This edition of Travel Talk is delivered via California. Where our traveling SLP Melissa Jones, brings an optimistic perspective to dealing with adversity.
We have all had “those” weeks-weeks where we hate our mostly fun and rewarding jobs. Difficult patients, unappreciative client actions, and overbearing paperwork can all add up to a mess of situation. Speech therapy can be a difficult, frustrating, and thankless job sometimes! I love my job as a speech pathologist so much, frustrating weeks can get me feeling really down and I am ashamed to admit that I have thrown myself some pretty impressive pity parties.
In the midst of my most recent discouraging week (which I believe started with being told by a patient “I’m here for the important therapies!” Ouch.) I happened across a statement that really slapped me across the face:
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”
Whoa. This completely changed my outlook. The success of my day is not based on others’ responses to me, but in my interaction with others. This changes the criteria of a good day- from something out of my control to something within my control. I can’t control someones interaction with me, their attitude, or their response to therapy but I can certainly control myself, my responses, and how I do therapy.
As traveling therapists, oftentimes we are the seed planters; we only see people in a snapshot in the period of time during their recovery. We might never know if a patient was able to regain or gain their swallowing, speech, or mobility. This can be difficult because you may never get to see the fruits of your hard work. The thing is, and I remind myself of this often, that even though you might not get to see the end result, the important thing is that you keep investing in and loving your patients while giving them the “best you have”. Then, on those rare days that you get to see the harvest- when a patient finally gets what you have been working on, gives you a hug and says thank you, or gets to be discharged from therapy because they have met all their goals, it makes all the hard work, frustrating days, and thankless times worth it.