EP 5: Boundaries 101

Episode Description:

It’s vital to separate home life from work life. Setting boundaries is one way to accomplish this. This week, the Hope4Med Podcast hosted a discussion with Dr. Jonathan Randle, a Physical Therapist, about his journey into learning the importance of setting professional boundaries.

Connect with our guest, physical therapist Dr. Jonathan Randle:
Email: jonathan.randle@sagewaypt.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-randle-30a144191/

Transcript:

Dr. JB: Ever wished for a safe place to have conversations that need to be had? A place where you could say the things that need to be said? Well, welcome to Hope 4 Med. This is Hope4Med, med. New day for med, med. For us, by us, and just for us, this is Hope4Med, med. This is Hope4Med, med. New day for med, med. For us, by us, and just for us. This is Hope4Med, med.

[00:00:38] Hi everybody, welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast with Dr. JB. Today, I have a very special guest, his name is Dr. Jonathan Randle.  He has his doctorate degree in physical therapy and currently is working as a travel physical therapist. Welcome, Dr. Randle.

[00:00:58] Dr. Randle: Thank you for having me, Dr. JB, appreciate it.

[00:01:03] Dr. JB: So walk me through what made you decide to pursue a career in physical therapy?

[00:01:10] Dr. Randle: That is a, quite a journey.  So I originally majored in psychology, I went to the University of Central Arkansas and majored in psychology with the honors interdisciplinary studies.  I enjoyed the  liberal arts, I enjoyed the psychology, how humans minds work, but I also enjoyed  how the body works and functions.  I have a family who’s in the medical field  and so I was always around, uh, physical therapists, occupational therapists, my dad’s a speech pathologist, my mom’s an occupational therapist,  so I was just always around that kind of  space.

[00:01:47] I think the major contributing factor for me going into physical therapy was one, I injured my back some years ago and I needed physical therapy myself  for my back and I had that for me and I, I really enjoyed the one-on-one attention that I was given. I enjoyed, um, that it worked, that I started becoming in less pain. I enjoyed the knowledge of techniques I could use in order to help heal and help retrain my body so that I wouldn’t be in as much pain and I would be able to function. So that was a major contributor. I did not want to be in a desk job, I did not want to just sit at a desk all day, I couldn’t do that. I needed to move around, so I thought that physical therapists, oh well they’re up and moving all the time so that will, that would engage my body in that sense. And it seemed like it would be a good financial decision, a good career path, everyone that I’ve talked to said they enjoyed it and so, kind of all of those decisions kind of led me to pursue physical therapy. I was looking at physician assistant, um, but it, it never really clicked for me, and I also didn’t want to do organic chemistry. I chose the best choice I could make at that point.

[00:03:13] Dr. JB: Okay, awesome. So I know that there used to be both a masters in physical therapy and now there’s a doctorate in physical therapy. Can you just walk me through that a little bit?

[00:03:26]Dr. Randle:  So yes, you could, uh, get a masters, in the past, of physical therapy. They began to implement the rule and criteria that every program, every physical therapy program had to have a doctoral. You have to be a Doctor of Physical Therapy. This was part, I think, of their vision in 2020, um, where every, physical therapist coming out of school would have a doctoral, have a “doctor,” you know, in front of their name. I think the idea was to create more autonomy, create more autonomous practitioners, um, more well rounded and educated practitioners, with more knowledge of evidence-based practice.  So that, that’s the reason why they switched to every program requiring the doctoral program to be a physical therapist.

[00:04:17] Dr. JB: So physical therapists that were practicing already with their masters had to go back and get their doctorate in order to continue practicing?

[00:04:27] Dr. Randle: No, they can continue practicing. They just wouldn’t be called a doctor of physical therapy, they would still have their masters, nothing would be invalidated. They would continue to just practicing as they were, they just wouldn’t have that doctor title to their name, unless they went back, unless they went to get their doctorate.

[00:04:45] Dr. JB: Okay. So when you went down the path of becoming a physical therapist, was there an option for you to get your master’s or you only have the choice of getting your doctorate?

[00:04:58] Dr. Randle: Good question. Yes, I only had the choice of getting the doctoral or the doctorate. So it’s a doctoral degree, the doctorate is like, if you’re going to do research, PhD, or, you know, become a professor, something in academia.  So you can, so you can do that as well, but, um, there’s no longer a master’s in physical therapy, you have, you have to get your doctoral.

[00:05:22] Dr. JB: And the difference between the doctoral and the doctorate, does that have to do with the amount of years that you’re in school?

