Congratulations to all fellow Year 2s-to-be out there on completing Week 1 of clinicals! Hope everybody’s having fun learning new things all the time! 2A is definitely different from 1A or 1B – more hands-on needed now! And some of us a starting to panic a little! But fret not all right!
Sometimes, marks are really not all that matters (although it does sound impractical and unrealistic in such a merit-based society). The things we learn outside of the classroom, beyond the stated objectives can all be jewels of knowledge and skills that can last us a lifetime! Look beyond the stated objectives in the logbook. Look around you! If you really are bored, start by observing people’s gait or even chatting with the aunty or uncle while he/she waits for the physio. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn from these little moments with the patients. It’s an important skill that takes time to acquire – communication. It’s not just about taking down history or subjective observation, more so, it’s also about really understanding the problem, their lifestyle etc. Physiotherapists strive to treat not the symptoms but the cause. To look at the problem as holistically as possible. And sometimes to do that, understanding your patients’ way of life and mindset is important. This is especially important when it comes to treating patients with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity (yes, physiotherapists have a part to play in this as well!) It’s more than just teaching exercises, strengthening weak muscles and bones, it’s also changing the way they thinking or used to do certain things and helping them to adjust or make a change towards a healthier active lifestyle!
Indeed, hard skills like ROM and MMT are important to build a strong foundation but soft skills are just as important, if not more. Skills of communication, understanding, care and compassion. They are what set us apart. They are what bring us further and make us better.