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Skills of being well ~ physio students

by | Jan 5, 2021 | Uncategorized

Skills of being well for physiotherapy students to carve out long, healthy careers

I was one once.

Faithfully turning up to (most) lectures and practicals, we were taught the how to be modern physiotherapists.

Physiotherapy is an incredible calling. In Seth Godin’s words, a caring. With it comes enormous opportunity and of course responsibility. We are arguably in the best position to help people shape positive futures. That to me is exciting and energising.

But looking back there was something missing.

There were no lectures on self-care. Arguably this is the most vital of topics. Society and the individual student invest much in the development and maturation of the therapist. They need to be nurtured and know how to nurture themselves to carve out a sustainable career.

We must care for the carers and teach them how to care for themselves

If universities were to make some space for this subject, what could be included?

Here are some ideas with brief thoughts and one or two gaps to fill.

Examples of skills of being well

Things we can do to build wellness…..

  • Clarify purpose(s)
    • the reason I get up each day is …..
    • the things I really care about are …..
    • I want to make a difference by …..
  • Strengths
    • the times that I am at my best are …..
    • the strengths I am using are …..
  • Picture(s) of success
    • the real results I want to achieve are …..
    • my future self looks like …..
  • Sleep
    • aiming for 8 hours a night
    • creating a bedtime routine
  • Self-compassion
    • Metta practice
  • Mindfulness
    • focused attention training
    • meditation
    • open awareness
  • Breathing
    • for health
    • for focus and presence
    • for calm and clarity
  • Communication skills
    • how can I become a self-encourager?
  • Decision-making
    • each decision that you make shapes your future; how can I make conscious choices?
    • conscious choices: aware of the pluses and minuses that always exists
  • Diet
    • a useful discussion about eating habits
    • tied to the positive future self: what eating choices would I make?
  • Exercise and movement
    • maybe not as obvious as one may think. Some come into physio with a background in exercise and S&C, but not all.
    • how much training is provided within the physiotherapy course?

You will notice that many if not all are the types of things we do with the people we help, support and encourage (aka patients).

I am sure others will have some further ideas.

Perhaps some courses have already started to incorporate such training. Do let me know.

When I run Pain Coaching 1:1, courses and workshops we always start with the person and their strengths. Knowing oneself is an on-going process, and vital for a coach or clinician. For how can you help another, which requires getting to know them, if you do not know yourself?

What do the current students think? Be great to hear.