I’m proud to announce that the family is back together. All 53 of us prodigal children fled from the campus of Elon University in January 2014 for our first clinical rotation and returned just a few weeks ago with stories to tell and more to learn. With our spirited minds from working in the clinic we were excited to share with each other the highs and the lows of the clinical experience. Many positive remarks were voiced in regards to the actual physical therapist one worked under; aka the clinical instructor. The clinical instructors were of all ages and many had different backgrounds of PT practice in regards to specialization, level of degree, and years of experience as a clinician. Being exposed to actual patients and practicing what we have stored in our head over the past year was definitely a high for all of us. The cookies, wine, cake, and other goodies brought in by our patients was just another plus as well. 🙂
Today we are back in the classroom until July when we head off to our next clinical rotation either in the hospital or skilled nursing facility. What a different experience that will be. In order to prepare, we will spend the next 14 weeks inside the brain. The Neuro Module will expose us to how to help patients post-CVA, TBI, etc. or those diagnosed with Parkinsons, MS, etc. I personally have had limited exposure to patients with neurological deficits so I have many unanswered questions that this module, I know, will address. The weekly schedule resembles those in the past with class typically 9-4pm daily. We have the joy of returning to the anatomy lab to capture the tiny details of the human brain while dissecting and exploring. It is exciting to be back at the familiar Gerald L Francis Center learning new information but at the same time it is a hard transition from “working” at the clinic and having free weekends to having deadlines on the mind. The weeks ahead will build in us character, a better PT, and the ability to enrich a patient’s life through rehab.
Being back on Elon’s campus also means the buildup of extracurricular activities. Intramurals began for soccer and softball beginnings are just around the corner. We look forward to hosting the Spring Special Olympics and being involved in fundraiser walks/bikes for ALS and MS. The Elon DPT H.O.P.E pro bono clinic is well underway. I’m amazed at my classmates’ ability to initiate, progress, and run a pro bono clinic for the community. This is a dynamic program with more and more doors opening for education, challenges, opportunities to volunteer and opportunities to share your skills and knowledge of PT and life.