Working as a Team: My Daily Bread

In my hospital workplace, I am grateful for working on a team rather than strictly on my own. The work we do as rehab therapists is often—I’d even say usually—very difficult. Every day, we work with people who are sick, wounded, and debilitated, both physically and mentally. If not for the shared courage of our team, I could not have been doing this for more than 30 years. 

I have found that working closely with another therapist (in what we call therapy co-treatments) has become the foundation of my daily life’s work. It has become my daily bread. We co-therapists are like the disciples going off in dyads to bring good news to the world. And what is the good news that we bring? Simply this: that with hard work, hope, and perseverance, we can help each patient move towards their next fullest potential.

It takes a village—like a hospital—to do this. It takes a departmental team and good leadership. It often takes two therapists and a gait belt. It takes patience. It takes time. Love is ultimately involved, although we don’t often talk about it in this way. Still, I see how love is in this work.

Love is in the mess
And love is there to bless
Despite all the crazies and distress
Love is in the mess

It takes so much human energy do this kind of work! It takes me beyond myself and always leaves me tired, but amazed, and sorely grateful. Because we work as a team, I can do this work—even when I don’t know how! It can indeed be done, day after day, and in so many unfavorable conditions, even by someone as simple and limited as me. This is precisely why I thank God for my rehab team, and for the privilege of sharing this work, this ministry, my daily bread.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Ramos | | Reply

    I lead a weekly clinical group for social workers and counselors who provide outpatient therapy for community mental health clients, many who have had significant trauma in their lives. One of the first practices I put in place when I assumed a management role was a weekly support and clinical education group for outpatient therapists who spend most of their week alone in a room or Telehealth currently with a client. I get pleasure watching someone share a difficult case and the team collectively responding with their shared experience and nonjudgmental support. I also enjoy observing how support and valuable ideas and experience can come from anyone in the group regardless of their level of experience. I am one person and one voice like the others, not needing to be an expert. It does take an individual within a team, village, community, and in our case a nonprofit community mental health agency to provide quality and compassionate care for people wounded and debilitated physically and mentally. Leading and learning from this group has for me, become a weekly self-care practice.

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