Category Archives: Brittany

Getting Our Feet Wet

We are halfway through our selectives module, which I am completing in Seattle, WA with two classmates. We have set up an independent study to further pursue manual therapy in a clinic with three therapists who have been gracious with their time and knowledge. It was a quick adjustment to flip from classroom time back into the clinic. We haven’t experienced the clinic since last October, or specifically the orthopedic setting since February 2012. It was initially very overwhelming realizing how much there was to review, but as we reviewed and the brain juices started to flow again, it highlighted how well we had learned the material the first time around. It was also fun to review our notes and remember how difficult certain concepts were for us in the beginning. Our professors were so patient with our questions and stress back then…I don’t know that I would be so patient if the tables were turned. It was just another example of how blessed we have been with our professors who are so brilliant but who take the time to “dumb things down” for us until we are ready for it.

It has been an exciting month for community involvement for the DPT program. Our program got involved in the ALS walk in Greensboro for the second year with a great turnout and beautiful weather to support those with ALS and their families and friends. The Gears and Cheers bike race for MS also was a huge success with students, professors, family and friends coming both to race and support. Both groups and events were able to raise money to fight the respective diseases through community fundraisers and donations. The renewed consistency of such events has been challenging and rewarding and allows us to give back to the patients that are the reason we are in this career.

We will be headed back to Elon in 2 weeks to finish up with a couple of classes and presentations, as well as our Board Exam practice test.  After that week of reconnecting, we will split ways across the country once again for our final six-month clinical. I can’t believe we have made it this far!

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Wrapping Up

It;s almost here. In the next month, we will be let loose from classes to pursue our choice for selectives, followed by our six-month internship. I cannot believe our time on this campus is coming to a close. After months (and years for that matter) of stressing about grades, the next test or project, and our busy schedules, we are let free to be put to the real test.

In three weeks, two of my classmates and I will be driving across country to Seattle where we will be undergoing an independent study on manual therapy. We will be reviewing our information from the orthopedic module from the first year, practicing our techniques on each other, and learning new techniques from a mentor. We are all looking forward to a review before getting hit hard in the six month clinical. We will head back to NC for a week of final classes, presentations, and the practice board exam before splitting ways again for six more months apart.

Other classmates will be heading to Kenya and Belize to work in clinics and hospitals, some will stay on campus to review ortho and neuro and see patients, while others will be further pursuing their interests in pediatrics and independent research.

For now, we are finishing up classes in geriatrics, pediatrics, and administration/management, learning about both ends of the spectrum of life and how to lead a clinic. The ends are being tied up. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Seattle! Enjoy the beginnings of spring until then.

We had a wonderful opportunity the other week to share the academic lives of PT students with PA students. With many planners and helpers, students from both programs showed up to meet each other, to tour each others sections of the Francis Center, and to gain a better understanding and appreciation of our peers in the building. It was a great step forward and we are looking forward to this becoming an annual tradition.
Also, the Walk to Defeat ALS is coming up on April 20th in Greensboro! If you would like to join to walk or donate, please go to the website below. Thank you for your support!

http://webnc.alsa.org/site/TR/Walks/NorthCarolina?team_id=233641&pg=team&fr_id=8880
Additionally, there is a team from Elon DPT (Gears and Cheers) that will be riding in the MS Bike Race on May 4th in Gibsonville. If biking is more your cup of tea, please consider signing up. You can also support the team through donation on the website.

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/NCCBikeEvents?team_id=328356&pg=team&fr_id=21437

How time flies

I can’t believe we are actually here, with more than two years of PT school under our belts. How time flies…We are two weeks into our last two blended modules. We are currently in pediatrics, administration and management, and clinical decision making with complex patients. Our classes have switched from analytically based content to much more of a discussion-based set of classes. Our weeks are full of patient-based presentations and discussions regarding leadership, management, and critical thinking. It’s been quite a change of pace but it’s a good means of reflecting on how much we have learned and who we want to be as upcoming PT’s.

The 2nd year students will be back in the building on Monday from their first clinical. We look forward to seeing familiar faces around the building again and hearing about their last two months away.

We have all had the chance to meet the 1st years by this point after a coffee morning with the girls from both classes and a lunch with both full classes. It’s nice to finally have some names to place with faces after two months together in the building.

I had another moment last week that gave me a fresh reminder of what it is to be a part of this program. A few weeks back, a classmate and I were chatting in the hallway after practical exams with a couple of our professors. My friend had an idea about a piece of technology that could potentially better our academic experience. Next thing I knew, I heard that our professors had pursued the idea, gotten the technology, and were going to experiment with its use. The dedication that our professors have to our learning, and their willingness to listen to our ideas, never fails to impress me. We are a lucky crew.

Growing Community

We finally had a week to breathe! This last month has been absolutely packed with tests, quizzes, papers and presentations for the five classes that we have been balancing. Thankfully, this week was a real chance to catch up in classes, and in life. We finally had free time to spend time with each other before exams start next week.

We are winding down with our classes that we started prior to Christmas. Our only change has been the switch from electro to woundcare. This module (and the next two) are our chance to find unique specialties and focuses. It has been fun to watch people find their own niche as we have continued on.  Now that we have three clinicals under our belts, its easier to know our strengths, weaknesses, and interests and what we want the next step to be.

On that same line, we are also looking ahead at Selectives (April-May), which is our one opportunity as students to decide what we need more practice in, want to pursue further or want to experience for the first time. We have students planning trips to Belize and Kenya, preparing to look more into pediatrics, geriatrics, manual therapy, and to review orthopedics and neuro. Its very exciting to actually be taking that next step towards the careers that are not so far in the future.

