Category Archives: Amanda

Our problem-free philosophy

I think I was told a lie as a child. When Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King told me that there were no worries for the rest of my days, I believed them. And they were wrong. When the first set of midterms approached mid-March, I was a tad worried. We had been working hard throughout the weeks learning new material, refreshing material we touched on in undergrad, and processing how the information will be clinically applicable. We all desired to do well and prove to ourselves that we could handle this doctorate program. I’m happy to report we all survived. Bob Marley lives on! “Don’t worry… be happy.”  And happy we are.

This past month, we’ve had glimpses into what our profession will look like outside the Francis Center. Having learned how to conduct a patient interview, we entered a local skilled nursing facility prepared but slightly nervous. We entered ready to humbly learn about a patient’s medical history, life as they know it and their physical therapy experiences. All and all this was a blast. Not to belittle any time spent in class or hasten to speak a negative word about my drawings of stick figures demonstrating wheelchair transfers…I found this experience outside the classroom working with an actual patient to be extremely enlightening and rejuvenating. We also witnessed a patient interview through a live feed from one of our second-year DPT students on her clinical rotation. It brought excitement to observe what is coming down the road in January 2014. Even hearing about patient/clinical experiences I found helpful. This month the second-year DPT students returned to the Francis Center making it a fun and lively place full of new faces. Many stories are being shared about clinical experiences and what we first-years should expect in the months ahead. Each story instilled excitement and a dose of anticipation of the unknown.

But the time until we start our first clinical rotation is a ways away; so until then, we keep on trucking through the wonders of anatomy, physiology, and learning about physical therapy modalities and patient care skills. It is quite amazing how much material we have covered and how much more is yet to learn. Overwhelming? At times. But more so incredible. We are deep into our human donor dissections and becoming more and more aware of anatomical differences between the donors. I truly look forward to each lab day. There tends to be a bit of an attachment to the human donor as well.  I know for myself personally…being kind of sensitive…I just may cry come the day we say goodbye. After pouring hours into the dissection process you become extremely grateful for the entire learning process. It is one of a kind.  On a different note, time spent learning about patient skills and PT modalities such as hot pack application/cryotherapy/massage is starting to fill our PT toolbox. The labs for these courses provide active learning and hands on application. Who doesn’t like to practice being the patient for hot pack application or massage?! Like I’ve said before, this is where I’m supposed to be : )

I’m finding that I could never get through DPT all alone. I definitely rely on my classmates through studying, reminders of due dates and for overall encouragement.  It has been great having class representatives established to keep the weeks running smooth; I’ve seen amazing leadership, which makes me quite proud to be a “2015’er.”  And like my Grandma used to say to my Dad, who went through a physical therapy program up in Michigan, “all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.”  Well, Amanda definitely doesn’t want to be dull for the next three years so I rely on classmates for this also. In the past month our class has done well at dominating intramural games and hope to continue to do so in the sports ahead. We have visited the local brewery for a tour, headed out to Winston- Salem for the Color Run, participated in March Madness brackets, gone trail running, have had a few bonfires, and of course finding ways to razz one another.  It’s all about finding that balance between studying and living…and finding, so they say…Hakuna Matata.



The New Kid on the Block – Meet Amanda, DPT Class of 2015

“Coffee is continuously running through my veins to keep me awake, my shoulders are permanently slumped to keep me gazed over pages of mundane material, my right hand is developing arthritis to deny my unyielding notes, and clouds of loneliness befit me to forever be in relation with books, notes, and the drone of the Francis Center on every night.”

If this was my existence after two months into the DPT program, it would be a bitter and dreadful road.  I’m here to tell you, as a first year physical therapy student at Elon University, my expectations of this program, my classmates, the professors, and life as I know it, has been blown out of the water. I dare say that my 52 classmates would echo this. The last two months have been simply amazing.

This is exactly where I am supposed to be.

When we first entered the doors of the Francis Center on January 8, anticipation and excitement of the unknown was electrifying. The onset of our first module drove us deep into the psychosocial realm of healthcare. This course transitioned our minds from stagnation to thinking as a physical therapist. We also tackled insurance terms and wrapped our minds around the recent Health Care Reform.  A few moans rose from our seats at times. These courses plus a few others were structured such to give us time to make a smooth transition into a new place with new people. I was so grateful for this!

Many of us came from out-of-state as well as areas outside the Elon community.  Coming from Michigan, I was anxious about what my new North Carolina life was going consist of. I felt like I was going to a party in which I knew absolutely no one. To be honest, I was a hot mess. But after a few hours into orientation, I lost track of all my fears. And now after a few months, I feel like I’m at home with 52 great new friends. We have been able to grab dinner or coffee, have movie nights, travel to Greensboro and Chapel Hill, and of course have study groups. My class is my new family and I won’t trade them for anything.

As I transitioned from a hot mess to someone who is cool, calm and collected all the time(ha), module 2 entered my life and things got brain crazy. About a month ago we started a new module in which the course load stepped up its game. We were ready though and we are tackling it with tact. We met our teachers in anatomy. Being able to work with a human donor is such a neat experience. I am absolutely loving it. It astonishes me every lab to gaze upon the intricacies within our bodies. It really is quite something.  We are being challenged with a lot of information; yet, when the material is so applicable and interesting, studying is, do I dare say, fun?

And this goes for all of our courses at the present. It really is a good time with amazing professors leading us onward. The professors I have worked with for the past two modules hold incredible intelligence, compassion, and vibrancy for life.

All in all challenges are presented daily; being stretched in thinking is constant; late nights reading and developing understanding is continuous but incredibly enlightening and applicable. You are pushed, you are pulled, but you go to bed at night being thankful and feeling that this is right where you belong.  Any opening in my planner can be filled with something new.  I’m having a great time volunteering at the Therapeutic Riding Center, working with a professor and a patient, playing basketball intramurals (undefeated so far!…1:1), and  continuously developing relationships with my classmates.

We have so much knowledge to gain in this field over the next three years. Sometimes it seems overwhelming but when you take it day by day and remind yourself to be thankful for the opportunity to become a physical therapist, stress diminishes and the goodness of life abounds.

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