The next generation of rehabbers

Yesterday, I spent a whole day with some of my peers during the professional development course which I was teaching. Most had only been in rehab for a few years, and one of them for only two months. Welcome!!!

As we moved through and discussed each module, I was energised by their enthusiasm for occupational rehab. Their love for the job was palpable, they had a keen understanding of what is good rehab, and they intended to uphold the humanity and compassion in their work.

They recounted conversations with lecturers, friends, and colleagues who had been physically repulsed by the idea that they would want to work in rehab and compensation. They told stories of times they had been actively discouraged from working in workers comp and occupational rehab. One of them explained, that as soon as they mentioned a career in occupational rehabilitation, they were shunned and looked down upon.

It irritates me to think that our industry could’ve lost some of these nine because a teacher, or a lecturer, or a colleague, or friend might have convinced them to pursue something else, something that was more, dare I say, acceptable..?, prestigious..?, respectable…?

These nine rehabbers in the course yesterday are a part of the next generation of rehab consultants. These nine will be some that enable the change in our industry.

It is our responsibility as “older” rehabbers to ensure that we nurture our next generation. We must teach them well, and we must care for them, for they are the future of our industry.