Recent Physiotherapy Graduates: Strategies for the Present and Future
Some recent physiotherapy graduates and current students feel a sense of stress that their career is in limbo right now. Rest assured, the feeling of anxiety and fear towards the future is normal. Give yourself time to process and examine these emotions you are experiencing. However, it is important not to dwell on these feelings. Instead, focus on the things that are within your control. Below are some strategies for what you can do starting today.
Information concerning the pandemic is abundant and overwhelming. It is critical that we look towards credible sources such as the government of Canada, and the World Health Organization for updates. For our profession, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the College of Physiotherapists, and the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators are great resources to refer to for webinars and online courses, as well as the latest updates on practice guidelines and licensing exams.
In times like this, taking care of yourself is essential. I always found that being healthy enabled me to better take care of others. This looks different for everybody. It could mean exercising, eating healthy, reading a book, discovering a new hobby, or practicing mindfulness. Finding the activity that works for you is key, and developing daily achievable routines is the next step. Creating a schedule mimics my work life, and checking tasks off as I complete them makes me feel accomplished! However, if you are also like me and find it difficult to motivate yourself to start an activity, consider reaching out to the people around you. There is strength in numbers.
Social distance does not mean social isolation. Calling, skyping, or using other online platforms allow us to stay connected. My friends and I schedule daily exercise group sessions, and monthly physiotherapy case discussions to keep each other motivated. Sometimes you just need that extra push! If you are among the recent physiotherapy graduates or a current student and you are uncertain about the future of the profession, check in with a mentor and get their stance on the situation. Similarly, you can also reach out to your mentees, to make sure they are doing alright. I’m sure they will appreciate the call. You can also join slack groups listed on the CPA to connect with other professionals.
How Recent Physiotherapy Graduates Can Look Ahead
The bottom line is that no one knows for certain how long this is going to last. Take this time to self-reflect. If you are a recent graduate, you can think about where you want to work or new ways to practice the profession. Sharpen your skills as a learner by taking courses on Embodia; some are now free of charge. Finally, think about the goals you have. Make them SMART, they can provide some guidance and motivation for the future.
Remember, you are not alone. Reach out, keep calm and stay safe everyone!
Lucy Liu, Registered Physiotherapist.