“How are the exercises going?” I asked. There was a pause and a break in eye contact and I knew what she was about to say.
“I really haven’t done them.”
“How come?” I replied trying not to seem too disappointed. I felt like the last session had gone really well and I was looking forward to following up with this patient all day.
She had started PT elsewhere and I was getting the chance to take over at the three month mark post SLAP repair. She played on an intramural volleyball team and coached youth softball, she was an active person. The last session we had eliminated the pinch she felt at end range and she left excited, hopeful, and determined. What happened in the days since I had seen her last? Where did that motivation go? Why hadn’t she done her exercises?
Determined to find out I started asking questions. Were they too hard? No. Too easy? No. Did they hurt? No. ...
After I went to my first Combined Sections Meeting for PT, I came home with twelve new t-shirts. I thought this was pretty awesome. I’ve been a sucker for a free t-shirt for as long as I can remember and I cavalierly stopped by any booth promising a free shirt. It didn’t matter what it was, I wanted it. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what half the t-shirts were advertising.
During the same time, I put my email in a drawing for free books. Turns out I got an email a few days later stating I won a stack of different books relating to physical therapy. I didn’t open a single one of those books for four years, but I did begrudgingly give away a few very worn t-shirts.
My point? Not all free things are created equal and in the past I’ve not always been good about discerning which is more meaningful. But I will say, until I cleaned out my closet last weekend… I had way too many...
Have you experienced it yet? That sinking feeling when you get back from CSM.
While I am at CSM I always feel so invigorated and excited about PT. Then you get back to the day to day grind of PT and all that passion and positivity seems to fade away. At least that is how I used to feel.
Why do we feel so good when we are there but that feeling never lasts as long as we would like?
I first thought it was because we were learning new things. It has been said that those who are continually learning have much more career happiness. But that can’t be all there is to it. If that were the case, watching online continuing education courses would be enough. Don't get me wrong, I get a lot out of online continuing education like MedBridge, but it does not fulfill one of our deepest needs --- community.
We were meant to be in community. We were not meant to do this PT career thing alone. What we do as PTs is hard. It is emotionally draining to listen to people tell you about all their...
I think the experience of stepping outside my comfort zone in my career can be best compared to riding the H2-Oh-No slide at the waterpark as a child. If the H2-Oh-No slide doesn’t ring a bell, I’m sure it will. It is the highest slide at the waterpark that drops straight down. If you ever went to a waterpark as a kid, you can picture it… and if not here is a picture (also it looks scarier in person, I promise):
So here’s a play by play of what it is like to experience the H2-Oh-No. You start talking about going on it for the first time with your friends (it took you an entire year longer to reach the minimum height requirement so they’ve all done it before).
But, you’re excited. You’re feeling so brave and you know that this is the year. THIS is your time to face your fears and drop 1000 ft at 100 mph (it's not that high or that fast, but that’s what it feels like).
The excitement is palpable. You take the...
I hesitate to even write this post. I am afraid it will be taken as boastful. I am also afraid that people won’t want to hear the point of the post. But I am going to do it anyway because I think this message is so essential for our careers. At least it was a turning point in mine.
It was 19 degrees with below zero windchill. Earlier in the day I had gotten windburn on my face from just walking around a bit. The kids and I were on the way home from basketball practice and there was a car pulled off the road with its hazards on. What a horrible night to be stranded!
So I rolled down my window and asked if they needed help -- a mom and her two kids had a flat tire. So I got out to help (they didn’t have gloves, coats and hats).
I didn’t do anything special. I just did what most people would have done. Interestingly enough, I hate working on cars. Even worse, I hate changing tires without the proper tools. Using the jack that comes with a car is an exercise in...
I was not a very good basketball player. I could shoot, pass, and dribble pretty well though. But, when I got the ball during the game and I was faced with those three options (shoot, pass, or dribble), I often panicked and chose the wrong one. Fundamentals and skills were not the problem, confidence was.
Six feet behind the arc? Seems like a good time to shoot. My teammate is double teamed and I’m open? I should definitely try to pass it to her. And my personal favorite, let me dribble into the corner until I’m surrounded by the other team.
I had almost forgotten that feeling of panic and uncertainty that came with playing basketball until I became a physical therapist. Let me tell you, PT was way worse. I now had WAY more than 3 options when it came to clinical decision-making and the fundamentals and skills weren’t as good as I wanted. My first three years as a PT were by far the most...