The first-years and PA students are all here! We’re all adjusting to the limited parking and general space but it hasn’t been too difficult. Our community has grown exponentially and will only expand further when the second-years come back in just a few short weeks. Unfortunately we haven’t had much time to get to know each other yet but have some plans in the works (coffee, potluck). Looking forward to it all.

The Journey Continues

Our third year of PT school has begun.  As the first-years start their orientation today, I was forced to reflect over the past two years and all that has happened since entering a new phase of life in grad school.  Those first-year classes seem so long ago and yet, these two years really have moved quite quickly. I am very grateful for the growth that has come along with these past two years both personally and professionally. I’m also very excited for the incoming class to start their own grad school journey.

We have been back in classes for less than a week after another fully appreciated break away. I got to travel home for Christmas to spend time back with my family and friends back in Seattle, and to rest before coming back to the busy schedule that has picked right back up upon our return. We have our final exam and practical this week for electro and will be switching over to wound care next week. We have also continued at a dead sprint in our other classes with upcoming tests, quizzes, practicals and papers. Oh, the life of a student.

Although classes have picked up right where we left off, the school feels very different than when we left it. The graduated class has officially moved on, the now second-year students are spread out for their first clinical rotation, and we third-years await the addition of not only the new PT class but also, the first PA class. Our little section of campus is about ready for a large change from empty hallways to full parking lots and ongoing noise.

Hope you all were able to rest and enjoy the holidays as well!

Holiday Season

We have been back in classes for three weeks now. We have a very different set up than we have been used to since the ortho and neuro modules. We are currently in exercise physiology, electro/wound care, cardiopulmonary, orthotics/prosthetics and directed research.

Trying to balance five different classes after having no classes for almost five months has been more challenging than expected. We also jumped right into intramurals, socializing, and other responsibilities, leading to very busy and complicated schedules. We are never done learning about PT or study habits here.

Thanksgiving break was a welcomed breather from the initial chaos of returning back to school. We got the chance to spend time with family and friends, and look ahead to the final weeks of classes before Christmas break.

While we continue on in our academic careers, we can also see glimpses of how far we have come. With the 3rd year class returning this week before graduation, we are shocked at how quickly that will be us. On the other end, we see just how far we have come as interviewees for the class of 2016 are making their way through the building. As I was feeling entirely grateful to be far away from the time of decision-making and applying for schools, it hit me how incredibly quickly these last three years (since applying) have gone. The class that is currently interviewing will be starting after we graduate — we will have jobs and will be starting a whole new set of transitions. I’m beginning to see that life really doesn’t ever slow down.

Christmas is almost here! The decorations, food, parties, and plans are popping up left and right in order to get us all ready for another break. However, it’s really not beginning to feel like Christmas, as it was almost 70 degrees out as I drove to Starbucks to study today. Seventy degrees in December is basically unheard of in my lifetime, but I’m not complaining.

Happy holidays!

Reflection

I can’t believe I’m actually back at Elon, writing this again. In some ways, it feels 100 percent normal and natural to be back on campus. We have settled right back in to our busy school schedules, but yet I have so much that I have learned and experienced that makes me different than when I was last here. I see these changes in my classmates as well.

I hear stories of patients, of CI’s, of struggles and triumphs, and I know that we are not the students we once were. We have rounded out our clinical experience with time in each type of setting and we’ve had to find ourselves in and through these different types of settings. Some of us have excelled in orthopedics back in January, some in inpatient/SNF/acute, and some have yet to find their niche. However, I do know that each of us has learned something about ourselves and about the PTs we want/don’t want to become. There is a new and sound sense of confidence in my classmates that is very refreshing to see.

I have been back in the U.S. for just over a week and my time has been filled to its maximum with moving, catching up with friends, adjusting from jet lag, getting right back into intramurals, and teaching my mind and body to sit back in class once again. I would like to think that things will settle down soon but I’m not so sure this will be the case. We have the rest of this week before enjoying a Thanksgiving break with family/friends, then we’ll be back in class for just under three weeks, and then we will have Christmas break for two and a half weeks. The ebb and flow of PT school always keeps us guessing, but I do believe it teaches us the importance of adaptation and change, as this is one constant in PT.

I will be sad to see the third years graduate in just a few weeks but I look forward to catching up with them as they return for one final week. As they slowly file back in, I have been hearing their thoughts of “quicker than we thought” and “it’s hard to believe we’re here.” There is a sense of anticipation for the future, a sadness to leave the world that they have known for three years, and gratefulness for the experience that this has been.

They will surely be missed.

When we return back in January, we will be joined not only by a new class of PT students, but also the first PA students that Elon has seen, while our current first year class will be spreading out on their first clinical. I cannot believe we are already here. These past two years have truly flown by. You always hear it from others, those that have already been through it, but it is hard to comprehend that all of those hours of studying bring you, somehow, to your third year. Time flies.

Italy: I have yet to process a lot of the experience but I am fully aware that I have learned a lot about myself through the process. I am still working through the similarities and differences between Italian and American cultures and PT, but I’m not sure I will even know the extent to what I have learned until I return back to the clinic. I would definitely not trade the experience but it’s hard to believe that it’s actually all over. It was an experience of a lifetime, to be sure.

On a side note, the School of Health Sciences is sponsoring another blood drive on November 28. If you’re in the area and are willing and eligible to donate, we would love your help! Sign up for an appointment here.

Happy Thanksgiving!