During a professional development course in my first year of PT school, we completed an activity that ranked a list of personal values to determine which 3 values were most important to me. I found that my top 3 values were skill, altruism, and creativity.
I wasn’t too surprised by my results. I feel that these 3 top values are truly top values of mine and do a very accurate job in defining me. A few other values that didn’t quite make the cut but are important to me include health, loyalty, and knowledge.
One instance in which my values helped me battle through a tough situation is when I overcame my series of back injuries. In high school, I suffered 2 slipped discs in my low back resulting in chronic back pain that lasted for over 2 years. Without going to a physical therapist, I did a lot of research on the spine, and experimented with different treatments to try and get rid of my back pain. I used my love for learning and becoming good at doing things to become very knowledgeable in area of back pain and spinal pathologies.
When my personal values are challenged, I stay strong in my what I believe, but I also consider other people’s values in making decisions. I’m a little bit more careful in standing my ground against a stranger in order to avoid being rude, but if I’m arguing with family or friends about personal values, I don’t hold back in expressing myself. Also, I would be especially careful when working with a patient whose values didn’t quite line up with mine. I would keep an open mind and try to explain to the patient why I believe in what I believe.
This exercise allowed me to think about and reflect on my values and beliefs. I will keep these in mind as I progress through my years in the DPT program and in the future when I begin working as a physical therapist.