Evaluating Your Energy Level In OT
[00:00:43] Hey, Hey party people. I am currently hiding in my son's room. So that we can talk about how you can evaluate your energy level so you can move your career and your, and your life essentially forward. So if this is the first time you're seeing me, my name is Wong. I'm an occupational therapist, certified hand therapist, and I ran a poll the other day about who's draining your energy at work.
[00:01:10] So I help occupational therapists become. And therapists become certified hand therapist. And I'm just here to, you know, talk to you a little bit about what straining your energy, because I understand, like in the hand therapy space, it can be really competitive. And I think [00:01:30] it's a little bit more than just hand therapy.
[00:01:31] I think. Occupational therapists in general can have some of these issues, but since I help a hand therapist specifically, or people who want to get into hand therapy just want to go over a couple of things. So of your on here let me know, say hello. I was going to do this in our office, but that's okay.
[00:01:49] Sort of ran out of time. But I wanted to come on because I thought it was really interesting. I had about. Let's see, 42% of you guys voted that work was straining your energy. And 9% of you said the friends and family or draining your energy. And then 49% of you guys said that it's you like you feel burnt out.
[00:02:16] So, I wanted to come on and just really kind of address some of these areas so that I can give you essentially some questions and some strategies on what you potentially can do to really just get yourself out of that rut, because I think part of it is like, if you. If you can't control your energy or you're kind of feeling lost and burnt out, it's really hard to move forward as a therapist, right.
[00:02:42] It's really hard to move forward and to think about becoming a certified hand therapist and really just loving what you do. And we just spend way too much time doing what we do as therapists to like, feel really. And to not enjoy what we do. So [00:03:00] a really huge fan of enjoying what you do, becoming really good at what you do.
[00:03:06] So you just feel more like motivated and passionate so they can go hand in hand. It's not that you're passionate about something and then you can become really good about it, you know, with it. Sometimes you just have to do the work, have to put the work in to get that. And then from there, see how it really energizes you and gives you passion to do even more.
[00:03:31] Like we all started at some point at the beginning coming out of school, knowing absolutely nothing as an occupational therapist, trying to get into very specific jobs or into very specific areas. And then we had to build and build and build our skills. Right. So in order to build our skills. Just valuable to us and valuable to our family.
[00:03:54] It's just evaluate your energy aware to going. And how do you kind of keep some of that? So since 42% of you guys said it was work, that was draining your energy. I essentially wrote down three questions that you can keep in mind. Right? So I'm going to go through them one at a time. So if your work is draining your energy, Ask yourself.
[00:04:22] Do you like what you do, right. Do you like what you do? Like the actual, maybe not the actual [00:04:30] being an OT, but maybe your setting. Maybe yeah, you're setting like what you actually do on a day-to-day basis. I will tell you that. When I first came out of OT school because I I D I didn't love it.
[00:04:43] You know, I of like, I was like, oh shit, I just spent six years getting a master's degree. I'm like, I'm not sure I really love this profession. Shit. Just if you're there, I've been there, then there done that. Right. So just think about, do I really like what I do? And then the second question I would And for you to ask yourself is, do you like where you work?
[00:05:06] So for me, I didn't like where I worked. I liked the company I worked I like the hospital. I liked the people. I just, I wasn't sure about what if I liked what I did. And this is why the third question is really important. Do you feel like you are good at what you do and have you answered. Realistic, like, honestly, with yourself, do you feel like you're good at what you do?
[00:05:32] When you're first starting doing something, you feel that great, you don't feel really good doing what you're doing. Then circle back to that first question, which is, do you like what you do? And keep in mind if you're not really good at what you're doing, maybe that's the thing that causes you to not like what you're doing.
[00:05:53] So is it possible if you started to devolve your skills and got better at what you're doing as a therapist, as an [00:06:00] occupational therapist, as a hand therapist would you. Like more, what you did on the day-to-day basis. We're helpers where we want to help people. We want to make an impact in someone's life and we make an impact in someone's life when we get good at what we do.
[00:06:18] And then, because we get good at what we do. Funny enough, we start to like what we do. So, three years, four years in acute care. First year in skilled nursing, I was, I was fine with that. And then I went into acute care, you know, kind of fumbled around, did better starting to develop skills. And I did enjoy, I did like certain things spark care actually towards the end of it.
[00:06:42] I really, I got really good in acute care and I did enjoy it. I liked the fast pace. I like the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital of a busy nurses station of the, kind of. The crisis sometimes that happened the more. Kind of a severe case or an injury. Sometimes you get the most reward. But you get a very fast, I could talk about feedback loops, right?
