How to use your journal

Your journal helps you to think critically about what you do on a day-to-day basis as well as who you want to become as a physiotherapist. Below are ideas for things to include in your own journal. Take what is useful.

The ideas below are expanded upon in other pages.

Set your goals

What is the main thing you want to achieve in the next three months? Think of goals that will benefit now and in the future.

Then, break your goal into chunks by creating daily habits and practices. Suddenly, your goal looks like a sure thing.

Reflect

The core of your journal will be reflecting each day. How you reflect is up to you.

You might find it useful to develop questions that prompt you to think critically about the challenges you faced and how you could do better next time.

You can plan too. What do you hope to achieve to day? What tasks must you accomplish?

Professional Development (PD) Diary

Another idea is having a place where you can record your PD.

Not only is a diary helpful when you’re asked to submit your professional development hours to your regulatory body. But it keeps you accountable to your goals. Are you doing enough learning to become an expert in your chosen field?

‘This worked well’ section

You’ll have many successes with those you work with over the years. Be sure to note these down.

For example, you might find that patient’s continue to respond well to your explanation of non-specific lower back pain. Jot down your wording and refine it. Ask yourself, why does this phrasing work so well? Try to adopt a similar approach with other forms of diagnosis. Share your successes with your peers too.

You can do the same thing for effective protocols. This can serve as a reminder for when you face a similar injury in the future.

Resources

Use a section of your journal to store resources that you’ve stumbled upon or regularly refer to. This could be something like the ACI’s language to avoid and language to use when managing patient’s with lower back pain.

Language to avoidLanguage to use
It’s wear and tear Your scan changes are normal, like grey hair
Your back is weakYour back is one of the strongest structures in the body
Stop if you feel any painThe pain doesn’t mean damage. Your back is sensitive at the moment
Your back wears out as you get olderYour back gets stronger with movement

Author: Andrew Cammarano

Andy writes about anything that comes to mind. Oftentimes, he repeats himself. So, if you read a post and ask yourself, "I feel like I've read this before." Chances are you have. Apart from writing, he eats a diet high in peanut butter, he exercises (and suffers from a chafed butt from performing too many sit-ups in pursuit of a six-pack) and comes up with many fantastical ideas, like his peanut butter-based chafe cream. Reach out to him to share your opinions (or if you'd like to become his chafe cream business partner).

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