After a wonderful week off, I hit the ground running this morning! Today started the first day of last clinical rotation for the class of 2014! This clinical is unlike any of the previous for several reasons. To begin, our past clinical experiences have been 2 months in duration and this final one is 6 months. This is the only clinical rotation in which we are also taking another course: DPT 809 Directed Research II. During this rotation, for the first time, we are expected to be at 100% caseload for a new graduate. We may also choose to begin studying for the national physical therapy board exam during this experience. So, while this is an exciting time, it is also a very busy time for us!
In preparation to begin our studies for the board exam, we took a practice exam the week before last. This gave us all an idea of the content that we knew well and other areas in which we would need to focus our attention on. After completing this practice exam, I can confidently say that Elon does a phenomenal job of preparing us for this important component of our education. After answering just over 150 test questions, I was relieved to discover that there were only about 2 questions that I was unfamiliar with. This does not mean that I knew all of the answers, as we were told not to study or prepare for this practice exam in advance, but what it does mean is that I had been taught the information and had been exposed to this content at some point in my career as a student at Elon. I am not sure that students from other programs can boast the same of their experience.
In the weeks and months to come my biggest challenge will be to juggle a full time career as a student physical therapist, finding time to take care of myself through adequate rest and an appropriate amount of exercise, and setting aside time for course work and preparatory studies. It will be a challenge, but there’s no doubt that if we’ve made it this far, we will reach the finish line!