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Multiple Jobs, One Career

Published April 29, 2008 1:27 PM by Jason Marketti

Last year I worked three jobs. So far this year it has been only two, but I am working on my third and it is only the beginning of the year. Some may ask why I would want that many jobs in one year and why I would want to "job jump."

Let me explain. Last year I quit one job and took another so I could be closer to home with my family. I also worked per diem for another company, hence, three jobs last year. One might wonder why I don't stay at one place and be content. Why work with so many employers and why seek out even more?

The benefits of multiple jobs can be similar to having multiple degrees. With more education it gives a broader perspective and often a greater insight to situations that arise in life. If I have a greater knowledge with multiple employers I may be able to find systems that work more effectively and efficiently with less time expended on the task.

I can also learn from those who have a greater understanding in tasks that I have not done. I can then take those tasks and teach others in the many places that I work. Some of these tasks include a non-conventional approach to patient care like those listed below.

  1. Find a room that has low or no light available to it and have a patient find objects in the room such as books or clothes. The patient can use a flashlight if no light is available. This can simulate a home environment in which the power is out as well as spatial awareness and balance with patients. A list can also be given for the patient to find three things in a specific order around the room. This activity should be done with closer to normal supervision with higher level of activity patients.
  2. Water balloon toss. Not every patient will enjoy the possibility of getting a little wet but it can induce a lot of laughs and most patients will enjoy just being outside in good weather. If the patients do not want to toss them back and forth you can see how far they can throw them and have some competition between each of them. They can stand and throw or sit in a wheelchair and toss the balloons around. As a side note, when I worked in Palm Springs we threw them at other staff members; like I said not everyone enjoys getting wet.
  3. Badmitton. This is a hand-eye coordination activity as well as a balance challenge and an upper body range of motion challenge. The rackets are light weight and the "birdie" will not be injurious if it hits someone or something. Again, being outside will be beneficial for the patient and this can be done as a group activity.  I have also played volleyball using a beach ball and a long length of theraband as a net when the weather was rainy.
  4. Obstacle course. This is done in a non-traditional way across different terrains, up and down stairs, around and between chairs, desks, people, cars, etc. We have also rolled objects in the patients way as they were walking to simulate small pets as well as "accidentally" bumped the patient to simulate them being at a mall or grocery store with a lot of people around. Having them carry a bag or box can increase the challenge. Even those who require the use of an assistive device can carry a bag while trying to maintain balance in the parking lot walking between two cars parked close together, just like the real thing.
  5. Have the patients call the Bingo numbers or make announcements in the facility. This is great for those who have difficulty with memory, sequencing and speaking clearly. Of course some patients may not feel comfortable speaking to a large group so a group therapy activity with four patients of bingo may allow the patient to be more comfortable.

The list should not stop here though. I have had patients use the internet to look up information about their knee or hip surgery. Often this was their first exposure to the internet. It is not so much as about seeking outside-of-the-box thinking but more of using every opportunity and non-conventional approaches to better serve our patients and challenge them as well as ourselves to provide a variety of activity they will remember in their rehabilitation process. Often this type of thinking and doing will separate us from our competition in the field of restoring patients to their full recovery of activity.

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About this Blog


    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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