is here. This continues one after another after another. Your patient is here. Your patient is here. Your patient is here. At 11:27 am, I feel the vibration and instead of “your patient is here” it reads “we need more clipboards if anyone has any.” I’m met with a sigh of relief. It isn’t my 11:30 patient. I have a minute to myself. The relief I feel is significant. I shouldn’t be this excited that the front desk needs clipboards, but I am. It is a break in the monotony.
The morning, the day, actually the...
We saw a lot of patients, worked long hours, and had lots of documentation. The patients were a garden variety of outpatient orthopaedic patients -- not necessarily my ideal patient type. But I LOVED my job. It was fun to go to work. I remember saying “I could dig a ditch with these people and enjoy it.”
Thinking of memories like this got me considering, “Is it possible to love your job and not like the people you work with?” I think the answer certainly depends on the person. I would say in general, if you don’t like the people you are working with, you will have an uphill battle enjoying your job. If you don’t like the people you are working with, every other aspect of the job must be perfect. Even then, I don’t really think you can LOVE your job.
I believe for most people that what you are doing as a job pales in comparison to who you are working with.
Does your work family have the following?
1) You Develop Meaningful Friendships...
One of my best friends is a computer programmer. We have worked on several projects together and have designed some really useful software (if I do say so myself). I would always ask him, “Can you program it to____________ (fill in the blank)?” His response was, “Sure! Given enough time and money.”
That is when he introduced me to the Good, Fast, Cheap triangle. With any project it can be high quality (good), done quickly (fast), or not very expensive (cheap).
You can only have two exist at a time. It can either be done really fast and cheap, but the quality won’t be very good. Or it can be done well and quickly, but that is going to be expensive.
You get the point. That is why his answer to “Can you program it to ____?” was always "Yes, given enough time and money."
Many of us dream about the perfect job... great hours, incredible pay, doing exactly what we want. While I am a believer that you can strike professional gold, many...
Dear PT Students,
You know how when you’re a kid all you want is to be an adult? And then you get to be an adult and you’re like why did I wish away my childhood?
I think being a PT student is the same thing. But, being a STUDENT is a superpower that I hope you don’t wish away.
Trust me, I don’t want to go back to test, practicals, or working for free… but here are the reason why being a student is actually great:
1. PTs genuinely want to help you- Just like how adults want to help children, experienced PTs want to help students.
2. You’re not expected to have the answers- Yes you are challenged to know the answers, but this is a time to mess up and learn from mistakes.
3. You have time to experiment- You don’t need to know what you want to do for your career and if you don’t know, you are more likely to try new things.
4. Your classmates are awesome- After school, you have to work really hard to seek out others trying to learn like you...
When it came to deciding on which residency to attend, I took tours and sat in interview after interview. Sometimes it felt like I was comparing the exact same program only in different locations and other times it felt like the variations made them impossible to compare. I also questioned whether the interviews and tours accurately represented the program or if I was only getting to see what they wanted me to see. At the time, I had no idea how to use the experience to help me determine what was the right choice for me.
Whether this is your first PT job or your next job, finding the right fit and deciding whether or not to take a job can leave you full of uncertainty. We all experience the doubt and hesitation that comes with wanting to make the right choice. So, how do we choose? Part of it comes from gathering the right information during the application process and part of it comes from understanding what is important to you. There are 5 main...
“On a scale from 1 to 10, how lucky do you think you are?”
This was one of the questions on a job application I filled out years ago. I remember reading it the first time and feeling very weird trying to answer it. I believe in luck, but I don’t believe in all of someone’s successes being the result of that luck.
Many people living their ideal career and doing what they love are quick to attribute that success to hard work, but also being in the right place at the right time. But, it isn’t that simple. When you dig deeper into their stories it is not just the result of happenstance.
I know someone that does public speaking for a living. He notes that it all started when he led a discussion at his small alma mater. He says that by luck someone from a larger university attended and was impressed. One thing led to another and now he speaks at conferences, universities and companies for a living. It’s his dream and...
I was feeling stressed and hating the process. As a result, Phil sent me a quote that changed his perspective. He told me to read it so it could change mine too….
"...fulfilling their role and serving the needs of others is part of the process. It's a positive thing tomorrow even if it is a pain now. It's these findings that have inspired me to view my obligations in life differently. I have learned to adjust my attitude about things I have to do, to complain less and realize that what I have to do is a blessing. I learned that when you have the opportunity to serve, you don't complain about the effort involved."
That’s the quote. And if I’m honest, I did not find inspiration. I was annoyed by the quote. Nothing about what I was doing felt like a blessing. I wanted to complain about how much work I had to do, about how unprepared I was, and how I wish I could have just sat on the couch and...