[00:05:30] Dr. Randle: That has to do with–the doctoral, how they differentiate it is, the doctoral is the clinical, it’s just the clinical designation. The doctorate is you have to do extra schooling for the research aspect,  it’s kind of like the traditional,  if you’re going to get a doctorate in something,  but the doctoral is more the clinical designation of work.

[00:05:54] Dr. JB: So you didn’t have to write a dissertation?

[00:05:56] Dr. Randle: I did not have to write a dissertation.

[00:05:59] Dr. JB: All right. But was it a four year program?

[00:06:04] Dr. Randle: So the doctoral program is a three-year program.  And of course, you count the years of undergrad, so depending on how many years of undergrad, but the graduate program itself is a three year program.

[00:06:16] Dr. JB: Okay. All right. Awesome. So then you went to school, you did your three-year program, you graduated, and then what happened?

[00:06:26]Dr. Randle: So that’s, yeah, that’s a story. Um, I graduated, for every physical therapist, you have to take the licensing exam and it took me three times in order to pass. So that was a journey in itself, I studied all these years to be a physical therapist and here I am not being able to pass the test, the licensing exam. So that brought up a lot of, you know, “am I good enough?” “Am I supposed to be in this?” You know, it, it was very tough, it was very difficult.  And so I had to take classes in order to practice more, gain more knowledge, learn how to take the test essentially.  So that was, that was quite an experience. I was in the job where–I was supposed to be a physical therapist, but I was not yet because I had to pass and I hadn’t passed yet.  So, so that was quite, that was a journey.  Then, finally I was able to pass after that third time and then that started my career as a physical therapist, um, about four or five years ago,

[00:07:33] Dr. JB: You know, I think that’s actually a really important point that you just made, is because with all of these professions in healthcare, we all have some kind of examination we have to take. Right? And we have to pass it. For instance, with being a physician and the USMLEs. Step one, you have to take it and you have to pass, but if you pass it, even by like a point you can’t retake it and that can have long-term effects in terms of what happens next in terms of residency and all of those things, so that’s a really huge stressor. And it’s important to point out that, you know, despite the fact that, uh, you went to school and you may have done well in your classes, you know, sometimes it really comes down to test taking capabilities to ensure that you do well and, you know, sometimes that is  a struggle for a lot of people. So thank you for sharing that.

[00:08:31] Dr. Randle: Yes, of course, and it’s important, I think, for people to know, uh, you, you may not pass. It may take you awhile to get to where you want to go, um, and that’s been an ongoing lesson for me especially, because that happened in the past when I was taking the ACT to get to college. I had to take it over and over and over again. And so if that is you, if you are trying to pass, if you’re a student, you know, you’re studying for your exams, one, know that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t pass the first time, consistency and dedication is key. Two, know that you’re, you’re not alone, you’re not alone. Many people are experiencing the same thing and are going through kind of that  bout of, you know, try, fail, try, fail and sometimes it could take awhile. So just know that you’re not alone,  uh, keep going, keep going.

[00:09:25] Dr. JB: And the other thing that we hear a lot about these days is about resiliency, right? And how it’s important to be resilient. But in what you just shared with my listener just now, this is a prime example of you being resilient.

[00:09:43] Dr. Randle: Hmm, mhmm. Well, thank you for saying that. Yeah, it’s, it’s a lesson. It’s a, it’s a hard lesson.  You have expectations, you feel like you have expectations rather, um, and you may actually have real life expectations, the things that you need to do, got loans that you have to pay back. You have, you know, your, your career, these expectations of, of, you know, I’m finally at the place of “I have no more homework” and “no more studying to do,” and I’m supposed to be there, right? And then you don’t get there quite as fast as you think, or it’s not the way that you think when you, once you pass the test, which also happened with me.  And so things are not always as you expect, but the, I think the, the key is to gather a group of people around you, realize your vision, realize your why you’re doing what you’re doing, and, and keep moving forward, you know, you’ll, you’ll find a way to move forward in some capacity. It may not be in the same direction, um, it maybe in a different direction, but keep moving forward.

[00:10:54]Dr. JB: So after your third attempt, you did it, you passed, and then what happened?

[00:11:03] Dr. Randle: So then I was, I was able to get a job and I started working as a physical therapist. However, the, the other therapist–and I’m, I’m trying to be as kind and gentle as I can, but this is part of my story–um, there was a time where I was supposed to be mentored in some capacity or, you know, just learning the ropes but I was not. I was abandoned, essentially, and I had to figure out how to, how to be a physical therapist by myself for a period of time. There was a time where the culture was not good and I had to learn how to make it, in that instance. A lot of, a lot of physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, mental exhaustion. Eventually, I started working in outpatient,   loved my patients, we, we started to build a good team that worked well together. We laughed, we cried together, we went out, you know, different places. We got the patients involved in our day to day lives, which makes working with patients so much fun when they are laughing with you, when they tell you, “hey, I feel at ease coming here, hey, there’s an atmosphere of just friendliness and, and, you know, levity here.” That’s, that’s what makes it fun.

