Starting your first job as a PT or PTA can be very overwhelming, but it can also be even more exciting! Questions like what should you expect to do when starting your first job or how can you make a good first impression may cross your mind. Don’t worry, you have trained and been educated in your craft and now you’re ready to hit the ground running.
You’re a clinician now! You are responsible for the care and progress of every patient you treat, but you must realize that you are not expected to know it all. In fact, trying too hard to impress your superiors and co-workers by doing too much could get you into a pickle.
If this is your first job, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” or ask “what would you do in this situation?”. In healthcare professions you deal with people, specifically their health and lifestyle. For this reason you need to leave your pride at the door. Patients come to you as the professional, and at this point you have a good idea of what you’re talking about. However, I’ve experienced first hand how embarrassing it can be to have a patient recognize that I don’t know what I’m talking about while I pretend that I have the answer. Thoroughly confused yet? Stay with me!
Bottom line is your co-workers will trust you more with seeing patients and taking on a full case load if you are using every resource available, which includes asking questions, to deliver quality care to your patients.
Don’t be Superman (or Wonder Woman)
What I mean by this is simply don’t expect to be able to soak everything in that day.
These are a few ideas that I hope will help. However, there is much more out there that can be discussed, so don’t be afraid to ask us questions. We can help make the transition to your first job a little easier!