I got the opportunity to sit down with my husband (also my new co-host) and interview him, which was weird at first to be honest. Since I know him so well, I had to figure out how to ask him questions that would spark a good conversation and something of interest for our audience. A part from being an incredible husband, he is a physical therapist, traveling therapist at the moment, and my business partner here at Joy Energy Time. We totally hit some interesting topics- we covered his unique journey where he burned out and had a dramatically different experience compared to my story. We also covered the pros and cons of travel therapy, the dos and don’ts of interviewing, how to suspect potential burnout when interviewing, how to build strong patient rapport, what it’s like being married to me AND being my business partner (his advice is hysterical) and more. Here are three golden nuggets from our conversation:
1. DON’T SETTLE FOR A LIFE BECAUSE OTHERS ARE DOING IT.
Mike debated for years about making the move to start travel therapy. He didn’t feel in his gut the urge to buy a home and maintain a steady job. I wasn’t feeling it either. The thing that was holding us back was one overlooked element: comfort. Although there’s nothing wrong with that lifestyle I just described, it wasn’t for us. Put on your blinders, forget what everyone else is doing, and take that leap. The death of your dream life is comfort. We are happy to have done what we did and drive across the country and embark on our nomadic journey. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s what lights us up.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT BURNOUT IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE.
Mike describes his burnout as totally resulting from work inefficiencies. He shares how his prior (many years ago) work schedule was rigid. Mike felt as if his suggestions or opinions weren’t acknowledged at all. Mike’s actual treatments were dictated by the facility’s preference of treatments; therefore, Mike’s ability to exercise autonomy was severely limited, which resulted in him feeling a lack of respect for his clinical skills and knowledge he learned in school. Although Mike described that he was able to leave work at work, he still experienced the effects of burnout. Now he is a thriving physical therapist and found work environments that really supported him as person and clinician.
3. BUILDING PATIENT RAPPORT IS ALL ABOUT USING THE #1 TOOL.
We go to school to learn all the clinical skills, assessments, diagnoses, etc. But what is equally important is knowing how to use yourself and developing solid patient rapport. You don’t do this by showing off your skills, knowledge, and degrees. You don’t build a relationship with your patient by telling them all you know. You start building it by simply investing in that patient as a person. Really showing them that you are listening and actively working with them to make them better. Your #1 tool you’ll always have is yourself. Use yourself wisely to relate to your patients as people.