I have always had a bit of an allergic reaction to things like “ice breakers,” “talking circles” and “mindful meditation” – an aversion I believe I share with others members of my profession.  RTs tend to be very task-oriented and no-nonsense kind of people who like to troubleshoot, fix and move on.  So many RTs – myself included – can get a bit glassy eyed when people use words like “reflective practice”.  But we are certainly hearing more and more about the benefits of healthcare professionals practicing reflectively, so perhaps it deserves a second look.

One thing we often fail to do in the day-to-day busyness of our work and personal lives is to take a step back and “reflect” on our own experiences to see how far we have come. Periodically taking stock of everything that we have accomplished so far can actually be quite surprising, because we all have learned much more and obtained many more skills than we realize.  Acknowledging our achievements, as well as lessons learned from our not so successful experiences, is not only enlightening – it can have the added benefit of giving us the confidence we need to take on that next challenge that we wanted to do but just didn’t think we had it in us.

It can sometimes seem like we are being swept along by the incessant stream of things that we need to learn everyday just to keep up.  Some of that is the unavoidable reality of working in our fast-paced and constantly changing healthcare system. But the problem with allowing our professional development to be completely governed by our workplace is that we can wake up 10, 20 or 30 years from now and find out we are not really where we want to be. The act of reflection allows us to be more proactive and take greater control over the direction of our professional practice and learning.

The foundation of the newly designed CRTO PORTfolio (coming your way January 2018) is a detailed, self-assessment that focuses on your own personal practice experiences.  It is designed to assist you in obtaining a big-picture; a wide screen view of what you do every day. And then, based on the professional direction you indicate you want to take, the PORTfolio platform will help you select a goal that you can work towards over the next five years.

More information on the new CRTO PORTfolio, as well as other aspects of the CRTO Professional Development Program can be found in the December 2017 ebulletin, as well as on the CRTO website here.

Happy Holidays & may 2018 be your best year yet!

Carole Hamp

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