[00:07:08] You get very quick feedback loops from acute care patients because you do something and you get immediate feedback that there is or results or that there's Improvement for the most part, there's a lot of, some kind of positive feedback that can come and sometimes you get really addicted to that positive, like fast, short feedback loops.[00:07:30]
[00:07:30] So I would, you know, I would ask these three questions. Do you like what you do to like where you work and do you feel like you're good at what you do? And then it's from those questions that can really help you in terms of how to protect your energy at work. Because if you're not that good at what you doing.
[00:07:51] One would take some classes you want, might want to join a mentorship program, take an online class, take a in-person class. Gotta be picky and choosy about some of the classes, especially online. Make it valuable to you. I don't always go with cheap. Sometimes those classes aren't as valuable, you know?
[00:08:10] So just kind of keep things in mind, like in terms of taking things that help you grow very specific skills. Right. And then think about where, you know, if you don't like where you work, sometimes that can be draining. I had one job. I only have one job. I was very, I'm very lucky. I recognize. Well, he had one job that I just didn't love where I worked.
[00:08:33] I love the setting. I really liked the people. I really liked the patients, the kind of patients I got, but I didn't love the company that I was working with. And that drained me. So I hated going to work when I got to work on Jordan because the patients made me feel good. I helped them. I was good at what I did.
[00:08:53] But I didn't, I didn't love going into work. And that was a big deal for me. So then you might have to make some changes about, [00:09:00] you know, what you need to do. Right? All right. So friends and family only 9% brave, 9% souls that came on and told me that those people are draining your energy and let's be.
[00:09:13] Thank you so much for voting that way, because it's hard to say it because those are the people that we love and we care about. But sometimes those are the people who like hurt us the most. I totally get it. On your side there sometimes friends and payments can really be draining. So. I'm going to give you an example sometimes when you're preparing for the exam, like if you are an occupational therapist and you have the years and the hours, and you're ready to sit for the exam sometimes telling them what you want to do.
[00:09:44] It can actually, you know, like their comments, their questions or their doubts or things that they say they don't, they don't even think anything of it. But sometimes those are the comments that kind of hurt the most, you know? So, I would ask you, you know, oh, it's another example would be, maybe you're telling them about some work, like having to do with work.
[00:10:10] And I would say, what are you telling them? Because if you. For example, one to become a certified hand therapist, but in one sentence, say you want to become a certified hand therapist and then make excuse after excuse after excuse after excuse to say like, [00:10:30] this is the reason why I can't do it. And then when someone says back to you, oh, for whatever reason that they doubt that you can do it, or maybe why, why bother, you know, kind of like statements that might be a little bit hurtful.
[00:10:43] I would say. Kind of be like, well, you know, what are you saying to people that can that can bring those kinds of comments forward? It's not to say that it's your fault. It's not, you know, just this. Sometimes you're not doing anything we're off and they just make comments. You know, I got some of those people but just something to keep in mind.
[00:11:03] Sometimes I, I don't share as much in detail sometimes I might not like if I say I want to do something, I might not share my doubts about something about it. Cause I don't want someone to make comments to hold me back. Especially when you're doing something big and brave deciding to study for this teach to Sam.
[00:11:22] You know, being bold and brave, just because it does take a lot of your time. It takes a lot of your commitment to study, to say no to things. So you can say yes to the exam. So you can say yes to, you know, getting the letters and advancing your career. I mean, to be honest, you take the exam you pass once you have it for the rest of your career.
[00:11:47] So if you're interested in. Advancing yourself in that way. You know, you want to sound confident, you want to make that commitment so that there's I [00:12:00] guess like no doubt from other people. So that they're not making offs like side comments that might sound like they're discouraging. So happened to me when I was thinking about taking the exam, I would tell people, cause you sort of get kind of excited, but you doubtful if it's possible.
[00:12:19] And then people would always make comments like, oh, you know, it's really hard. Oh, it's this and that. Oh, you have to study a lot, you know? And, or, you know, this happened with a supervisor or, you know, a therapist like he didn't pass. And so he had like little off comments. You know what, that weren't not very encouraging.
[00:12:40] And I looked up to him, you know, and I don't think he meant it in a bad way really, but he was projecting his own experience and feelings about it. So I would just say, you know, kind of be careful, especially when you're trying to do something big and brave and bold, like, you know, make a decision to sit, you know, and, and make a decision to study, to sit for the exam.
[00:13:04] Right. So if you're someone who's making a decision now and you want to not if you want, if you want to know what's available and you want to know You know, a program like the hand exam prep program can help you prepare for it. Definitely leave me, send me a message and we can, you know, we can talk about it and say like, are you ready for, and I'll ask you a few questions about it, because really you do want to make a commitment in [00:13:30] terms of time and in terms of a commitment, because once you start studying, just want to study and like do it, you know, don't drag it out, just okay.
