The Monday Memo
September 30, 2013 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Doing More: The Team Approach
Well, it’s Bucs Fever here in Pittsburgh, PA. The Pittsburgh Pirates have made it to postseason baseball for the first time in twenty seasons, and the city is beyond excited about it, for good reason. I, however, am not totally participating in this excitement, for I am stricken with another type of bug: Indians Fever.
Yes, my beloved hometown Cleveland Indians will be seeing postseason baseball this year too, and to say I am ecstatic would be a true understatement. Truth is, I have had physician diagnosed Indians Fever since childhood, and this ever-chronic condition has kept me living and dying at each twist and turn, no matter how bad they may be, for as many baseball seasons as I can remember.
All of that aside, there are some parallels that can be drawn between both of these clubs in the present day. A primary overarching theme that I see between the teams is that their winning was based on the squad functioning as a single unit. In the interviews following the final game of the season, each Indians player that spoke explained that the reason for their success was because of the cohesiveness of every member of the organization. Yes, each of them competed to the best of their ability, but their success lie in their capacity to work together as a unified whole. No one person was a star above the rest; they did the most in their respective roles so that others would benefit.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “That’s all well and good, Jeremy, but what does this have to do with doing more in my PT career?” This may come as no surprise, but doing the most that we can does not mean much if we are not working as a team player. From the physician to the physical therapist to the receptionist, the quality care of an individual depends on the coherence and function of the team as a whole. Though we may treat patients one-on-one, there is more to their rehabilitation than the interaction between therapist and patient.
We can see the significance of this concept in our careers as students as well. It is very easy to become walled off from classmates, with the bite of competition making us fearful that our peers will out-perform us. But, if we are to turn our focus towards quality care of the patient both in the present in the clinic and in the future as clinicians, working together holds the utmost importance. Our wish to be extraordinary in the practice of physical therapy thrives on each member of the physical therapy community functioning as a knowledgeable, well-informed practitioner. When we learn as a team, our abilities to treat as a team will grow, and will give us the power to do more when it is needed.
Just as my beloved Indians learned from and fought for each other throughout the perils of a baseball season, we as student physical therapists can maximize on this idea and continue to move forward with assistance from one another.
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