I enjoy studying, reading and learning about events outside of the therapy world. Because of this, I am better able to communicate and understand a great deal more about my patients. Sadly, state boards do not recognize this study in their CEU requirements. That is unfortunate.
There are patients who are art dealers, photographers, actors, etc. and if I can easily use their "language" to communicate with them and progress them toward their goals, our therapy department has achieved one side of success.
If we can better understand the patient's mindset, hobbies and life, we can better serve him inside and outside his environment. For me, the travels I have done and the education I have attained along the way have given me an edge in engaging patients in conversation. My limited command of foreign languages allows me rudimentary conversations and I get a big "E" for effort when trying to encourage participation from patients whose primary language is not English.
I have worked with librarians and discussed the Dewey decimal system. I have worked with secretaries and teachers who have arthritis in their hands partially from the hand-cranked mimeograph machines. Without experience and understanding of these systems, I may not have been successful in treating those patients. The same would go for those who have milked cows, rode horses or rebuilt engines for a living. So I will continue my pursuit of studies outside the field of therapy and then to satisfy the state boards, I will once again learn about falls, core strengthening and hip fractures. I will also still question why they don't recognize the other classes I have attended that are just as valuable in patient care.