[00:12:27] So that, so that aspect of the physical therapy career has been good. The, the aspect that I started realizing was, was starting to eat away at me as a physical therapist was the amount of paperwork I had to do. And this is not, and I laugh because this is, this is not uncommon, like, this is one of those things in healthcare, I think, that everyone starts to realize, oh my gosh, this is, this is the other part.

[00:12:59] Dr. JB: Yes, this is the part that’s not highlighted, that’s not shown on TV.

[00:13:04] Dr. Randle: Right, this is not on TV right here. So the, the three years I was there, I was just trying to figure out my rhythm, trying to figure out, you know, how I could expedite the, the documentation process for me specifically because that was what was draining me. I was doing paperwork until 7:30 at night, um, and then, you know, I would do more work  in the evening, late night, and then I would wake up and do more work and then start my day again. And I would do that every single day, um, for three years and that really, even in the midst of having a good culture, having good patient experience, that still drained me. And it still caused me to question, “hey, was this the right choice?” Um, it caused me to question, “how can I survive doing this for the next 30 years?” Right?  I’m looking at the 30 year length of my career, of my job life, and thought “I don’t know how I’m going to make it.” How do people make it?

[00:14:09] Dr. JB: Yeah, you know, with what you’re saying it really sounds like you weren’t able to get away from work. Right? So you’re at work, you’re working with the patients and then you have the paperwork, um, that you’re drowning in. Right? And you do it at work, but then you take it home. You do it at home, you wake up early, and you keep working on it and you just can’t get away. Where was your, “oh, I’m not at work” period throughout your day?

[00:14:39] Dr. Randle: There wasn’t that. And that’s, and that’s the thing, exactly how you phrase that is exactly correct. I was never finished. I was never finished with work. I was never away from work. There was always something that I had to do. There were days occasionally where I would be finished and those days I cherished so much.

[00:15:00]Dr. JB: What is it about being a physical therapist that makes your day stressful? Is it just the paperwork? Um, and then I’d also be curious to know about it in the setting of COVID. Right? Some people were able to do an examination from the doorway and say, oh patient’s breathing, you know, like they’re talking, they’re good, but I don’t think physical therapists were able to examine a patient from the doorway. Right? You have to have a lot of hands on and get really close. You know, you can’t be six feet apart if you do your job as a physical therapist,

[00:15:36] Dr. Randle: Well, actually that’s, that was one of the things that interestingly changed in 2020, because we started, physical therapists started to do more tele-health and we started to find ways–we had to find ways, there was no other choice for a lot of companies –to find ways to keep treating patients even if you’re not in physical contact with them. Um, and that’s, and that’s through online tele-health medicine.  And actually, a lot of people that have actually found success because there’s more to it than the physical contact. There’s also the education involved, there’s also the,  you know, vitals, there’s also the encouragement. And so we, we found those.

[00:16:17] So going back to the, um, your question of  the day in the life of the physical therapist, it depends on the setting that you’re in; I’m mostly in outpatient  physical therapy. But usually, you wake up,  you go to the facility, um, whether it be hospital, the inpatient rehab, whether it be, you know, your own clinic  and you look at the patient load that you will have for the day, the amount of patients. You look at their diagnosis, what’s your plan of care; if you’ve treated them before, how it’s been, you look at the new evaluations that you have, and then you start your day running. You, you start treating patients, you see them. Some physical therapists see their patients for 30 minutes, some 45, some an hour, some shorter than that, some longer, depending on the setting that you’re in. And then you, you just work within a gym or a space where you are getting the patient up, moving, doing their exercises, educating them, doing any modalities, doing manual work. Um, and you are in the, you are in the space of the patient and, and you are talking with them, you’re walking with them, and you’re walking them through different things.

[00:17:32] A lot of people have, um, a certain amount of patients that they see a day,  and this is the part that can be a little bit overwhelming, especially if you have, say you have 15 to 20 patients a day. That means you have to see multiple patients at the same time and then you also have that paperwork at the end of the day.  And that’s one of the causes of burnout, is unmanageable workload or unreasonable time pressures. Some facilities have, you have to have a certain productivity per day that you have to meet and if you don’t meet that productivity, there’s questions on what were you doing during those three minutes that you weren’t productive?

