Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Blog on Beginnings

So, I believe a simultaneous advantage and disadvantage of being an NP is the concept of a fresh start. Perhaps it's a byproduct of being a "not burnt out" PT. We are in a field with huge opportunities. The strength of our position is that each new thought, each emerging initiative is an invitation to recreate our careers. For me, PT nerd that I am, that's an exciting idea. I think I may be coming to the realization, though, that that ability to change paths might also be a contributor to physical therapy burn out.

We have these opportunities, we're exposed to these new ideas and we either incorporate some parts, ignore it all, or, potentially, change everything... So on some level, our choices become a) become insular, b) become flippant, or c) add something to an ever-shrinking plate. oy!~

So because this blog, admittedly, has become self-centered, what are my beginnings? What is out there to to be ignored, incorporated, or added? Clearly, the supervisor position I've talked about in the past is not working out. (Hurray! for a door closed :o) To begin or not begin: Last night I hosted/moderated a panel discussion on 'what's wrong with rehab..." The title was obviously a bit different but the objective was clear: Talk about the problems-> discuss what should be done. The panelists, all at once stimulating, challenging, and intimidating, spoke clearly on 3 themes:

Theme 1) The way we validate what we do, does not validate what we do.
Theme 2) The lack of validation, however unintentional, is jeopardizing everything we stand for, e.g. improvements in health, clinical consistency, and, well, beneficence (the idea we are good--in fact better--than substitutes).
Theme 3) Advocacy is our shot at redemption. And I chose the word redemption carefully. We went wrong. As a profession, yes, but within a flawed industry, emphatically yes, we went wrong. To not protest is to consent by acquiescence. The fight was never downhill, or really even level, but the longer the status quo holds, the steeper our path to correcting the wrongs.

The beginning I now face, once again, is the question of how to address a demonstrated need for change. I would like to build a resource center for patients and professionals who are not satisfied with the status quo. I want to empower people to identify the flaws, articulate the arguments, and champion the cause of process improvement in health care/rehabilitation. How do we tackle the huge problems as New Professionals? I know it's wrong to wait on others to take action! It's just so hard to take a breath and make the leap when we have soooooo many possible roads to travel.

I would like to end with a fantastic quote from Mark Twain that I worked into the panel: "All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems -- problems that are quite above the average citizen's reach. And that is not strange, since they are also above the reach of the ablest minds in the country; after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best."

word. Ben


  1. I got hooked on "not burnt out." I think if I keep stimulation in my work day, various tasks, I won't become burnt out. That will never prevent becoming jaded.... but mabye being jaded is just stubborn wisdom. Wisdom is good, right?

  2. I can definitely see a difference between stubborn wisdom and frustration. But I'm curious, how else would you differentiate "burnt out" versus "jaded"?

  3. Burnt out is short term, jaded happens long term :)

    I find it difficult not to be 'burnt out' after 3 months in a traveling position, but I'm usually pushing myself hard and I know I'm leaving, so it's unfair to compare that to a perm position.

    I think of 'jaded' as someone who's been at the same factory for 20 years and "can't" leave because they feel stuck and probably don't have the skills/qualifications to work someplace else. Then it's a J-O-B.

    I never want to have a J-O-B.