Starting Somewhere

It’s so easy to become judgmental and forget that we all had a beginning point in our careers.  It becomes so easy to forget all of our screw-ups and not so perfect evaluations and therapy sessions.   It’s so easy to forget those times that you thought you didn’t need an instrumental assessment because you already knew what was wrong with your patient.

Facebook groups have been a blessing for many and a source of frustration for many others.  Comments come off as snarky and know-it-all, even when that’s not the intention.  We often don’t want to hear about what we’re doing that wrong.

I often look back at my first Modified Barium Swallow Study.  It was embarrassing to think back to it now.  The radiologist was mean.  She did not want to be there with me.  I forgot to trial any compensatory strategies and then when I went to review the tape, realized that I never even recorded the study!!  Live and learn!  I definitely have improved since then.

It’s easy to forget those early sessions of sitting in the dining room, watching patients eat and giving them the same oral-motor exercises that every other dysphagia patient received.  You know, the exercises that incorporated repeating words with /k/ and /g/.  All those exercises and things that we’re told now are not therapy and do nothing to rehabilitate the swallow.

The important lesson in all of this is to learn and to keep an open mind.  When somebody offers you a critique, there may be something behind it.  If you listen, you never know what you might learn.  Don’t take every critique as negative.  Sometimes we all have a hard time writing responses.

I hate to admit it, but I still make mistakes.  In fact, I was recently revamping some of my company’s marketing materials.  I was in a hurry and when I proofed the postcards, didn’t realize a major mistake on them.   Do you see it??

Remember, keep an open mind to criticism.  Make it constructive and learn from it.  Nobody is perfect and we all had to start somewhere.  We have all had less-than-perfect sessions and we have all had evaluations that we would like to forget.  Don’t ever stop growing and learning!

2 thoughts on “Starting Somewhere

  1. Well said. I have to constantly remind myself when I receive constructive criticism to consider it with an open heart and mind. I think that those of us who are passionate in the field literally feel hurt when we receive feedback…and I think many of us are perfectionists at heart anyway! These are good words to remember!

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