It will come as no surprise to you that new Graduate Sports Therapists make mistakes.
We are all human after all?
But I am going to highlight to you some simple mistakes that are totally avoidable. They are formed from both personal and professional experiences, so that you don’t make the same mistakes!
All you have to do is read on…
Wouldn’t you like to iron out the creases before they trip you up in your first few years?
You can implement the following aspects to avoid any mistakes:
Don’t think that you can get everyone better instantly – When you first start out you may believe that you can resolves all patients’ injuries within your treatment session. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is not your treatment alone that is going to make your patient better. Once you realise that the patient is more complex than a damaged tissue, then you will start to understand how you can best improve the outcomes for the patient. You should consider the expectations of the patient, what do they want to achieve, can you educate them, adapt their loading appropriately, get them to perform exercise that will aid their recovery, empower them, and so on…
Don’t sell massive blocks of treatment – I have never treated anyone who I knew that 12 treatments would resolve their injury. Some have got better in 2 weeks, others in 8, so why would I sell them a block of treatment from the outset?! I wouldn’t. Based upon the previous point, you need to listen to your patient and individualise care towards the person standing (or maybe lying!) in front of you.
Don’t de-value your treatment… – I often see Sports Therapists providing massive discounts on their patient treatment appointments. Every time that you do this you are de-valuing your skills. You need to remember that you a specifically trained to deal with musculoskeletal injuries and therefore you need to have a price that reflects your knowledge, expertise and abilities. Over time I have increased my prices to reflect my availability and additional skills and knowledge... how many existing patients did I lose? None.
Your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) journey – this is one of the things that I found the hardest. Where to look from courses and conferences? What to attend? How to network to aid my development? Findings ways to complete your CPD can be time consuming. Make it your high performance habit to complete CPD each and every month so that you don’t get left behind. Practitioners who invest in themselves increase their knowledge, become more employable and take the hassle out of becoming a better practitioner.
Learn from others – find practitioners who will aid you in your journey. Picking the right practitioner/mentor can be a major boost for your career. Alternatively, picking the wrong practitioner/mentor can hold you back and limit your development. Search around, see who you would want to emulate and conducts themselves professionally - then contact them asking to shadow and spend time with them. Are you unable to think of a person who could do this for you? Contact me.
More knowledgeable, more employable.
Your expertise with patients needs to be valued.
Even the simplest of tissue injury, is part of a complex patient. Listen to your patient.
Continue to develop through CPD