How thine buttocks detest the contours of the desk chair. How thine body fights the necessary entrapment in a single room for hours. How thine mind struggles to find focus and drive to listen and learn in a static setting. After returning from 4 months of clinical rotations being on our feet, using our hands, recalling material learned, experiencing life with patients, being educated in the midst of doing, we have returned to Elon. Professors warned us of the challenges Module IX will bring. The classes are fairly dissociated from one another and holiday breaks make it nearly impossible to develop a rhythm of being back in the classroom. After 2 weeks into the module, I’m finding this to be true.
But, I am also finding a strong sense of ownership of the new material learned. Confusion, misconception and the downright lack of knowledge I experienced while in clinicals are being addressed through the current courses. I have tangible images and experiences of patients I met while working in the hospital and ICU that come to mind during lecture. I have mental snapshots of patient charts with acronyms, diagnoses, surgical procedures and impairments that never, until now, reached the gyri of my brain. An educated understanding is being formulated through Module IX with classes in Exercise Physiology, Cardiopulmonary, Prosthetics/Orthotics and Wound Care. As a treat, we do meet with a patient once a week to decipher a plan of care in conjunction with best evidence and reason to explain that plan. This edifies our application of newly learned material. Our “PT toolbox” continues to grow.
It is truly a neat feeling to watch and to hear how classmates have developed in this profession over the past 4 months. We each bring our own flavor of physical therapy to the classroom now. There has been a progression of knowledge, an increased confidence with our PT skills, and a strong sense of community and support from one another even when not in the same geographic location. Just around the corner is Christmas break, which leads up to year 3. The final year. The good year.