August’s Listen, Watch or Read Recommendations For Allied Health Professionals

This month I’m sharing three books that have helped me both personally to manage my time and negative self talk, and also help with mentoring.

I’ve picked the main points from each book in the hope they will encourage you to read them. 

When by Daniel Pink

In the context of managing rehabilitation, Daniel Pink’s book ‘When’ offers valuable insights that can significantly enhance the approach of the clinician. 

By understanding the importance of timing and synchronising actions with optimal moments, we can optimise rehabilitation outcomes. Here are six key learning points from ‘When’ that are particularly relevant to managing patients and also manage your own energy.

  1. Timing of treatment: The book highlights the importance of considering timing in patient home management. Understanding patients’ daily rhythms, energy levels, and preferences can help optimise rehab sessions and improve patient engagement and outcomes. 
  2. Breaks and pacing: Incorporating regular breaks during exercise sessions can help patients recharge and prevent fatigue or burnout. Pacing to align with patients’ energy levels can enhance their participation and overall progress.
  3. Beginnings and endings: The way treatment sessions start and end can significantly impact patients’ experience and motivation. Creating positive and encouraging beginnings and celebrating progress or achievements at the end can boost patient satisfaction and adherence to treatment plans.
  4. Personalised approach: Recognising that patients have different chronotypes or preferred times of day can help with treatment or exercise scheduling. Tailoring treatment sessions to align with patients’ energy peaks can enhance their engagement and optimise therapeutic interventions. Is your patient a lark or an owl?
  5. Decision-making and patient autonomy: Understanding the science of decision-making can help healthcare professionals empower patients in their treatment choices. Providing information, considering patients’ preferences, and involving them in decision-making can improve treatment compliance and satisfaction.
  6. Collaborative treatment planning: Applying the concept of synchronising teamwork and collaboration to patient care involves considering patients’ preferences, goals, and input in developing treatment plans. By involving patients as active participants in their own care, healthcare professionals can foster trust, motivation, and better treatment outcomes.

As health care clinicians, it is crucial to continually explore innovative approaches that align with current research and best practices to ensure the highest possible standards of care. This is a really interesting and useful book with some very insightful information based on evidence.

The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay-Stanier

In the book “The Advice Trap” by Michael Bungay Stanier, here are 6 main points that physiotherapists can take away to improve their practice and interactions with patients:

  1. Embrace curiosity: Instead of jumping to provide solutions or advice right away, foster a sense of curiosity. Ask open-ended questions to gain deeper insights into your patients’ concerns and goals.
  2. Listen actively: Practice active listening skills by fully engaging in conversations with your patients. Show empathy and validate their experiences, making them feel heard and understood.
  3. Hold back on advice: Avoid the temptation to constantly give advice. Instead, focus on creating an environment where patients can explore their own solutions and motivations.
  4. Offer coaching instead: Shift from being an advisor to becoming a coach for your patients. Guide them in uncovering their own insights and empower them to take ownership of their health and well-being.
  5. Use the AWE question: A powerful question to ask is “And what else?” This encourages patients to think beyond their initial response and consider alternative perspectives or possibilities.
  6. Establish accountability: Help your patients stay accountable for their actions and progress. Encourage them to set specific goals and regularly check in on their progress, providing support and guidance along the way.

By incorporating these principles into your practice, you can enhance the effectiveness of your interventions and build stronger therapeutic relationships with your patients.

What To Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter

For new graduate or anyone who struggles with a lack of self-worth and confidence, here are six main points from the book ‘What to Say When You Talk to Yourself’ by Shad Helmsetter that can greatly assist in building your confidence. 

These key takeaways will help you develop a positive mindset and enhance your professional journey. 

  1. Positive Self-Talk: Harness the power of positive self-talk and affirmations. By consciously replacing negative thoughts with constructive and optimistic statements, you can cultivate confidence and belief in your abilities as a physiotherapist. I call this having a 2-way conversation with yourself to avoid the negative slide of a 1-way conversation.
  2. Visualisation Techniques: Utilise visualisation techniques to vividly imagine yourself succeeding in various scenarios. Visualising positive outcomes will not only boost your confidence but also prepare you mentally for challenging situations you may encounter in your practice.
  3. Self-Image Reinforcement: Develop a strong and healthy self-image by consistently reinforcing positive attributes and accomplishments. Recognise your strengths, achievements, and progress as a physiotherapist, which will contribute to a confident attitude.
  4. Goal Setting: Set clear goals for your professional growth and establish a roadmap to achieve them. By breaking down larger objectives into smaller, attainable steps, you can maintain focus, measure progress, and continually fuel your confidence throughout your career.
  5. Embracing Mistakes and Learning: Embrace mistakes and view them as opportunities for growth and learning. Understand that setbacks are a natural part of any profession, including physiotherapy. By adopting a growth mindset, you can build resilience and maintain confidence even when faced with challenges.
  6. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences: Surround yourself with supportive and like-minded individuals who inspire and uplift you. Seek mentors, colleagues, or professional networks that foster a positive environment, provide guidance, and encourage personal development. 

By implementing these main points from ‘What to Say When You Talk to Yourself,’ you will be well on your way to building your confidence as a new graduate physiotherapist. Remember, confidence is a journey, and consciously practicing these principles will help you thrive in your professional life.

Where to from here for Thinking.Physio?

Skills practice and reflection will be the cornerstone of my training. I am available for both in person and limited Zoom PD for your group.

If you have a staff member who is struggles keeping new patients or confidently presenting treatment plans, you might be interested in one-on-one coaching for him/her. I take on a limited number of clients each year.

If you would like to engage me to work with your staff or coach a member of your team, click here so that you can schedule a time to discuss your specific training needs.

Contact me to find out when I will be in your city and available for LIVE professional development.

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