[00:18:14] Dr. JB: Is that an exaggeration? They go down that, that, uh-

[00:18:18] Dr. Randle: That’s not a huge exaggeration actually. It’s a problem right now and what’s causing a lot of people, physical therapists and other therapists, to say I’m burning out, you know? This unreasonable time pressure, according to the Gallup, is one of the main factors and contributors to burnout. Unmanageable workload is also another one of the main factors.

[00:18:39] Dr. JB: And you guys experienced both of those things on a day-to-day basis?

[00:18:43] Dr. Randle: Yes, many do experience many of those things on a day-to-day basis. And so it depends on where you’re at, like I said, um, sometimes it can be a fast environment for a physical therapist, sometimes it’s not, sometimes there are those facilities who give you that time with the patient, that one-on-one care, that give you time to do your paperwork. And those facilities usually people want to go work for because their, their time and their ability to work is respected and listened to, and the communication is good. So usually at the end of the day, you finish paperwork that you have, and then you, you do the evaluations, you complete the evaluations, you create a plan of care for the patients for the next time they come, and then you repeat the process the next day and you continue on. It was, it was so draining. People would ask me, “well, how’s it going?” And I would try to figure out a politically correct response, but I don’t know how to say that any other way. To say that, oh, I’m, I’m doing okay. You know, things are going, things are moving. I didn’t want to say that I’m really drained, I’m really tired of doing this day in and day out. Now, some people did hear the full story and, and I thank God for those people because they were the ones that I could, I could kind of tell my, my story too.

[00:20:06]Dr. JB: You know, truth, truth be told when people ask that question, they don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to hear you say, “oh, I’m having a horrible day.” You know? It kind of takes you aback when you hear that, you’re like, what? I thought you were just going to say “I’m fine.” You know? And just continue on.

[00:20:26] Dr. Randle: Right. That’s the right answer. Right? That’s the, that’s the answer everyone, especially if you’re , you’re in this career where, you know, it’s, it’s a noble profession, it’s a noble career. You’ve made it. You, you’ve become the  doctor, you’ve become the nurse, you’ve become the medical provider, and you’re supposed to have everything together, right? At least that’s, that’s the, maybe your expectation or, or what you think someone else’s expectations for you is. And so you try to live, at least for me, I try to live up to that expectation, whether it be real or not, try to have it all together and appear that I have it altogether, when really most of the time I was just trying to make it. Just trying to stay afloat.

[00:21:14] Dr. JB: That’s true. So, you know, the other question I’m sure my listener may have is, well you’re getting paid for all this time. Right? So what are you complaining about?

[00:21:25] Dr. Randle: Um, uh, no, that only occurs in certain positions. So for, for instance, if you’re salary, you’re salary. And you, you have to get the work done no matter what it takes in many instances.  And so many times you have to do work outside of work, but you’re not getting paid for that time. Um, in other instances, say if you’re contract or hourly, if you are firm with your boundaries and firm with how you are compensated and, and both parties are respected in that sense, then you will get paid for the time that you work. But that is not always the case. In fact, I don’t think that’s the majority of the, of the case, um, and that’s part of the problem.

[00:22:09] Dr. JB: Interesting. You know, you actually make a, bring up a very interesting point. If you are firm with your boundaries. Like we’re supposed to have boundaries?

[00:22:21] Dr. Randle: Yes, and that’s, that’s one of my lessons that I learned this past year. Yes. And one of the keys, I think to reduce burnout, so I’m, right now, huge into looking researching and everything with burnout. Boundaries. There’s nothing else I can say on this podcast or to anyone else, boundaries, boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. They are so important for your mental health, for your emotional health, for your physical health, for your career, for your career.

[00:22:52]You have to know your boundaries. You have to protect them in order for you not to burn out, in order for you not to do something that you don’t want to do ethically, you don’t want to be unethical. You don’t want to give out of an empty cup. You don’t want to, you know, go into a period of life where you’re so stressed out because you have to do all of these things and you’re not getting compensated for it. It is all, it’s all about boundaries and keeping those boundaries and, and affirming those boundaries. And I think that is, that’s a hard thing for healthcare providers to do, because we are people who are naturally wanting to give, naturally want to provide for others, sometimes no matter what the cost. And sometimes that’s demanded of us, no matter what the cost. But that is, I think, contributing to many people getting tired of healthcare, being burnt out from healthcare, and wanting to leave or having to leave or being forced to leave.

[00:24:03] Dr. JB: Yeah, so, you know, the issue with boundaries or the question about boundaries is then if you set your boundaries, does that mean that you’re not a team player?

