1. Professional Growth
It is incredible to realize how quickly time really does fly by! I was talking with a colleague recently and found it heard to believe that we've been in the profession as a Physical Therapist over 10 years now, and an Athletic Trainer for 15 years. The conversation came to the topic of professional development, and how as a clinician your practice develops, changes, and progresses over time.
Often I get students and New Grads who ask what they should learn first once they are out of school. It can be confusing for them since they have been so focused on building the didactic foundation within their entry-level program, have been studying hard to pass their National Board Exam, and have been exposed to various different treatment approaches during their clinical rotations.
In thinking about my own development and evolution there are a few things that I often suggest when asked the question of "Where should I begin with my continuing education?"
2. The Big Picture
How do we best manage patients? What is relevant and what isn't? Where do we start with a new patient? Do you approach your 20-something athlete different than you approach your sedentary middle-age patient and different than your elderly patient? Should there be similarity or difference between these 3 potential patient, and how much variability is really necessary?
These are many of the questions that are floating around in my head lately.
Some of these questions have been on-going for a while, as I am thinking about how to make change quickly and get patients out of pain, moving better, and into a fitness/wellness program as quickly (as safely) as possible. Over the last few years my attention has particularly focused on athletes, how to manage their acute injuries, rehab them quickly, and keep them training or playing at the same time. Certainly there are times where it isn't possible for them to keep playing due to an injury, but too often athletes and dancers are put on a full stop while they are in physical therapy. If you have an ankle injury, there are still plenty of things we can do in training to keep you progressing while we rehab the ankle.
Exposure to concepts in athlete monitoring has opened up another realm of thoughts. In the sports world we have the ability to gather all sorts of data on both individual athletes and teams which can be used to track injuries, adjust training to alter load, volume, or area of focus, and we can determine the state of the athlete. Are they rested, is the system under too much or too little stress? Are we getting the adaptation we are a going for through our training interventions?
My question then is can we, and why do we not, use these concepts with the general population? How many people are looking at the state of the system of that sedentary middle-aged patient or the elderly patient after joint replacement? Would knowing the state of the system, stress load, and response between sessions help to guide our dosing of exercise and interventions to allow for a quicker turn around?
This may be a huge over-generalization, but at the end of the day we are dealing with different versions of the same hardware & software. If the rules of the software are generally the same, (ie SAID principle, response to stress hormones, response to lack of appropriate rest & nutrition, response to impairments of mobility or stability) then it would seem that we are looking at the same variables at different performance levels, so shouldn't be able to apply these monitoring technologies & techniques to all of our patients and use them to optimize our treatment to get the optimal result in the quickest amount of time? Instead of just looking at pain, strength testing, and range of motion measures, perhaps we should include a look at things like the biochemistry of the system to get a look at the big picture?
Food for thought....
Athletes Physiotherapy - Las Vegas, NV
Thank you for stopping by the Athletes Physiotherapy Blog! Kristopher Bosch founded Athletes Physiotherapy in Las Vegas, NV. He is a Father, physical therapist, athletic trainer, pilates teacher, & perpetual student!
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