Every new year provides a fresh start and motivates us to adopt healthier habits. And while you might tend to focus on personal goals, what about adding some professional intentions to the mix? So, we’ve compiled a list of practical resolutions to help you put your best foot forward (both personally and professionally) in the coming year!
Focus on taking care of yourself.
As a rehab therapist, you are committed to improving patients’ lives. However, it’s also important that you also remember to take care of yourself—after all, no one can give from an empty bucket. Here are some healthy habits that will help you level-up your self-care:
1. Get moving.
Musculoskeletal professionals know the power of staying in motion. It can be easy to skip a workout here and there when you feel all of your energy should be going toward your job. But studies show that mental productivity is directly linked to physical activity—so if you want more energy at work, you need to prioritize exercise. Even simple changes like taking a short walk during your lunch break can have a big impact on your job performance and how you feel as a whole. (Psst: If you’re a clinic manager, why not try implementing a program that will get your employees moving, such as an annual company step challenge?)
2. Catch enough Zs.
Running on low sleep puts you on the fast track to burnout. Prioritize proper sleep by developing a nightly routine that helps you wind down, like taking a bath or reading a book for 20 minutes before bed. These regular habits will help your body prepare itself for sleep, ensuring you get the Zs you need to keep you energized during the day.
3. Use tools to help manage stress.
While no one can completely avoid stress altogether, digital tools—such as apps like Headspace and Calm—can help you manage life’s pressures a bit better. These tools can give you a practical plan of action for difficult situations and make a huge difference in how you respond to external stressors.
Promote a positive work environment.
A positive company culture fosters healthy, supportive, and meaningful professional relationships. When everyone in the clinic works together to create a supportive and happy environment, both the employees’ and the patients’ benefit. Here are some ways to boost the positivity in your workplace:
4. Celebrate wins.
Celebrating wins is a great way to give the workplace a boost of positivity. You can do this in many ways, like:
- Thanking an employee personally for all of their hard work;
- Giving them a shoutout during a team meeting;
- Comping a lunch;
- Throwing an office party; or even
- Giving out bonuses.
No matter how big or small, appreciation always goes a long way in helping create an environment in which folks enjoy working in.
5. Build stronger connections.
Humans need social support in their lives—and their professional lives are no exception. While it’s not realistic to think that all employees will be best friends, you should be able to trust and support each other. Build meaningful relationships in the new year by offering help, advice, and emotional support when the time is right.
6. Communicate openly—and often.
To prevent employee burnout, establish a culture built on respect, trust, and transparency. Open and honest communication can bring attention to issues that need to be addressed and present more opportunities for positive and meaningful conversations.
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Optimize your practice workflows.
Love it or hate it, a rehab therapy practice is a business at its core. While clinical operations like documentation and reporting can be a pain, you can take steps to make these processes easier and more efficient. Here are a few ideas to try out:
7. Get to know your EMR.
While this may take some effort upfront, educating yourself on the best ways to use your EMR can save you time and frustration in the long haul. Getting familiar with its fields and functions can lessen the amount of focus required to take notes, allowing you to focus more on your patients. Plus, many EMRs can be customized to fit your specific needs so that you can speed up your documentation while still collecting all of the data you need.
8. Consider time-saving solutions.
Administrative tasks can pile up over time, creating bottlenecks in your clinic’s workflows. Fortunately, technology has come a long way over the past few decades, introducing tools like online schedulers, electronic benefit verification systems, and digital patient intake software that can help maximize front-office operations—and dedicate more time to important matters, like patient care and experience.
9. Choose the right technology.
Pick a device that’s compatible with your EMR (and its add-ons) to make typing and navigation easy. If you’re a WebPT user, we suggest using a laptop, which will allow you to move around within your EMR and your clinic with ease. Using a device that can easily be transported makes point-of-care documentation a breeze and improves the quality of care given to patients.
So there you have it: Our top tips and tricks to help rehab therapists level up their practice in the new year. Do you have a suggestion for a great resolution? Leave it in the comment section down below—we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!