I’ve read two different ideas about how to reflect on 2020 - the first I hated... and the second I loved.
The first idea said something like, if you didn’t hustle in 2020, you don’t have what it takes in you. It said that if you didn’t work harder than you ever have before then somehow you don’t have what it takes. I couldn’t disagree more. 2020 was a time for survival. A time where you constantly had to adjust and respond to things you never saw coming. When you are in survival mode, it is hard to “hustle” and hard to grow. So, don’t beat yourself up.
The second concept I think is great. In an email from Jon Acuff, he recommends grading the year on a curve. When a test was harder than anticipated and when the outcomes were skewed to one end, you often get a curve. 2020 gets a curve.
Maybe you didn’t start your own practice like you wanted, but you picked a...
I think at one point in time or another we are all looking to have that great career. It starts with a dream or maybe a plan in high school or college “to be something.” For most of us, that “something” was to be a physical therapist. Over the years, the meaning of “being a physical therapist” changes. Frequently it can change from a dream to boredom or worse change into a nightmare.
When we get out of school, many times PT is not what we thought it was going to be.
At some point we get disenchanted. We find ourselves saying things like:
Is this all there is?
I can’t see myself doing this the rest of my career
There has got to be more
I don’t want to be a PT anymore
We then look for a change. Change jobs, change cities, change careers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always help.
“Don’t get old,” she told me as she struggled to get out of the chair and grabbed onto my arm for balance.
First of all, she wasn’t old in my opinion. She was sixty-seven. But, that’s not what bothered me. I hear this said a lot during the day. So many patients want to blame their age for all of their physical difficulties. And I get that I’m not aging like they are yet and cannot truly understand their experience. Whether right or not, I still get frustrated.
Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and an overall neglect for her body may be more to blame than simply the passing of her sixty-seven years. Especially when she told me in the previous session that she only drinks diet coke and hasn’t drank water in fourteen years. She said it like it was some kind of accomplishment as if she beat the system. They say you need to drink 8 glasses of water, but I don’t...
“I guess I need to start my own practice,” Matt told me. He sounded completely defeated. He had just finished telling me how frustrated and bored he was at work. He wasn’t getting paid enough, his loans were growing rather than shrinking, and worst of all he felt like he was going through the motions at work.
I’ve had this same conversation with so many people over the years and I’ve said the same thing as Matt before.
Here’s the thing, you’re not alone if you’ve ever thought that starting your own practice is the only way out.
Maybe you’re bored and don’t want to keep doing the same thing day in and day out. Maybe you want more money, but the gradual incremental (and small) raises aren’t enough. Maybe you want more freedom in your schedule and you want to control your schedule rather than your schedule controlling every aspect of your life. Or maybe you dream of...
It is 8 am and my day is about to start. I’m well rested, I went for a run this morning and I just leisurely finished my cup of coffee. Life is good or it should be…
No matter how great of a morning I’m having, I still don’t want to start my day of patients. There’s nothing out of the ordinary on the schedule, no double bookings, no shortened appointments. But, while I’m well rested, I just don’t feel like I have the emotional energy.
I don’t feel like making small talk today. I’m not in the mood to listen to patient reports.
But, I go grab my 8 am from the waiting room and before she is even out of her chair she is telling me how much worse she is. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I don’t want to talk about symptoms until we are back at a table. Yet, she spends every single one of the 200 steps toward the treatment area telling me how bad she hurts. I...
Steve contacted the human resources director of a company because they had outpatient and inpatient PT jobs in multiple states. Unfortunately, after a few conversations, it was clear they didn’t have any opportunities in the areas he was interested. But the HR director referred him to the manager of an outpatient clinic for a different company in a different city and he was able to land his dream job.
Sarah interviewed with a hospital for an acute care position. Over the course of several conversations, she mentioned that she was also interested in women’s health. Rather than getting the inpatient job, the manager recommended her for a position that wasn’t even posted yet -- director of the new women’s health initiative at the hospital.
After talking with his mentors, Blaine secured an interview with an NFL team. He prepped extremely well but in the end didn’t get the job. Interestingly, several months later one of the strength...
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...