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Raising the Bar in Rehab

Textbook or Experience?

Published July 15, 2010 9:49 AM by Lisa West

Yesterday was my one-year anniversary of full-time, PT employment. Fabulous! I have been a real career-woman for a whole year! Bring out the cake already. A minimum of 40 hours of work every week; waking up on time, paying bills and paying taxes. Ahh, adulthood.

Now, I won't use the word "reflected," but I recently looked back (nostalgically) and realized how much I have changed over the course of the last year. It's one of those things I have a hard time explaining to others. When my mom asks me, "How is work?" sometimes I can only tell her, "Well, I am better now than I used to be." As I have mentioned before, I really thought I knew a lot when I graduated. Not that I was naïve or ignorant, it was just a different stage of my career. It was new.

When I first started practicing, I was very methodical and very textbook. As I have gained more experiences over the past year I have grown into a much smoother practitioner. I'm able to adjust myself, my positioning and my reaction to patients much more easily. I feel comfortable mentoring others and I'm not afraid to answer, "I don't know" to a question. When I first graduated, I assumed I had to know everything. In real life, that isn't the case. I still consider myself a new graduate. I don't consider myself very experienced. Yet.

I guess we all make progress as therapists. We listen better, we communicate better and we engage more honestly; mostly because that is what our experiences taught us to do. What do you think? What experiences have added to your career as a therapist?

3 comments

Great post and also found it very reassuring. As they say, "If you're not growing, you're dying". Always be a sponge for new information, new technology, and your career and personal life will prosper!

Nathan

Corpus Christi, TX

Nathan Diaz, Healthcare - President August 17, 2010 6:21 PM
Corpus Christi TX

You reiterated one of the most valuable pieces of info I received as a student, "It's okay not to know it all."  As I was reading your post, I thought how reassuring it would be to many new therapists.  Preston confirmed that.  Thanks for being an encouraging voice!

Sounds like you are becoming an excellent clinician.  One of the neatest aspects is that you never "get" there...you will always be "becoming".

Congrats on a stellar first year!  

Janey Goude July 16, 2010 12:26 AM

Lisa,

Thanks for your post. As a current 2nd-year PT student, your words help calm my nerves a bit. I, too, feel like I need to "know everything", and often wonder how I will remember it all. I will keep your perspective as my own as I round out the end of my PT education and move into the clinic.

Thanks!

Preston Collins July 15, 2010 11:41 AM
Denver CO

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