Yesterday I went to the gun range for the first time ever. Scott and Matt were planning on spending a few hours shooting and adjusting the sights on their guns so they'd be ready for deer hunting season.
We've lived here for 24 years and I've never gone to the gun range with my husband. Scott is a lifetime member. He shot competitively in college and hunts. For some reason, I decided that I wanted to join him and his buddy, Matt.
Until yesterday, I had never held, let alone shot a .22. I had a bit of fear because I've seen my son's bloody lip from getting a deer last year. Whatever he shoots with kicks back. Guns are really loud when they fire and the noise kind of freaks me out.
I learned the verbal commands "clear" and "hot." I learned the rules of holding the rifle, carrying the rifle, and the safety button. Scott was kind enough to put some black sticky on the target sheet so that I'd see a green glow IF I hit the target in the black.
Initially, Scott let me shoot how I wanted. I could hit the paper, but wasn't quite getting the bullet into the black. Scott then coached and mentored me. He taught me the very slow, gentle touch when pulling the trigger. He created an image in my head of what I want to visualize when I look down the barrel and line the single bump thing into the bottom curve thing. As I described how I was confused because I could slough or I could lean or I could tip my head and the view looked better, but the result was not where it appeared to be. That's when Scott mentioned how I was to keep the butt of the gun in my shoulder and to press my cheek against the gun so that when I moved, the gun moved with me. Talk about a light bulb moment.
Scott then asked me if I ever expected my patients to come limping in and to immediately be able to run perfectly. That got my attention. His next bit of mentoring was to inform me that I was to use a bean bag like thing to hold the end of the rifle when I fired. My first 9 shots seemed to be kind of all over the place. They were on the outside of the paper or in the far out black ring. After I was required to use the bean bag support bag, along with following all he had taught me, I then began shooting every bullet into the black area that would light up neon green.
My few hours at the range resonated with me professionally. How often do we have professional, objective performance goals? If we do have objective performance goals, how are they defined?
For those of you using FOTO, you have a system that immediately provides you information as to whether you are "on target" or not. The next question, do you have a Scott? My Scott helped me shoot on target at the gun range. Do you have a "Scott" who can help you get your performance "on target?" Your "Scott" can be someone in your facility who has green in your areas of yellow or red. The goal isn't to be your "Scott" as much as to gain insight into how your "Scott" critically thinks, problem-solves, interacts and chooses interventions for patients.