During this final week of my break between semesters, I have come to realize the appreciation of staff in our clinic as it relates to furthering education. As I enter the clinic on Wednesday morning to cover an aquatic therapist's schedule on Wednesday, I notice an "education meeting" on my schedule at 1 p.m. The plan is: Aquatic patients in the morning, lunch, "education meeting," manual lymphatic drainage patient at 2 p.m., followed by aquatic patients in the afternoon. Thankfully, a pelvic floor patient at 2:45 is covered by a colleague and best friend of mine. This certainly eases the afternoon.
Upon entering the "education meeting," I recognize that my classmates as well as an OT, PTA and another PT in school pursuing a higher education are all sitting around the conference room table. Meetings in this department are extremely laid-back usually, and today is no different. A relatively new hire (with his DPT) and our clinical manager start the discussion with a pow-wow to come up with ideas to get the rest of our colleagues on board to return to school. There is still resistance by some to return, but I hear many beginning to change the way they think. So the goal of this meeting is to come up with ideas to motivate others. At least that's what I thought.
Quickly the DPT who organized this meeting changes the subject, admitting that the real reason is not what was just discussed. Instead, his act of graciousness and appreciation becomes apparent as he admits the truth. A cake in the middle of the table reads, "Part-time students, full-time hard workers." The blender starts on the kitchen counter, preparing fruit smoothies. A coworker's children are visiting and they are instructed to pull names from a bag to raffle generous gifts to our group.
This mid-day event is to recognize the hard work and dedication that is associated with such a task, which is appreciated by others around us. What an amazing therapist to take the time, and out of the goodness of his heart, recognize our accomplishments. This is exactly what a PT needs as she starts her summer classes on May 2, after a three-week break that included reaching her goals of reading books, more tennis, senior prom, working through a difficult time with one of her children as well as starting a new relationship. As we sit at the conference room table, we reflect on everyday challenges at home and work, and support each other to continue to work hard for ourselves, our profession, and be role models for our children and peers.
Thank you to all my wonderful classmates, peers and especially William, who always shares his appreciation and graciousness with others! Bring on summer semester 2012!