When Will I Know What I'm Doing

Dear PT Students,

Have you ever seen an amazing public speaker and just thought about how incredibly talented they were?

As I started the process of becoming better at public speaking, I was always in awe of the people that just had such a natural ability for it.  They moved intentionally, spoke smoothly and had a presence that could not be ignored.

The admiration mixed with intimidation I had for public speakers was the same admiration and intimidation I felt as a student and as a new grad when I was with awesome clinicians.

But the farther I got into public speaking, the more it became apparent that it wasn’t all talent.  In fact so much of what each engaging speaker did was something that could be learned.  How to move on stage, how to manipulate tone, and timing were all things that could be taught and practiced.  It wasn’t talent, it was training.

The same is true for the clinicians you admire.  They studied, they practiced, and they got...

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Small Steps Over Huge Leaps

dear pt students Mar 26, 2021

Dear PT Students,

 

I was guilty of this (and still am).  I think many students and graduates think like this.

 

We look at where we want to go and how far we are from where we want to be.

 

We see these HUGE gaps.  We feel like we may never get there.  But most of all, we ignore how effective small, consistent steps move us forward the most. It is the little things we do on a daily basis that add up quickly way more than the big accomplishments that only come by once in a while.

 

I remember hearing that if you are struggling in any area of life it can usually be traced back to consistency.


For school we need consistency with reading, studying, and practicing.  In relationships we need consistency with communication, engagement, and demonstrating we care.  With physical goals, we need consistency with healthy eating, activity, and sleep. 

 

So, what small step can you take today and tomorrow?

 

Break Barriers,


Jenna and...

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It Doesn't Matter If You Are a Clear Favorite or a Cinderella Story. Anything Can Happen.

Dear PT Students,

 

It took me 26 minutes to fill out my March Madness bracket  (Illinois is going to win in case you were wondering).  

 

It is always hard to predict.  Anything can happen in March and you can look at what a team did during the season, but that doesn’t always translate to success in the tournament.  Over the next few weeks we will see upsets, surprising outcomes, and some expected ones.

 

Number one seeds can fall in the first round and eight seeds in the final four.  I think this is the perfect analogy for PT school.  Once you graduate, once you prove you know enough everyone has a shot at success.  Some will see it immediately, some will see it down the road, but don’t think how well you did in PT school predicts it at all.

 

4.0 students may struggle (and that’s okay) and 3.0s may thrive immediately.  Once you graduate, don’t worry about what it took to get there. ...

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What Do You Do When Fear Is Holding You Back In Your PT Career?

 
Many of us get stuck because of fear.  Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or just fear causing hesitation can hold us back.  Moving forward is easier said than done, so what tangible things can we do to get us unstuck?
 
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Time Heals All Doubts

career dear pt students Mar 12, 2021

Dear PT Students,

 

“I don’t know the sport that well” 

“I don’t know any of the players and they don’t know me”

“I’m a foot shorter than all of them”

“Will I know what to do?”

“What if I can’t help them get better?”

“What if I’m not as good as their last PT?”

 

These are all thoughts in my first few days as the team PT for a collegiate volleyball team.  I didn’t feel like I was good enough and I worried if I would ever be.

 

I remember feeling all those things, but the feelings themselves seem like they are from another life.  I may not catch every double hit, but I know the sport now.  I know the players and they know me.  I love being their PT and getting to work with them.  I’m still shorter, but it never mattered.

 

All these thoughts were insecurities that faded with experience and time.  When you go out...

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Maybe It Is About More Than PA...

career mindset Mar 08, 2021
 

We talked last week about the comparison between PA and PT, but it was incomplete.  We looked at what it meant on the surface without diving deeper into the true issue.  What things in PT make people want to go to another career like PA?  Why do PTs want to leave the profession they went to school for?

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Run Toward Something, Not Away From Something

Dear PT Students,

 

Run toward something, not away from something.

 

PT school can get old.  You’re not making money, you can’t take vacations like your friends, and the work does not end.  It is only natural to WANT it to end.

 

I don’t know any PT student that wanted to stay a student forever.  Many are counting down the practicals, the exams, and the days until they finally sign DPT after their name.

 

But, focusing on PT school ending makes you miss some really great opportunities while you are there.  Rather than trying to get away from PT school, start looking toward life as a PT.  Don’t try to run away from PT school, think of it as moving toward PT status.

I know it is only a slight difference.  Yet, looking forward to starting life as a PT is more likely to get you to volunteer at the school clinic to get more reps, can result in studying MSK for your future patient and not just for a grade, or may...

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Why Do So Many PTs Say They Want to Switch to Being a PA?

career job Mar 01, 2021
 

PA is a great field and can be an amazing job, but it isn't physical therapy.  So, why are PTs always talking about switching?  It seems like every other week there is a discussion somewhere about how PA is the better choice. But besides both being in the medical field, are they that similar?  What do you think about this topic?

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If You Cannot get Buy In Then Knowledge and Skill Is Lost

Dear PT Students,

No one told me that it could be more effective to have multiple personalities when working with patients than it would be to have multiple treatment options. 

I do not mean that in a dysfunctional way, but rather in terms of relatability and communication.

When you finish PT school you want to know everything, take tons of continuing education, and have a million skills when it comes to treatment.  But all of that takes time, experience, and constant refinement.

There are an endless number of ways to get patients moving better and feeling better.  Yet if you cannot get buy in, then much of that knowledge and skill is lost.

Patient education is more than how you talk to patients and more than avoiding medical jargon.  It requires you to be the person your patient needs you to be.  Some patients will need to joke around, some will want to talk the entire session, some will need encouragement, some will need to be reigned in, some will want...

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What Is The One Thing Students Need to Hear?

development Feb 22, 2021
 

Being a student isn't easy.  You're constantly trying to prove yourself and are often surrounded by PTs that have a lot more experience.  No one has it all figured out and students, you don't need to either.

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