Peering Over the Cubicle Wall
I've been pretty busy at work as of late. Our company is expanding from just New York City to the entire state of New York by the end of next year. That's a lot of training and education to be done. It is also uncharted territory as we adapt our approach to different populations and demographics, while recruiting new providers to meet the needs of the local areas. I got distracted today though.
My cubicle is adjacent to the rehab department. I overheard a new PT being coached by a senior therapist. I remember those days with so much to learn, feeling overwhelmed by a new role, and wanting to do well. I also remember the days of being the senior therapist; guiding the new graduates through the induction process, helping them transition from theory into practice, and watching (and listening) as some realities of the working world began to settle in. It made me a bit nostalgic for a moment. I missed being part of that camaraderie.
In making the move to bring a PT perspective to public health endeavors, I had to leave a comfortable world behind. When I left that realm, in some ways I had to move on from a big part of my identity. Nurses seem to be respected as nurses even if they haven't touched a patient in years. PTs though have rarely moved beyond rehab manager or practice owner. We don't have many predecessors who have moved on to other aspects of health care. The rehab staff knows that I'm a PT, but there's a sense that I'm no longer a "real" PT once I've stopped direct patient care.
A nurse is always a nurse, even long after retirement. What about us? Are we still legit even if not actively practicing?