Monthly Archives: October 2012

Changing Leaves and Busy PTs

Fall is here and the leaves are beginning to change around campus. While we are all enjoying a break from the summer heat, we’re not getting much of a break from our academics. As a matter of fact, some of our second and third year friends have warned us that October is dubbed Rocktober in PT school at Elon because of the mass quantities of work to be completed!

Our latest completion in what is also known as the Orthopedic Module (Module IV) was DPT 616. This was a course on the spine that ended with an intense final written exam along with an hour-long practical exam that everyone was more than just intimidated by. With that behind us, we are now learning about the hip, knee, ankle and foot in DPT 617. In addition to this course, many of us are deep into our research projects for Research Design II and are certainly learning a lot in our Clinical Imaging and Pharmacology courses, too.

I can’t go without mentioning the preparation we’ve been doing for our first clinical as we are not only completing the much required paperwork, but taking the time to get physicals, immunizations, drugs screens, and other various requirements. When we say that we stay busy in PT school, we really mean it!

One of my professors said this is the module where we really begin to feel like physical therapists and nothing could be truer! We’re getting a lot of hands-on application in the Biomechanics/Musculoskeletal Lab as we learn tests and measures, manual therapy, mobilizations, and manipulations. It’s a lot of information and hard work, but we’re finally getting a taste of what it’s going to be like as physical therapists.

It’s so hard to believe that in just three short months we will be applying all we’ve learned thus far at our first clinical rotation site. Some will be staying local, while others will be traveling to other states and possibly other countries to complete our first clinical rotation. Regardless of where our placement may take us, one thing in common for all of us is that we will be interning in an outpatient care facility. It’s just amazing that what seemed so far away when we started is now right around the corner. There’s already anticipation as to what that first experience will bring. What an exciting adventure to look forward to.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to stay hard at work, learning much and applying all that we are learning. It will definitely be the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from our classes and labs that will allow us success in our future clinical experiences.

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Living in Italy: Changing Seasons

And the second half begins. We just finished up midterm paperwork and we’re looking ahead to the last four weeks of clinical before we return to Elon – to classes, to classmates, to professors and life as we knew it prior to the past two months of being away on two clinicals.  The first few weeks of clinical are always tough with adapting to new situations, patients, settings and CI’s, but by week four, it’s usually easier to settle into a still challenging but dependable stride (thankfully).

My classmate and I have continued to work here with our patients but were sad to see some of our favorites go. They had been here since we started and we had gotten used to them being a part of our days here. There were some hard good-byes as these patients had taken us under their wings when we started (our self-proclaimed “father” and a British woman whom we would catch up on all the news in English with). Thought we were happy that they had made enough progress to return back to their homes and families.

We have been working with a fair number of neurological patients (many strokes, some car accidents) and a lot of orthopedic post-op patients. We have been learning different approaches with which to treat, specifically the neurological patients, which has been very challenging to connect what we learned in classes and are now learning here. We are both starting to get the hang of the new approach and are hoping to be better for it in the long run.

At the end of last week, we observed aquatic therapy and hospice (more of a coma/TBI unit than is typical in the US) and will be starting work with both of these arenas this week. It will be a welcome change to add to our repertoire of patient-care.

Fall is in the air here and we are very much looking forward to the color changes that have begun, especially from our mountaintop views. We are missing the change of season back home, though, with apple picking and pumpkin spice lattes.

We have continued our travels to some smaller Tuscan towns and will be headed on to Lucca, Pisa, Rome, Florence and Pompeii on our remaining weekends. We will be finishing our time here after our clinical ends in Athens, Greece and doing some exploring there. Then US-bound we will be after 10 weeks away!