[00:24:13]Dr. Randle: Oh, no. Far, far from it. You know, boundaries are, are interesting. It brings a level of respect. It’s,  it’s about respect and about respect for yourself, and about respect for others. When other people know what my boundaries are, they, they communicate with me differently. They respect me more. And by doing so, and when, when your boundaries are respected, when your limits are known, you are able to operate with more freedom and you are able to tap more into your strengths. It’s almost like a, I always associate it with like music, music composition. Right?

[00:24:58] So I was, I was almost a music minor as well when I was doing college and the thing with music is it’s not just random notes on a page. It’s not just, you know, here, they’re, everywhere. There’s rules. There’s boundaries. The notes flow in a certain pattern. You have to have those limitations, but when you do, it creates something beautiful, it creates a work of art. It creates completion. That’s sort of the same thing I think of with boundaries in this context. You are able to, when you know your boundaries, when you know when to say no, when you know when to say yes, and when other people know that as well, you guys are able to work in a much more efficient manner with, with more energy, with more zeal, and, and more satisfaction because you’re working in your strengths. You’re, you’re able to work in your strengths and you’re not being, you’re not being taken from. You’re not over-giving. And that helps with just your professional life, your personal life, and everything.

[00:26:09] Dr. JB: So this, this Boundaries 101, I feel like there should be a class about that because that’s not taught. Right? What I, what I was told is actually the opposite. What I was told when I was completing my training was that you should be the “yes” person. You should say yes to everything. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And figure out how to make it happen so that your career can grow because if you say no, that you may, uh, stagnate your career and your growth.

[00:26:45] Dr. Randle: Yeah. That’s a, that’s such a lie. We don’t do that with other relationships, do we? We don’t say yes to, you know, if you have kids, I don’t have kids, but I imagine if you said yes all the time to your kids, what would that, what would that bring? What would that outcome be if you said yes all the time to, uh, demand that you are not comfortable with, where would that lead?  And, and how much would that take from you? That, that is, I don’t think that is good advice and I don’t think the evidence plays that out either. I, I think what we’re seeing now is the result of that philosophy of saying yes all the time in order to build your career when actually it’s destroying careers, um, it’s destroying autonomy, it’s destroying, it’s destroying the human person who needs, who needs to be able to say no for themselves,

[00:27:45] Dr. JB: You know, when you’re that “yes” person on your team, you’re reliable. Right? We know we can lean on you.

[00:27:52] Dr. Randle: Hmm. And, and you may also be drained, the most drained as well. Because, uh, that’s such a pressure to, to hold up that standard for so long, um, and you won’t be able to perform at your best when you are actually able to do something that you want, you won’t be able to do it at your best because you’ve drained your energy towards these other items and tasks that you didn’t need to. That someone else should have been doing, who, who was working in their strengths, that should have been, that should have been delegated to someone else. And so now you’re, you’re not working at an optimal level. You’re not working at your, your best capacity, because you, you’ve given so much to everything else that you, you haven’t been able to give to yourself.

[00:28:43] Dr. JB: So true. So true. So going back to your story, Dr. Randle, what was that pivotal point in your life where you realized, you know what, I really need to set boundaries.

[00:29:01] Dr. Randle: Good question. So this, this goes into my career last year in 2020. I decided to try–so going back before 2020, this is the end of 2019– I decided to shift the aspect of physical therapy and try travel therapy because I wanted to see the country. All the patients were telling me, “hey, you’re young, do it while you can.” So I said okay. I wanted to do, I want to travel, I want to see different places, I want to explore, and I want to see if there was something else I could be that, that wasn’t draining me. So I went traveling, I went to California, went with the company there. I absolutely loved it because I saw new places, Northern California is so beautiful. I was able to not take work home, which was so amazing and so, so like, “oh, this is what this is like?” Able to have time for myself to do other things,  so I was, I was starting to pick myself back up at the beginning of 2020, this was January to March, and then the pandemic hit. And then I had to be laid off because everyone was trying to conserve at that point and no patients were coming in. And so it was the first time where, it was like, almost like I was about to fly and I was shot in mid flight, you know, for me. So that entire year, and people, if you’re listening to this and you’ve gone through 2020 you know the stories and you’ve probably lived it, just it was a tough time, uh, social unrest, a lot of unemployment, I was one of those. I was trying to start, I tried to start a business, my coaching business and wasn’t getting clients from that, but I was learning and networking throughout.

