2 things to remember, and 1 to never forget.
Words by Sarah Yule
So, you’ve got a patient with ‘Kneeissorebutnobodycanfixit-itis’ ? That patient that you’ve tried every trick from your metaphorical treatment tool box with not much change? They’re doing their home program religiously, you’ve assessed and re-assessed and there’s been some change but nothing to write home about so to speak? Here are 2 things to absolutely remember and something to not forget with your patient/client interactions:
1) Remember: You are a resource!
Even if you can’t solve the problem(s) immediately, trialling different logical avenues can then be about ruling out what doesn’t work. So, if you are finding some frustration with not being able to solve every clinical case that walks through the door, try reframing it in this way. There will always be room for exponential growth both clinically and non-clinically, but at a minimum you have a 4 year degree (potentially with x-years of clinical experience) filled with knowledge awaiting its application. Don’t underestimate that you are a resource. Your client has come to you because you are the health professional on this subject matter, and at the very least, if not, you have the capability to help them source what they need. This may be referring to another discipline or in having a discussion with a colleague with more knowledge on the subject matter.
2) Remember: You aren’t going to solve everything!
Remember that the patients that leave you absolutely scratching your head are the ones that are going to excel your clinical skills… so you can dance with that silver lining. Utilize the knowledge of peers and mentors and discuss your clinical conundrums with colleagues, as this will do at least 1 of 2 things. Firstly, being able to be open with colleagues with what you do and don’t know, will open channels of communication and professional camaraderie. Acknowledging that your colleagues may have the capacity to assist with finding a solution will demonstrate you respect their opinion. Secondly, you may see things differently from a colleague. This is the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Embrace it.
3) Back yourself and focus on the positive!
Know what you know, and know it well. Remember, your client/patient has come to see you because you are the expert, so own it. Here, confidence in subject matter is not to be confused with being an introvert or an extrovert and your personality type. Confidence is being quietly assertive about how you frame your knowledge for you client. This will change over time and with practice and self reflection. Back yourself!
So, remember, you are a valuable resource, so have confidence and back yourself and learn from your experiences!
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