[00:13:39] Right. All right. So, nine brave souls said that it was friends and family. All right. So it's me. I'm burnt out and that's why I have no energy. And that's 49% of you guys, 49% of you guys said that you're burnt out. So if you're burnt out, I have three questions, three burning questions that I have.
[00:14:06] And that is are you overwhelmed with what you're doing and where your skills need to be? Right. So. Are you overwhelmed with where you currently are working, but where you think your skills need to be, because there's a mismatch in where you are and where you want to be. And that gap is the overwhelmed gap.
[00:14:30] And sometimes when that gap is really huge, It can, it can drain your energy. It can really drain your energy. So for example, when you're first starting out in hand therapy and you don't know shit from shit, let's just be honest with each other. You aren't just faking it until you make it. It can be really overwhelming.
[00:14:51] Cause that learning gap is just so huge and. Can cause some burnout, unless you get [00:15:00] help, unless you get help and mentorship and someone who can help you think through stuff, help you go over cases so that you don't feel overwhelmed and alone. And that is one of the biggest ways that you can kind of like close that gap faster and faster by doing it with someone versus trying to do it alone.
[00:15:23] All right, because you want to conserve your energy so that you can continue to learn. But when that gap is really huge the burnout is very possible. All right. So another reason another question I would say, ask yourself about is, are you. Are you so good? Are you so good at what you do that you're just bored.
[00:15:52] Cause you can do what you're doing with your eyes close. Now I was in, you know, or in a skilled nursing facility kind of low level types of things and how was board? And so sometimes when you're bored, Or you feel like you're so good? I don't think I was so good that I to do my thing with my eyes closed, I was just bored with what I was doing and where I felt like I really wasn't improving my skills.
[00:16:24] And so if you're in a place of boredom that can cause burnout. And I [00:16:30] actually was talking to a new grad therapist. Who'd been out of school for a year. And she told me she was like, you know, kind of her situation, her work situation. And she was just like, I'm just so burnt out. Right. And one of the things I challenged her on was this question, are you bored?
[00:16:53] Because if you're not learning, you might be bored. We've been in school, right. We've been from. Elementary middle school, high school. And at some point we went to college and we went to graduate school and the whole time you're just from semester to semester. So you're constantly learning. You're constantly doing something new and then all of a sudden you get a job or adulting now, and we're doing the same shit over and over.
[00:17:23] So. Better so that we can be good at what we're doing, but because we're not getting that dopamine hit of something new all the time. And we're not challenged to learn something new. We could be bored and boredom can lead to burnout. Right? So number one is when your skills gap is too wide, too great.
[00:17:44] That to lead to. To burnout. The other thing, affiliates burnout is on the other end of the spectrum, which is boredom. I would say pretty much everything is on a bell curve. You're on one end or you're in the other. And you're going down into [00:18:00] that like downward slope. Right. So I would ask yourself these questions.
[00:18:06] This is, these are like you reevaluating, you know, your energy level and where you want to be. Right. All right. The last one. Which is really huge when it comes to it's you you're burnt-out so you have to be very honest with yourself with this one. Do you have any direction in your life or in your career?
[00:18:32] You have to be really honest with yourself because when, when you're, again, we've been in school, you were in school for a really long time. We're in school for a really long time. And we are always told from one class and next class where we're being directed, 100%, you go to graduate school. You're being told exactly what to do.
[00:18:57] You're being told exactly where to go and for how long. Right? So all of a sudden you come out of school and nobody is telling you what to do. You get to tell you. What to do. And so a lot of times what happens is, you know, we've been held accountable. We've been told to focus this whole time. All of a sudden, nobody is telling you what to do.
[00:19:24] You have to know what direction or what path you want to take your [00:19:30] career. And if you don't have. Could you just be working, going into this a little circle, not sure what to do and feeling burnt out because you have absolutely no direction. You're essentially driving in circle. You're lost. And now you're running out of gas.
[00:19:49] Right? Having an honest conversation with yourself. Do I have direction? So for somebody who let's say I've worked with people. And it has it. Doesn't always have to do it. How busy you are at work. Right. It really doesn't because I've worked with somebody that was so like super busy and then she was super slow as she was still burnt out.
[00:20:21] Right. I've seen that, heard that worked with it. It didn't matter if it was slow, it was busy. They were just burnt out. And I, if I looked at those three questions, one of the reasons why that person was burnt out is because they were just, they didn't know what the hell they wanted to do. Right. Just pick something and do it.