[00:31:05] The question of boundaries, I was, I was able to get another job with the home health agency, amazing people, it was not for me. For me, it was difficult, once again, it comes back for me for the paperwork. I was not able to complete the paperwork on time and my energy levels just dropped. I, I wasn’t able to sleep as well, my sleep patterns became disrupted. I was starting to gain weight. My emotional and mental faculties were, were dropping. And this came to a point where I was, it was getting so bad, where I started to contemplate suicide, um, because I was breaking up with my career at that point, I was like, is this it? Is this what this is about? Me coming home drained everyday, not enjoying work, not enjoying the other aspects of my life, not being able to create, not being able to fulfill the other portions of my life that I needed to be fulfilled, you know, paying off loans all the time. Just all of these things. And it was a very dark spot in my life. And at that point I said, hey, you know, it’s good to think of the future and retirement and all that but I said, if I can’t make it to 31, if I can’t make it to next year, what’s it, what’s it going to matter in the next, you know, 30 years? I have to make it to next year and I have to do it intact and I have to do it, um, and I, and I want to be able to thrive. I want to be able to live a good life, live a fulfilled life, a purposeful life.

[00:33:04] So at that point I, I decided and had to make a decision after going through counseling after, um, after deep reflection and just stopping and thinking, and saying, okay. I don’t know what the rest of this future will hold, but I will make a decision now that I can’t keep living like this. So I decided to do part-time at the company and then eventually leave, which they were totally respectful of that and, and I appreciate them so much for that, but that’s when I started to learn about my boundaries. Learning to say no, to say I will not operate in a space where I’m being drained so much that I’m about to not live. That, that’s no way to live.

[00:33:56] Dr. JB: That’s too high of a price to pay.

[00:33:59] Dr. Randle: Too high of a price to pay, too high of a risk. And so I need to set boundaries in place in order for me to, to continue working, to continue living, continue enjoying my life, and so though that’s when that lesson of boundaries came into place for me. Of not taking paperwork home, I will never take paperwork home again. That’s a boundary for me because of, because of what almost happened. It’s a mental health thing for me, it’s a, it’s a physical health thing for me, emotional, career health for me. It’s so important. And that’s why I say boundaries are so important because if you don’t have those, it can lead to a place where no one wants it to lead.

[00:34:45] Dr. JB: Yeah. Yeah. You know, and listening to what you just shared, it really depicts how you got to this dark space to realize that if I don’t prioritize myself, who is going to prioritize me?

[00:35:09]Dr. Randle: Yes. That’s exactly it. I had to make the decision I’m fighting for my mental health, I’m fighting for myself.

[00:35:17]Dr. JB:  You’re fighting for your life.

[00:35:19] Dr. Randle: Yes. Yes, fighting for my life. And, and that’s something, you know, when you’re, like I said, you’re a medical provider, healthcare professional. How, how often are you turning the care to yourself? How often are you turning the care to your own mental state, to your own mental health, um, to your own emotional and physical health and wellbeing? To your own career health, financial health, all of that. Are you taking care of yourself? Because it is you at the end of, at the end of the day, it’s not someone else and, and you will have to continue on. So are you, are you fighting for yourself? Are you for yourself? Are you your biggest supporter? And I think that’s so important too.  Sometimes it’s not easy to understand that and get to that point.

[00:36:16] Dr. JB: That’s hard, that’s hard for healthcare professionals, right? Because we’re very altruistic. Right? You know, we, we give, we give so much and, and, you know, truth be told we also gain from giving. Right? Um, but many times we give ten times, a hundred times more than we actually get in return.

[00:36:44] Dr. Randle: Yes. Yes, that’s exactly it. And, and we don’t know what to do at that point. You don’t know, we don’t know where to go at that point or how to not be in that space, but we’re always giving, you know? And I also think that it’s just that the way that healthcare is now, that it’s set up where it’s hard to have those conversations of, “hey, I need, I need this, I need this boundary in place.” Or, “hey, I need to have this time for my self, for my family.” ” Hey, I need to have this time for my self to reflect, to create, to do other things besides healthcare.” Taking care of my own health, you know? And I think, I think that should be the, the environment that we pursue and the, and the world that we pursue.

[00:37:38] What if, what if we as a healthcare world, we’re not only taking care of the people who we committed to take care of, the patients, but also the, the patient providers, the healthcare providers? What if both had the priority? What would it look like? Would we have as many healthcare workers burned out, would we have as many healthcare workers constantly stressed and constantly trying to find the reserves to give more and more and more?

[00:38:12] Dr. JB: Would you have as many healthcare workers committing suicide?

[00:38:16] Dr. Randle: Exactly, exactly.

[00:38:19] Dr. JB: You know, that, that topic, that word “suicide,” is one of those dirty little secrets of healthcare that you see very fleeting. Right? If you see at all, um, in a news article or, um, you know, briefly on some news video headliner for a day, if that. And then it quickly falls off the screen, it falls out of the papers.

[00:38:57] Dr. Randle: What is the value of life, um, of all life, you know? We have to, we have to look at that and say, okay, something’s going on here. What is the reason for that? And are we taking the proper steps to address it, openly address it?

