Spring in North Carolina

Happy spring y’all. The Class of 2017 has the afternoon off today and everyone is enjoying it thoroughly. Some are going kayaking while others are going on a hike, but I thought I would update you on what our class has been up to before I go enjoy the North Carolina sun at the pool.

Before PT school, it seemed like everyone was competing with each other to attain the highest GPA, the most extracurricular activities, and to become buddy-buddy with their elders so they could get good recommendation letters. I’m not going to lie – I was part of that cohort. Now that I am in PT school, students still want to maintain a good GPA, get involved, and communicate with faculty, but with very different intentions from undergrad. We all want to do well because we all want to be successful and knowledgeable physical therapists.

It is crazy to think about all we have learned in a 3-month module. During Module 2, we dove right into Anatomy and Physiology. Although those classes took up most of our time, we took other classes to learn about bed mobility, assistive devices, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, and my personal favorite – soft tissue mobilization (a.k.a. massage). At the end of April, nine exams (including written exams and lab practicals) sounded very overwhelming. However, the exams were spaced out and once I started taking the exam or went into the room for the practical – I was shocked with how much I knew and how much had already become second nature.

Learning is much more fun when you have other PT students to collaborate with. One of my favorite memories at the Francis Center during Module 2 was when most of our class came in on a Sunday night before our PT Science I practical to practice how to use assistive devices. Everyone was walking around with canes, walkers, and rolling in wheelchairs and all laughing and helping each other out. It was very cool to see everyone helping a brother or sister out, while still having a great time learning.

But hold the phone.

PT school isn’t all about studying – the Class of 2017 definitely knows how to have fun outside of class. Raleigh, Durham, and Greensboro are close enough to enjoy country concerts, cool coffee shops and minor league baseball games – all of which our class have thoroughly enjoyed. Last weekend, I enjoyed my first Carolina Que Dog at a Durham Bulls baseball game. Who knew barbecue and slaw on top of a hot dog could be so good?! The night concluded perfectly with many of us PT friends watching fireworks together at the ballpark.

Since much of our day is spent sitting in the classroom, we also like to get outside and stay active. The bikers in our class have made a couple trips to the ice cream shop a bit south of here and I’ve already made two trips to hike at Hanging Rock State Park (which is absolutely beautiful). Some of the best memories I have so far are playing tennis with my classmates. We aren’t very good at tennis, but we are pretty good at laughing at ourselves playing tennis. Lastly, many of Elon’s PT students, their families, and the surrounding community came together in April to run a 5K to support the H.O.P.E. Clinic, a student-run pro-bono physical therapy clinic for those who are uninsured or under-insured in Alamance County and surrounding areas. Learn more.

Module 3 is now in full-force and we are all really starting to feel like physical therapists. We strut our stuff with confidence in our clinical attire while carrying our handy-dandy PT kits (which contain our fancy goniometers, tape measures, stethoscopes, and the like). We are already learning how to correctly diagnose a musculoskeletal problem and the art of manual muscle testing, and are having a blast doing it. We know a lot more about physical therapy than what we did 5 months ago, but know that there is much more to be learned. It is pretty difficult, but together we are up to the challenge. Just one step closer to becoming a PT!

Now off to the pool. See ya!

DPT at the Durham Bulls game Outside of the Francis Center DPT at Hanging Rock DPT after the 5K

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