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How to Plan and Prepare for a session

There is no denying that planning and preparation set us up for success. This can be true for a clinical setting, a personal goal, or a business or career goal. I do planning in all of these settings. This is just as, if not more important when working with a paediatric population as you need to prepare yourself for everything and anything that might pop up in a session giving you the bandwidth to be able to think and adjust on the spot.

The benefits of Planning!

There are several benefits of doing thorough planning, many of which I talked about recently in my Plan and Prep webinar for my course members. Some of these include:

  • Improving outcomes: Planning helps to achieve better outcomes for children by enabling allied health professionals to set clear goals, develop appropriate interventions, and monitor progress.

  • Tailoring interventions: Planning allows allied health professionals to tailor interventions to meet the unique needs and abilities of each child they work with. This helps to increase engagement and motivation, facilitate learning, and promote skill development.

  • Maximising time: Planning enables allied health professionals to maximise their time with children by ensuring that each session is well-structured and focused on achieving specific goals.

  • Collaboration: Planning enables allied health professionals to collaborate with other healthcare providers and family members to ensure coordinated care and consistency in treatment.

  • Enhancing family participation, education, and expectations: Planning fosters family participation by involving them in the goal-setting and intervention planning process, which can increase their understanding of the child's therapy and promote their involvement in home-based exercises and activities. It helps us educate them on the why and adjust expectations.

  • Team preparation and consistency: For us, it means that we are providing sample sessions and prep for our team rather than them coming up with all the ideas for themselves. It means that we can provide a consistent service and help each other with what is working well and strategies we can call on.

  • Help plan track assessments: When we are prepared and planned we can prep for tracking and communicate what we are needing and want prior to starting the session. It means we can get more from the session!

  • Becomes a hub of content for you to use: When I plan, I will put down the relevant information, research and prepare the handouts and educational materials ready for a bigger impact. I then often use that information again in socials, newsletters and any marketing material!

  • Boost your client experience: There is no doubt that when you are prepared you can offer a better and more thorough service and therefore experience. Not to mention making life so much easier for yourself!

  • Can help develop systems around clinical and client care: As I scale my business I am learning systems are key in reducing stress, offering a streamlined service and getting the best results. So developing systems as you go is so much easier when you are prepped and planned. You have the time and space to reflect and communicate what works well and what might work better.

Overall, planning is crucial in paediatric clinical and educational settings to ensure that the child receives the best possible care and achieves the best possible outcomes.

Where to start?

Step One: Write Smart goals

  • Specific: Set a clear, specific goal that outlines what you want to achieve.

  • Measurable: Determine the criteria for success or how you will measure progress towards your goal.

  • Attainable: Aim for a goal that is challenging but realistic, given your skills, resources, and time.

  • Relevant: Ensure that the goal aligns with your vision, mission, or area of focus, and is meaningful and relevant to your personal or professional growth.

  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving your goal, such as a specific date, timeframe or a milestone, that creates a sense of urgency and motivation.

Example of a SMART Goal: "Over the next month, we will carry out x exercises each week and we should expect to see an improvement in balance over 30s.

Step Two: Determine an action plan

  • Are there handouts you want to provide

  • How do you want to communicate with your client and interested parties

  • What props do you need if any

  • What assessments do you need to complete

  • Do you need to touch base with anyone else prior/post session

Step Three: Map it out - set accountability and systems in your diary to allow time

Step Four: Outline expectations/ describe what success looks like

What we have learned in doing our term planners this year!

We have a team of AEPs teaching classes so we chose to do the term planner to allow us to all provide a similar service, make it easier for the team, allow us to prep for props and increase our communication with our centres. This helped us educate what an AEP does and also align our classes with our courses.

As so many educators do our courses, our planner has allowed us to tie the theory component to the in class practical component that we are currently offering. The combination of this has really helped with engagement as educators understand what we are doing and why! Remember knowledge is power!

Each term we have a focus area, then each week we have a goal, informal testing, link to other applicable activities such as sport and have strategies and homework that can flow on.

We use this information to communicate with our centres each week and as a result, our service is more thorough and it reduces planning and prep time week to week by the team!

Join our group and share the below to get on your planning journey

I find it is easy to practice this in a personal setting so try choosing some goals to work with as a practice and find what works best for you!

Let's try this:

  1. Set 3 goals to achieve over the next 3 months. This might be for your business, a particular client or something personal!

  2. If you struggle to pick 3 write them all down and choose the 3 most important goals

  3. Choose a client or group that you are working with and set some goals

  4. Share in our group!


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