Many times throughout my young and fresh PT career, I’ve heard those of us in this wonderful profession referred to as mobility experts. While I’ve certainly experienced and learned what this means during my time in the classroom and during my prior clinicals, it has been this current Inpatient Rehab clinical that has truly showed me quite fully what it means to be a mobility expert.
If you really take a moment to stop and think about it, human movement, especially gait, is an incredibly complex and beautiful thing. Since the majority of us are blessed with the ability to move around just fine, the complexity behind our movements is most likely not something that most people do actually take the time to think about. As for me, after three amazing weeks at my inpatient rehab clinical, I have taken A LOT of time to think about the complexity behind human movement because without this understanding, it makes it awfully hard to treat my patients. In fact, in addition to learning more about how an injured body moves, I’ve also had to learn potentially even more about how to most effectively move my own body. As an example, as I turned red with the exertion of trying to bring one of my patients up into quadruped the other day, my CI intervened and made it look so easy that my patient started laughing and asked me if I needed a drink of water. While the situation was certainly a good laugh for all of us, it just goes to show that the knowledge of how to utilize movement effectively is crucial in making sure that we deliver the best care possible to our patients. I have no doubt that all of my classmates are doing amazing things on this clinical as well, and here’s to all of us walking, or should I say gait training, the road towards becoming mobility experts!
That feeling of overwhelming excitement is starting to fill the air. It is almost as magical as the feeling of a child when the trip to Disney World lies right around the corner. But instead of preparing myself to stand at the base of Magic Kingdom, be donned with princess tiaras, and bombarded with enthusiastic smiles….I’m preparing myself for the second half of my clinical rotation. That second half means half way closer to reuniting with my classmates back in North Carolina for graduation. That second half means I’m feeling good to hit the working world. That second half means moving out of my parent’s house in Michigan in roughly 3 months (insert slow clap).
We still have loads to learn and assignments to wrap up over the next few months as well. Elon likes to keep tabs on our progress and help remind us we are still in school. This is a welcomed reminder because the date of the licensure board creeps closer and closer. For some classmates this date is soon. For others, it isn’t until January 2016. Why the discrepancy? During the final year of PT school you have the option of taking the board exam in October 2015 or wait until after graduation and take it in January 2016. There are valid reasons for arguing both dates. Take it early and you will spend much time outside of the clinical rotation studying for the boards instead of taking time studying information directly pertinent to the rotation. You may be quite stressed during this clinical rotation if you are not good at time management. Yet, you will be stress free at the time of graduation and you can start working as a licensed PT quite quickly after December 13 (date of graduation). Or, you can take it later and find yourself with a good 6 weeks after graduation to dedicate to studying. You may find more time to focus on researching patients during your clinical and more time to catch up with family if your rotation was back home. This may sound a little less stressful. However, come graduation you won’t be able to practice as a licensed PT until after January 28. There is good and bad to both but I believe that one option could be good for one student and bad for another. It really depends.
Although there are future events to look forward to, an attitude and mindset to not take these next months for granted is necessary. It is easy to let the hours at the clinic escape you and hope for the weekend. Each weekend brings us closer to graduation but each weekend also means one less week in this season of life. There are many positives to being a student; it is only in our favor to take in as much close mentoring, guided studying, and open questioning while we can.
Now that it is September, the Ortho Module is in full swing for the Class of 2017. When Module IV started in August we realized that we didn’t have class on Wednesdays.
FREE TIME, RIGHT?!
Wednesdays are for practice, research and visiting PT clinics! While it is nice to sleep in an hour or two, most of us spend our time in the lab practicing different techniques we have learned during the week. Multiple professors are in the lab so there is always someone to ask for help. We are doing a lot of hands-on learning and the professors challenge us every day, but every day we feel more and more like PTs. We also spend time with our research advisors working on various projects. Lastly, we visit some outpatient clinics and observe. It is a lot different observing physical therapists now since we actually know why they are doing what they are doing. Pretty exciting stuff!
As PTs we must be advocates for a healthy lifestyle. Every hour we are given a 10-minute break to clear our minds and walk around. To get away from this monotony, a student in our class had the brilliant idea of starting the “Motion is Lotion” challenge. Every break, students have the option of staying at the Francis Center or taking a quick run outside. There are two route options: a mile and a half-mile. Friday is a wild-card day where people are given the option of doing some type of strength exercise. It has been a great success so far! People keep track and at the end of the module there will be a prize. Exciting! 🙂
We continued the “Motion is Lotion” Challenge last Thursday night at a baseball game with a 1K Beer Run. It was social event of the season! After a busy week of lab practice and research it was the perfect night to support the local baseball team, the Burlington Royals. We had great weather, yummy food and good company!
Last weekend I had a great time with friends in Asheville. It was a bit of a drive, but it was well worth it to spend the weekend in the mountains celebrating a friend’s birthday. The highlight of the trip was going zip-lining in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville is very cool artsy mountainous city that I definitely want to go back to.
I am now realizing that perhaps I spend too much time having fun with friends and not enough time studying, but it is all worth it. It is difficult to find the perfect balance between studying, friends, and making time for yourself. You have to strive for it though when you are PT school. So much of my time is spent studying and as much as I love Elon University and physical therapy, there is only so much I can do before I NEED time with friends or time taking care of myself. It’s great that I have a support system here that allows me to do just that.