You can change the world!
Then you are already in a good position, by being a physiotherapist.
With the global pain and health epidemic raging, we are in the best place to help people in pain and disability.
We have enough time per session, a lot more than doctors or surgeons.
We are allowed to touch people, unlike psychologists or psychiatrists.
Change comes from within, so if we can influence our patients so that they feel the need to change their unhealthy behaviours, than we can help them better with losing weight, exercise and becoming a more healthy person from a hollistic point of view. This includes nutrition, activity, sleep, stress management, social components, psychology, etc.
The only problem is: we are not yet equipped for this task.
We have been taught at physio school to massage, to use electric stimulation, ultrasound, etc.
We have not been taught (properly) about:
-How to educate a patient about their pain
-How to communicate properly (Of course, we all can communicate, but communication is very complex. To do it properly, we need more training/skills)
-How to prescribe exercises
-Have a basic understanding about nutrition, sleep hygiene, stress management, psychology (and when your are not equipped and need to refer)
-How to impove therapeutic alliance
-How to apply the biopsychosocial model into clinical practice
-A more general and hollistic view about what health is and how to promote health
So the physiotherapy profession has to change.
You can be the change, by changing yourself.
Improving yourself, as a human being.
-By being critical of yourself and see how you can be better.
You can do this by recording yourself during a patient interview/encounter and evaluate how you did. Focus on your communication, like body language, tone, impact of your words on your patient, how you interact with your patient, how did it make him/her feel what you did, etc.
-By educating yourself every day.
You can do this by reading self improvement books. Watching Youtube video’s on this topic.
Going to courses regularly. Setting up monthly group sessions with like minded collegues and discuss patients. Learning from the lectures and online courses on www.trustme-ed.com:
the “Netflix for Physiotherapists”
-By being curious and ask questions like:
Why am I doing this treatment for this patient now?
Is there a better treatment?
What can I do better?
How can I become a better person?
How can I communicate better with this difficult patient?
How can i be better in control of my thoughts and emotions?
This have been the background picture of the Trust me, I'm a Physiotherapist Facebook page since I started it, 6 years ago and I still very much believe in this. You can create whatever you want. :)
Become a better clinician for yourself... and for your patients.
Strive for excellence.