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At EmpowerMe Wellness, we work hard to provide all our therapists with the support they need to succeed at every stage of their career. That’s a big part of why we love our Clinical Instructors. They provide guidance for the next generation of physical, occupational, and speech therapists during their clinical rotations in the senior living communities we serve, while in turn, the student therapists themselves provide a tremendous amount of aid for the Clinical Instructors.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a clinical instructor is a licensed clinician who takes responsibility for guiding a student therapist through on-the-job training in a therapy setting. For the student, this is a wonderful opportunity to not only get a better sense for what it means to be a therapist, but to get an up-close look at how a therapy leader functions as well. For the instructor, this relationship is also hugely beneficial, as the student is often able to share the latest theories and techniques from their program while lending an extra pair of hands to the care team.
Here are the top five reasons why we love our clinical instructors:
1. They Help Students Understand the Rewards of Working with Seniors
Many students come into their therapy programs with a narrow focus on outpatient ortho or pediatrics. However, working with seniors can be an incredibly rewarding career path. Clinical instructors help students see the benefits of working in senior living, such as flexible schedules and the opportunity to create deep, meaningful relationships with the residents we serve.
2. They Prepare Students for Unique Challenges and Opportunities
Working with seniors is far from “treatment by numbers.” It exposes therapists to a wide array of medical needs and challenges. Clinical instructors help students draw on everything they’ve learned in school to tackle these diverse challenges. This experience allows students to apply their knowledge and training in a real-world setting.
3. They Foster Creative Autonomy
Working in a senior living setting gives therapists a unique level of creative autonomy. They can create tailored treatment plans that best suit their patients’ needs. Many companies don’t allow this level of flexibility, but EmpowerMe does. Clinical instructors model a more creative approach to therapy, showing students how much fun it can be to think outside the box.
4. They’re our Future Leaders
At EmpowerMe, we love to hire from within. Having “Clinical Instructor” on a therapist’s resume is a strong indicator that they possess the leadership qualities we value. Whether it’s leading a community team as a Clinic Director or taking on a role as an Area Director of Operations, clinical instructors have already proven themselves as the kind of leaders we want supporting our teams.
5. They Pay It Forward
EmpowerMe is a company built by therapists, and we believe in paying it forward to the next generation. Many of us have been under the wing of a clinical instructor during our schooling, and we understand the impact they can have on our careers. We have created a culture of gratitude, and one way this plays out is by giving back the same way our clinical instructors gave to us.
In conclusion, Stacey Fisher, Clinical Placement Coordinator for EmpowerMe Wellness, sums it up perfectly: “I’ve worked with numerous student therapists who have told me, ‘This population was not on my radar, but I’ve fallen in love with working with seniors.’ That makes me so happy to hear every time. And more often than not, it’s a clinical instructor who’s to thank for making that happen.”
Clinical instructors bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to the table, making them invaluable assets to EmpowerMe and the student therapists they mentor!