Top 5 Fridays: 5 Reasons Failure is Important
No one wants to fail, but it is important to do so in life an as clinicians.
1) It prevents apathy.
Nothing drove me more crazy when working as a new grad and student than apathy. There were clinicians who had been working for years that just handed their patients exercise cards, go back to their desks and gossip while their patients worked out with no supervision. I never wanted to be like that. They could care less whether or not their patients were getting better or not, if they were, it was the the clinician's success, if not, the patient was a malingerer. If you have compassion and want to be better, you will learn from your failures and strive to do better on similar cases in the future.
2) Failure keeps you humble
In health care and in life, being humble is a good quality. As a know it all, it is admittedly tough, but I always say I got married to stay humble and it worked! We have to realize we don't have all the answers and cannot help everyone. Learning to ask for help is a great quality and plenty of clinicians online are here to help! Yes, I ask others as well!
3) It makes you an effective communicator
What is our profession without compassionate interaction? Patient communication is at the heart of this. It's easy to interact with a patient you're hitting a home run with, but you still need to be there for patients in chronic pain, and patients who are not responding as well as you had hoped. What do you tell patients who are not responding? Better luck in the future? I've had patients get upset in the past after I told them I was referring them back to the doctor who could not help them in the first place, who sent them to me to get help. Have a plan B.
4) It makes you want to do better
When you reflect with yourself and your peers (forums/blogs/social media are great outlets) the outcomes of the case, you are gaining experience. What could I have done better? Ask someone online with a completely different skill set or specialty what they would have done. Asking someone with the same credentials and similar practice would not gain as much insight. There is a reason for the expression that we all learn from our mistakes.
5) It gets you out of your comfort zone
If all you did was get everyone better, there would be no reason to try anything different. Doing different assessments and treatments will help you learn how types of patients/conditions respond. My current approach is MDT/SFMA based assessments that rely on IASTM/JM to get them to do a MDT based HEP. I then work on a FMS based motor control HEP to get them back to better function and symmetry after the fire is out. Now that I am getting into PRI, I see it as a tertiary adjunct to two already very powerful systems. I am uncomfortable with it in assessment and treatment, as well as explanation, something I pride myself on being excellent at. However, this is good for me to learn a completely new system to help those that my other systems are not working with.
So there you go, it's good for you to fail every once in a while, just don't make it an epic fail. My mentor's Rule #1 - Don't Kill the patient!
I hope everyone had a great holiday yesterday in the US, and the rest of you have a wonderful weekend!