As we approach a new year, a Festivus miracle occurred ("Seinfeld" enthusiasts will understand this). I had an epiphany about how to be a better therapist in 2013. At first, it made about as much sense as a Chris Elliott book but as I began to unravel what I wanted to do, I made a vow to be a better person in the coming year.
I decided to learn one new skill a month. It will not necessarily have to be a therapy skill but one that will relate to some of the patients I see in the SNF. I made a list of skills I wanted to learn and before I knew it there were more than 20. As I pondered this list, I whittled it down to 12 skills that I thought would benefit me and help me better relate to the patients I see. I also wanted the skills to be things that I have no knowledge about, like crocheting. In addition, I wanted to learn these skills on my own with limited involvement of others. That way, I can make mistakes and correct them to improve on how I do things. I will seek guidance only when I can't figure out how to do something on my own.
Yes, I could learn all about the nervous system or relearn muscle origin and insertion or take multiple fall prevention courses, but to really improve my relationship with my patients I wanted to learn a skill they may have that I don't. I already have a vague knowledge of multiple skills unrelated to therapy that have helped me relate to many patients to get them motivated and moving to go home. The challenge I set for myself this coming year was to learn 12 brand new skills that I can also pass on to others as well as help me with patient care. It sounds simple enough and I'll keep you updated on my progress periodically throughout the year.