I am just over 10 months out as a new grad physical therapist and I’ve learned a lot outside the normal avenues that we are taught in PT school (textbooks, articles, classroom). This blog post is not about any new techniques, the latest article I’ve read, or continuing education course that I have taken, but how to utilize technology/social to further yourself as a PT student, new graduate, or a seasoned clinician. Maybe I’m just late to the game and others have utilized social media and technology already and I’m just talking to a wall, but for the others, hopefully, this is beneficial.
1. First of all, if you haven’t already, I think you should join the Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Facebook group or Physical Therapy: Practice, Education, and Networking. I think this is where it all started for me seeing who the “game changers” are in PT who are trying to move our profession forward. I saw who had a good social media presence. I continually saw the same handful of clinicians post meaningful content, comment with constructive criticism, and had many people tag them in posts for their input. The key is they are CONSISTENT. After awhile I had started to follow these guys and gals on their business/personal FB pages along with twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and yes even Snapchat. I won’t throw out any names just yet. But go find PTs who interest you (neuro, ortho, acute, peds, entrepreneurs, private practice owners, etc), who are making an impact in our profession and see if you can learn a couple things from them. Anyone of them that I have reached out to has been very helpful and very responsive. I got a chance to meet the majority of those that I followed at this year’s CSM. They are just as friendly in person and are very real.
2. After following the people that interest you, you will learn that they have a lot to offer. Many have their own website and offer A LOT of great information that is FREE, and many offer even more valuable content for a cost. THIS is where the good PTs are separated by the great ones. Yeah, it’s cool to get the free information that everyone else has access to, but if you think the free information is great, imagine what those people are willing to offer when you pay for a product! They all might not offer CEUs, but it still offers VALUE. Those who are willing to invest in themselves will be the game changers in our career. I mean…. many of you spent 100k+ on your education. Is that where you stop investing in yourself outside of your minimum CEU credits every two years? Find out what your passion is and see who out there can help you with that to further your career.
3. Another way is to start listening to Podcasts. I didn’t even know what Podcasts really were until a little bit after graduation. So those who are lost like I was, the Google definition of a Podcast is “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.” Basically, someone or group of someones regularly puts out content where they are interviewing someone, or even just giving their own thoughts to whatever subject they offer and you can follow them on this app. I am ADDICTED to podcasts now. I don’t even know what the newest trends of music are because I listen to podcasts everywhere I go in the car. There is an abundance of PTs, fitness professionals, entrepreneurs, and people who work on personal development. I’ll also save the ones a follow for a future blog post. You can subscribe to the ones you like on your phone through your podcast app and they’ll send you the newest episode when it is released. ADVICE: For those of you with limited data, you can download them on wifi at home and play them after they’re downloaded.
The reason why I’ve written this blog is because I have been able to listen and virtually surround myself with some great PTs and even PT students. They’ve helped me level up as a clinician and person. Surround yourself around who you want to be like. If you can’t find that in person, you can do that online by getting the right mentorship, and just listening to wisdom from these podcasts. This is something that I wish I learned in PT school to grow outside of the didactic work. However, I am glad I figured this out early on in my career. Through these avenues, I’ve bought a course where I am not receiving CEUs for, Ebooks from experts in the field that I’m interested, and part of private paid FB groups to get more mentorship to get more one-on-one time with specific questions. I do not regret a dime spent, and would never have been able to do this without putting myself out there to reach out to certain professionals that are willing to help. We live in an age that can connect us all much easier than even a few years ago. Use that to your advantage.
Use technology and social media as a tool, not just for entertainment purposes to scroll through for hours wasting time.
*I’ve refrained from naming anybody (in this post) that I follow or podcasts that I listen to, to not bias anyone, in particular, to have you branch out on your own and see what’s out there.
**Sorry if I’ve kept this too vauge, but if you’re dying to know who has made an impact on me, you are more than welcome to reach out to me.