[00:20:42] But, but they're, they just didn't know. They're so indecisive about what to do because. You can, you can have that same person in that same role in the same busy-ness and like energy level through the roof. Oh my God. I [00:21:00] can't believe that I worked all day saw so many patients like it was go, go, go. And I can't believe I still have so much energy.
[00:21:08] Right. I was like, holy shit. You know, that's amazing why, because then bring it back to if you like what you do and you start to feel that you're really good at what you're doing. And you like where you were already boosts your low levels of energy. And the, the overwhelm cap it's there, there's a gap.
[00:21:28] There's always a cap. Always know that there should be a little gap between where you currently are and where you want to be. There should be a little gap, cause that's what drives you to want to do more. Right? That's what gives you that, like, you always want to have like a certain amount of ambition toward that, like being better honing your craft, however you want.
[00:21:50] But when you're not totally overwhelmed, but you're not bored and you have direction in your life. It's your gas tank will be soulful, right? You're like a hybrid car. Like I got so much energy and so much energy. I couldn't even do anything. I can, you know, I really want to be a hand therapist. I really wanna be a certified hand therapist and this where I see my career.
[00:22:18] And I know some of you guys might not have all the answers. But if you have an inkling Veeva inkling that you, you know, you want to do something just go for it, just go for it. [00:22:30] And I say that because there's a lot of people who tell me that they want to sit and become a certified hand therapist.
[00:22:36] And the problem is, is that they want to do, but they're so scared. They want to do it because, but they're overwhelmed with the amount of reading they have to do. They're overwhelmed with the amount of studying of them and on topic, you know, how are they going to do it alone? And I'm just here to tell you, you don't have to do it alone.
[00:22:56] Does not have to be overwhelming. And there are programs. It's just like the hand exam prep program that are out there to save you time to fill your energy cop to take the overwhelm out. So if you're interested in studying for the hand exam prep I mean, for the hand therapy exam, this November, you know, send me a message.
[00:23:21] We are. Six months away from November, and now is a great time to start studying. Like now is a great time, sorry to get serious about your study, right? And if you are thinking, I want to do it in may of 2023, I do have a lot of people in the program that started a year ago. Right a year, a year out from the may exam.
[00:23:51] And if you have any questions around that and how how it can help you potentially prepare for, to sit for the exam let's have a [00:24:00] conversation. You can, you can send me a message and let's get some direction in your life so that you can. You know, fill up your energy tank. Let's let's bridge that gap of overwhelm from where you are to where you want to be.
[00:24:18] Let's bridge that gap. So that it's possible for you to do everything that you said you want to do with. Draining you're like depleting yourself, completely. A lot of people talk about self care and they talk about going to get massages, going to get their nails done going on vacation. All those things are wonderful and they should be done because you enjoy them.
[00:24:41] Not necessarily because they're going to constantly fill your cup, you know? Those are just small little things that give you a little drops of, of energy. But they it's like, it's like a massage just going, enjoying a massage. But when you have true injury and true pain, I always say like, you want to get to the root cause of that, that pain so that you can enjoy your massage better.
[00:25:04] So if you're feeling burnt out and you're feeling like your energy is drained, let's get to the root cause of why that is draining your energy so that when you do go do these fun things, I go get a massage, go get your nails on, how are your girlfriends, you know, that kind of self, like you enjoy that so much more because your, your, your tank is full, you know, your [00:25:30] take is full.
[00:25:31] So, They like top off your gas. That's all I'm saying. Anyway. So those are the three major areas where people were telling me that they were feeling that their energy is being drained and you know, go back and listen to those questions. There's three questions with each one for the work it's do you like.
[00:25:53] Do you like what you do? Do you like where you work and do you feel like you are good at what you do? Those are the three questions. Component. And then the three questions for the it's. You you're burnt out, ask yourself and answer, honestly, are you overwhelmed with what you do and where your skills need to be?
[00:26:12] Because they don't match right now, the gap is too wide. Are you bored with what you're doing? That's a really good question to ask yourself two and three is, do you have any direction in your life and in your career? And so those things, honestly, and I would love love to hear your feedback. You can leave a comment in the comment section or you can send me a message in my damn.
[00:26:36] Alrighty. All perfect. I hope you enjoyed this conversation. I've had this conversation with my own team. So, I'm happy to be able to bring it to you just as if you were on my team as well. All right, so enjoy your nights and we'll talk again soon. Thanks. Bye.
[00:26:55] Become the critical thinker problem solver and [00:27:00] decision-maker so that you can help any patient that comes your way and skyrocket your career in hand therapy.