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Raising the Bar in Rehab

A Fresh Start

Published December 30, 2010 9:29 AM by

Well, it is finally the New Year. Many of us at work are changing to new floors, as the hospital allows us the opportunity to rotate to a different area each year. We are all starting (or finishing, for the motivated) our performance reviews and beginning to think of goals for next year.

I haven't thought of a good goal yet for myself, much less two or three goals. I was happy to have met my goals from last year and I want to write goals that are not only challenging, but also attainable.

Now, I have a lot of good ideas but many of them involve a lot of other factors that could become obstacles outside of my control. For example, I wish I was involved in more treatment sessions for cardiac patients with interventions including postural drainage, chest PT, percussions to release chest and lung congestion.

However, this practice is mostly completed by respiratory therapists at my hospital and would require a lot of collaboration to avoid duplication of services. Furthermore, this goal would also require some continuing education courses to review the skills needed. So, while the goal would result in advancing my skills for better patient care, there are probably too many extraneous variables to commit my performance to this one goal.

Now I am left with a few goals related to continuing mentorship of students and new employees, and one goal related to leading our documentation committee. There are many times during the year when a patient or conversation will trigger an idea. I usually jot it down and think of how I could develop these little ideas into a career development plan. It kind of amazes me sometimes how much thought I put into my job, how much effort I exert over the littlest details to make myself a better physical therapist.

What about you? How do you come up with your annual professional goals?


I am impressed with how much thought and effort you put into your goals.  I know for many people this is a "fluff" assignment and they don't take it seriously.   Kudos for seeing this as a professional growth opportunity.

You can view your chest PT goal from a different perspective.  What if you turn the obstacles into your goals.  Often times we fail to meet goals because we make them too general or we create goals that are really the end result of smaller, more detailed goals.  

For example, one goal could be to attend a chest PT continuing ed course this year.   Another goal could be to establish a mentoring relationship with the respiratory therapy department.  Perhaps you could arrange to meet with them one hour each week to become familiar with their systems so you can create a working knowledge that will assist in establishing the forum you'll need to have the collaboration necessary to avoid duplication of services when you are ready to implement your new found PT skills!

I have no doubt you'll find the right goals for your professional path!

Jane Goude December 30, 2010 8:05 PM

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