I think that we all feel as if we're stuck in the proverbial rut now and again. I remember school days, when the thought of new classes and new schedules made the first days of school so exciting! Watching youngsters board school buses and head off to see friends and meet this year's teachers always makes me a little nostalgic for those days when we took all of that for granted. I'm sure each of us can remember a teacher or two who really inspired us to try something new or to do something better than we had before.
As adults, we must seek out our own inspiration by finding new challenges, teachers, mentors and techniques to keep our therapy services fresh and exciting, because if we are feeling bored, chances are our patients are bored too! Last year I addressed how to avoid feeling bored (and boring your clients!) as an SLP here and here. Currently, I'm thinking of ways to be inspired and motivated that can lead to creating and discovering interesting, innovative, and helpful therapy sessions.
Attend a conference or a course. The August 20, 2012 edition of ADVANCE for SLPs contains a CEU directory, which is also available online. The ASHA Convention
is just around the corner, and will offer lectures, opportunities to network with other SLPs, and a huge vendor area with displays from hundreds of companies offering products, services, and employment opportunities! I'll be there!
- Want a smaller venue or can't travel to Atlanta? Try your state association's convention or one of ASHA's live web seminars. ADVANCE also offers webinars.
- Find a student to mentor by contacting local colleges and universities.
- Contact SLPs in your area or in your company and arrange a materials swap that will allow you try out some new books and resources before you purchase anything new.
- Arrange a local SLP meeting to share ideas and talk about treatment options.
- Audit a course at a local university or college on anything from anatomy and psychology to dysphagia and aphasia.
- Remember those days when you first graduated and had no library of materials built up? Try doing away with the therapy tools and books you use most often for a week and two, and challenge yourself to create new activities. It's easy to limit yourself to the same old books and exercises, but trying a different option for treating the same disorder can spark your imagination!
- Join an online community or discussion group or one of ASHA's Special Interest Divisions.