Trading power walking for Mozart

The first week of September has arrived and for the class of 2014, this means we are back to being the new kids on the block; that is, we are just a few days into our third clinical rotation. Just when I felt as though I were finally getting the ins and outs of acute care down, clinical rotation number two came to an end.  This week it’s new all over again!

As with every clinical experience, my classmates are all over the country (as far away as Illinois and Wisconsin) and some are, once again, out of the country.  I am sure we will have lots to catch up on after being away for so long. I am actually excited to living at home with my husband for the first time on this rotation. This is my first local placement and it feels so good to be home!

On Tuesday, I found my way to the SNF I am at (roughly 40 minutes from Elon), met my new CI, was introduced to several of the patients, and learned that they are to be called “residents” and not patients, as it is a retirement community in which they live. Of course no PT clinical experience would be complete without having to learning a whole new computer software system for entering the plethora of documentation that comes with initial evaluations, treatments, re-evaluation, discharge, billing, G-codes, etc. The software system at my new site is, of course, foreign to me.  Each clinical rotation I’ve done so far has had it’s own unique software system. It makes me think about how difficult it must be for physical therapists, working PRN, to ever become proficient with each system,  as they often work in a variety of settings. Fortunately, the facility I am at now is very organized and they have a binder, for PRN therapists and interns, that guides the user through the software program step by step.

In regards to the atmosphere at my new setting, I must admit that it is taking a bit of an effort, on my part, to switch gears from my previous setting to my current setting. In the extremely fast paced, acute care setting I came from, I had far exceeding my eight week productivity goal before the end of my second week. I am finding my new setting to have a slightly slower pace.  The constant alarms, bells, and beeping of machines connected to lines, leads and tubes has given way to classical music.  When interning in acute care, I would speed walk from one patients room to the next, not get around to taking lunch until two or three in the afternoon, considered myself lucky if I was able to take a quick restroom break, and celebrated the rare occasion when I actually left on time at the end if the day.

At the SNF this week, I actually looked out of place when I walked at the fast pace I had become accustomed to while in the hospital (in acute care). To my surprise, I was able to use the restroom as needed, went to lunch around noon, and was out the door by the designated time of 5:30 pm!  This new environment appears to be very  different  from the one in which I just finished.  While it may take some time to get used to, I think I’m going to like it.

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