[00:39:17] Dr. JB: Openly address it. It’s about looking at the causal factors that are contributing to the current state of things, um, and addressing them and changing if things are wrong.

[00:39:39] Dr. Randle: Yes. And I think, I mean your podcast Hope4Med, I think there is such hope that it can change and we can change it. We have the ability to change it. I’ve learned the lesson as well of being able to make a decision to change. Things can change. It does not have to be the same old system in place that has been going on for years. We can change things around it will take work. It will take vulnerability, it will take courage, but we can change the landscape, the amount of casualties. We can change the amount of hope, we can change the amount of, of light and, and the way we, we interact with each other in our patients, um, to, to get to that better space, to get to that better world. I think things can change.

[00:40:41] Dr. JB: Yeah, and step one is realizing that if we do not look out for ourselves, no one else is going to do that for us. You know? And I think that, you know, that was the reality that you realized in your career, right? That if I didn’t do something about this, for me, not for where I was working, but for me as an individual, right? As the physical therapist, me as the physician, right? If I do not do something about this for me, then it’s not going to change.

[00:41:26] Dr. Randle: Yes. And that’s the decision. That’s the, that’s the choice that you have to make and I believe we all have that choice. If you, if you are listening to this, you have that choice. You have that choice. Do not think that you do not have that choice. You are given that choice, to take care of yourself and to make that decision for you.

[00:41:54] Dr. JB: And, you know, step one, I think starts with setting boundaries, right? Separating your work life from your home life.

[00:42:05] Dr. Randle: Mhmm. Separating, and then knowing your values. That, that was also an important thing for me to know my values, to know what it is that was non-negotiable. I realized that freedom was one of my values. I enjoy having the freedom to choose, I enjoy having the freedom, and I need that freedom. That creates, uh, for me, that creates my, my joy. You know, my, my happiness is being able to make a decision that will best, um, that is best for me in my life, to be able to learn, to be able to go to a different place if I need to, to be able to set boundaries, the freedom to set boundaries, uh, and so, but that’s a value for me.

[00:42:51] So it’s important to know what your values are, because if you are not in a place that respects your values, that your, the company’s values and your values do not align, uh, you’re not in the right place. You need to move somewhere else. Because, because there will always be conflict there and that’s when you start to be constantly drained.  So you need to know your values as well. You know, are, are you a family person? Do you value time? Do you value freedom? Do you value money? Do you value,  do you value, you know, being ethical? What do you value? And what you value determines on where you need to be, because if you give you are not in that place, um, you’re not working in your strengths.  You’re working in a place where you’re constantly giving towards something where you’re not being optimal. You’re not, you’re not, uh, you’re not giving your best. You’re not living your best. Um, so know your boundaries, know your values. There’s so many things  that you can do to, to make the decision to be in the, in the right  space of wellbeing for you.

[00:43:55] Dr. JB: And also to give your,  yourself permission to realize that your values may change over time. Right? And so what you valued as a 18-year-old will change as you get older, right? What you valued when you finish your graduate training may change as you get over, I mean as you get older and to allow yourself, yourself, the, the flexibility to change yourself, right? To change jobs, change positions, if it doesn’t align with your current or your new values.

[00:44:38] Dr. Randle: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and more, yes. Um, they’ll change and, uh, you know, be gracious with yourself, be kind to yourself, and expect that change, and, um, respect it. And, and give yourself permission. That’s one of the, I’m writing a book and one of my, one of the titles is “I Give You Permission.” Um, give yourself permission to make a decision that you may not have wanted to make, or you didn’t need to make in the past, but you need to make now. First starts with you giving yourself that permission.

[00:45:28] Dr. JB: That’s right. That’s right. So, Dr. Randle tell me a little bit more about what you are currently doing, um, and, uh, in terms of like your business.

[00:45:41] Dr. Randle: Yes. So a lot of things are happening for me right now. I just finished a travel physical therapy contract and  I  actually, um, got accepted to an internship up in Boston, Massachusetts, for strength and conditioning coaching. Um, and I’m very excited to learn that aspect of the world, world of the strength and conditioning world. So I’m doing that, uh, afterwards I may do, I may do some more travel contract cause that’s, that’s right now, that’s the, uh, the space where it’s aligning with a lot of my, my strengths. I’m also  in the process of honing and perfecting and, and creating, um, my coaching program. So last year in 2020, I also became certified as an executive coach, um, and delved into more Clifton strengths, gallops, Clifton strengths coaching, life coaching, career coaching, all of that. So I’m using those skills to build a coaching business.

