Life is a Highway…

Lesson’s Learned from My First 30 Days in Private Practice

This spring my professional career hit a major traffic jam when I was laid off and found myself searching for an alternate route. To say it was difficult, would be an understatement. I was not quite sure what I would do next, but I knew that I wanted to continue with driving rehabilitation… I just needed to figure out a way.

What follows are some of the lessons I have learned as I transitioned, with support from Susan, into private practice to start my own branch of Adaptive Mobility Services, LLC. in Pennsylvania.

Watch Out for Signs

One of the first nuggets of advice I remember helping me was the idea to watch out for signs. My family member told me to watch for signs all around me. That they would come in all forms and would be there to help me figure out what my next path would be. This was great advice! I found signs in phone calls from friends, shows & movies, and from my mentor. These signs reinforced my passion for this area of practice and guided me towards deciding to open my own practice.

Take Time to Plan Your Trip

Once I knew I wanted to start my own practice, I took some time to plan out my next steps. I focused on what I believed to be valuable – quality over quantity, exceptional client services, providing education & mentorship to other practitioners – and wrote a mission statement. This mission statement has helped to carry me thru many decisions and is something that grounds me when I am making choices about the direction of my practice, from the way client services are provided to providing clinician education thru the relaunch of Adaptive Mobility’s Building Blocks & Take the Wheel clinician education. (read my personal mission statement at

Relationships are Key

It has been both my personal & professional relationships that have carried me thru the pasts several months. The professional support from our Facebook Driver Rehabilitation page, from emails, & the many phone calls, has been incredible. It reminds me of the value of our relationships and reinforces strongly my plan to attend our annual conference in Richmond, VA. Conference provides an invaluable sense of connection and networking. I hope to see you all there!

Watch Out for Speed Bumps!

Just when I think I might be rolling, I inevitable hit a speed bump. But just like a real speed bump, it slows me down, but doesn’t stop me. During the first 30 days, there was always something new and different to work on, from program guidelines, to shopping insurances, to pricing & billing systems, to documentation, to marketing. Again, my professional relationships were a tremendous help, as well as the ADED website which helped guide me to professional & general liability insurance and provide lots of ideas thru the Driver Rehab Program Start up Kit.

Rest Stops Are There for a Reason

With anything in life, it is important to remember to take time and take a break, even if it is just a few minutes to stretch. This is something I am still working on, but practice to get better at daily for my own health. But one of the greatest things about working for yourself, when you decide to stop at the rest stop, the boss is pretty understanding.


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Susie Touchinsky

Susie Touchinsky, OTR/L, SCDCM, CDRS is an occupational therapist and certified driver rehabilitation specialist offering decades of experience, knowledge, and professional support for drivers, families, caregivers, and practitioners.