[00:46:43]And my, my audience right now is, is people like me, people who went through burnout, who are experiencing burnout, um, physical therapists or healthcare providers not far into their, into their career who are experiencing that burnout. And so I’m, I’m researching burnout, I’m designing a course, and program, a coaching program to help other people walk through that so they will be better prepared or, or they won’t have to sit in that space of where am I supposed to go in this world? How am I going to make it to the next year? Um, so I’m wanting to help people walk through that. So that’s what I’m doing as well,  creating that, networking, just , just talking to different people. So a lot of things. Like I said, I’m writing, I wrote a book it’s in the stage of, um, going out to beta readers and almost,  I’m about to give it to an editor and then bound to make a nice cover, uh, all of those wonderful things that a book design and everything comes with. So I’m excited. Um, I’m, I’m excited where this, everything is going. I needed to go through. I think I needed to go through 2020 to get to where I am now.

[00:48:01] Dr. JB: Yeah. It looks like you’ve experienced some leaps and bounds. Um, you know, as, as a result of, of getting to that dark, that dark spot.

[00:48:11] Dr. Randle: Yes. Oh yes. Yes. One of my words for the year, my word for the year is “fly.” And that’s how I see myself, perceive myself right now, is I am trying to fly. I’m going to fly. Um, I was, I was not in that space before, but the, all the lessons that I learned, um, all of the things that are learned, I had to walk through. I didn’t want to walk through it, but because I walked through it, my, my hope, my vision, um, it, it has transformed. I’ve gone through a metamorphosis and I’m, I’m wanting to fly. And so I’m trying to, jump, leap, fly. That’s a, that’s a quote I heard, uh, on a podcast. That’s what I’m trying to do.

[00:49:09] Dr. JB: Well, it sounds to me like you’re currently flying.

[00:49:13] Dr. Randle: Thank you. Thank you. I love that quote. I’ve been telling everyone that quote that you told me before, uh, Dr. JB, um, and I’ll, I don’t want to butcher it, but I’m probably gonna butcher it. But  you, you said, wait a minute, let me, let me pull it up cause I’m not going to butcher this. You said “don’t allow yourself to crawl when you feel the urge to soar.”

[00:49:38] Dr. JB: Indeed. Indeed. Indeed. You said it perfectly actually.

[00:49:43] Dr. Randle: Don’t allow yourself to crawl when you feel the urge to soar. If you know that you have more capabilities that you, that you know, you can do more with your life, with the strengths and gifts that you have, and that you’re given. If you know that you’re not in the place, that where you need to be, and you know that there’s a place where you need to believe, that that will elevate you and allow you the freedom to live a purposeful life live and to the best of your ability to be able to give, um, and the best way possible to impact the most people. If you feel that urge go forward, don’t allow yourself to be, to stay in a place where you are just crawling. If you feel the urge to soar, make a decision so that you can fly so that you can soar. I love that.

[00:50:39]Dr. JB: So Dr. Randle, if my listener would like to get in touch with you, how can they do that?

[00:50:47] Dr. Randle: Yeah. So currently, um, I’m restructuring everything. So the main place you can get in touch with me is through my LinkedIn. So, I haven’t changed my handles or anything, so right now you can just look up Jonathan Randle, it’ll have executive coach, doctor of physical therapy, um, millennial on there. And then, um, also Facebook, you can contact me on Facebook, Jonathan Randle, same thing.  I’m currently, like I said, creating my program so, um, I’m looking for one or two people who are experiencing burnout right now, medical providers that I can coach for free to help me hone my program so that I can help more people and, and start offering this part, this aspect of coaching, um, for, for other people. So if you are a healthcare provider and you are burned down in your career, a medical provider, I would love to get in contact with you if you’re interested in free coaching,  I would, I would love to help you as much as I can. I can only do one or two people at this time, just because, like I said, I’m doing a lot of other things as well. And so just reach out to me through LinkedIn or my Facebook, message me, um, you can also email me at Jonathan.Randle@sagewaypt.com.

[00:52:07] Dr. JB: All right. Excellent. And we will have, um, this written out in the description section of this podcast, so that you will be able to easily access Dr. Randle and take him up on that free offer. You don’t get a lot of things for free these days.

[00:52:22] Dr. Randle: Yeah. I love free, I love free.

[00:52:27] Dr. JB: All right. Thank you, Dr. Randle.

[00:52:29] Dr. Randle: Thank you so much, Dr. JB

[00:52:32] Dr. JB: Yeah. Who says a doc can’t rap? D O C T O R J B. The greatest doctor to ever touch the mic, the greatest podcast ever broadcasted or prerecorded. Come and learn some, each one, teach one. I’m done.

 

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