Category Archives: Brittany

Always Learning

Our clinical finished up one and a half weeks ago followed by a break for moving back, recuperating and relaxing.

Clinicals: where is one to start? Since everyone I have talked to had such different experiences, it’s hard to pinpoint the commonalities across the board. However, I know that we all learned about ourselves and about PT, even if it wasn’t necessarily what we expected to learn going into it. In the end though, our patients are what each of us is in this career for and so everything else, both positive and negative, becomes what shapes us to be the best therapists that we are capable of becoming. We will each have clinical experience to learn from and to depend upon as we continue both in class and in our future clinical experiences.

We are starting our neurology module with everything that I could ever imagine wanting to know about the brain.  I have no idea what I’m in for but I’m ready to learn.

It was so good to come back to our class after three months apart, as well as to see our professors and the other classes. I’m looking forward to another year with many people that have made NC another home for me.


Time Will Tell

We are exactly halfway done with our first clinical! As I finish up the intricate evaluations for midterm clinical education, I’m forced to reflect on the past four weeks.

In some ways, I have lost certain skills that we practiced for hours in lab. On the other hand, I have an entirely new skill set that I had never practiced before. As clinical students, we walk a fine line. We are taught under a certain style and are up on the latest evidence, and then we’re set free to clinics that may or may not support what we learned. Every PT has their own style, as do most clinics.

Nobody’s clinical experience has been the same yet. It’s a daily challenge to find our own style by which to practice, while fitting in under our clinic’s style. However, getting hands-on experience and practice with real patients highlights our strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve had the chance to tour the new building—wow!  I still can’t believe it’s the building we’ll be coming back to in a month. There’s so much space, everything is new, and it has all the best technology. It’s unreal.

We’re finalizing our lists for our six months clinical in our third year. With that “on the horizon,” PT as a career and a future seems more tangible. It also brings the responsibility and the bigger decisions to the forefront. The pressure is on: pick your specialty (ortho, acute, inpatient) at a clinic/hospital with the best PTs  (experience, continuing education) in a location that you can handle for 6 months. So far, I still plan on a future in orthopedics, but I am also trying to figure out which institution I want to study under as a PT (Evidence in Motion, IAOM, NAIOMT), and whether a residency is the best option. Time will tell.

All the Difference

Having a three-week break made all the difference.  I was able to relax and reset for year #2 through a busy time with family and friends—the best kind of busy.

We just started our first clinical rotation in orthopedics.  A classmate and myself are in Cary at a clinic and we just finished 1 full week of clinical.  Its been challenging to combine what we’ve learned with different therapists’ styles but I feel like I’ve grown already in just a week.  It is so good to be around patients again and it’s nice to practice the theories in reality.

Its been quite an adjustment to not see my classmates that I used to spend half of the hours in a week with.  It’s amazing how much you miss each other when its not there—a good sign of appreciation after all of the stress of last year.

To any 1st years, enjoy your 1st week!

Earning a Break

We are second years.  How did that happen?

I’m sitting on the couch relaxing in Michigan with a friend from undergrad after going to another friends’ wedding the other night.  As with every break, it feels like it can’t come soon enough but then when it comes, it’s everything you hoped it would be.

The whole last month has been ridiculously busy but we learned so much, we spent time together, and we got prepped and ready for Christmas.

Congratulations on your graduation class of 2011!  And good luck with the move and prepping for school to the class of 2014.

Nearing An End

We are less than four weeks of class away from finishing our first year of PT school.  I know I talk about this all the time, but it’s hitting me more than ever; time is flying.

I don’t know when it happened but sometime in the last 10 months, I really became a PT student.  I really became committed to my future in this career.  I learned more in the last 10 months regarding PT than I ever knew before.  My life has taken a path that few others do, and I’m so grateful for the journey its been so far.

We have now completed both the spine and lower extremity sections of orthopedics and are one week into the upper extremity.  In just one week, I’ve already warped into that person that thinks about the shoulder motions involved in the throw I watched during the football game, or in watching people get groceries from the shelves in the store.  I knew my thought process had been changing but I’m seeing life in new ways because of school.

Thankfully, we’ll finally get a break for Thanksgiving soon, followed by a quick couple of weeks until Christmas break.  After the New Year, we’ll move on to our respective clinical sites for our first experience in the clinic since school started.

We’re almost there!

Fall is progressing beautifully here with the return of crisp air and the leaves changing.  Fall is a wonderful season down here.  I had the chance to spend some time out in Asheville hiking and driving the Blue Ridge Parkway—definitely worth your time if you get the chance.  I’ve eaten my fair share of apples from “nearby” orchards and enjoyed running outside once again (in my favorite kind of weather, temperate).

I’m looking forward to meeting next year’s students!  Hope your preparations have or will continue smoothly.  As always, please feel free to ask any questions, as I know well that it’s not a minor adjustment.

Speeding Through the Seasons

I can’t believe its already October! We finished our first section (the spine) in ortho and are on to the lower extremity. Each day can feel long with class from 9-5 but it’s shocking how quickly this module has been moving.  I feel like I’m going to blink and suddenly we’ll be on our first clinical, actually working on patients instead of our classmates.

Its been a change of pace from the switch between the spine and lower extremity but we’ve had some interesting opportunities. Last week, we worked through an inpatient lab setting for patients post-knee (TKA) and hip (THA) replacement.   Our professors and some PTs and PTAs from the hospital came over and gave us advice and feedback. It was eye-opening to see the differences between how to handle rehabilitation post-TKA and THA in the hospital versus an outpatient setting.

Fall is fully here.  The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are beginning to change, the air is finally crisp, and the typical fall foods/drinks are everywhere.  I love it.

As with each passing month, I’ve learned to appreciate our class and the friends I’ve made here more and more.  I’m so glad I get to be part of it.

Hope you’ve all been well!

Back At It

My break finished up wonderfully with some more relaxation and socializing, as well as a break for camping.  I can’t be home without taking full advantage of the cooler temperatures and the outdoors!

We started back up three weeks ago with a very different schedule set up.  We are back to Wednesdays without classes, but instead, each one gets filled up with time in the lab, working on research, studying, volunteering, and periodically, a little social time.  We have class from about 9-5 every day but are only taking two classes and one online class.  Orthopedics is about 90 percent of our time and focus, while we keep up with our small group research and clinical imaging.

We’re about halfway through our first ortho section, the spine, and gosh, I am such an ortho nerd.  I get truly excited to learn techniques and better understand the pathologies that I’ve seen.  It’s reassuring to see my own excitement and passion for PT increase during these times and I’m reminded, once again, of why I commit so much time to learning, practicing, and studying.  I did choose this life for this period and there’s a good reason for it.

We also added three members to our class recently.  Two students from previous classes took some time off and have now joined our class to continue their time at Elon.  Also, our classmate and his wife, who were expecting their first child, had their beautiful daughter!  It’s been a fun chance for some change.

The undergraduate students are returning to campus and I’m just realizing how quickly summer has flown by.  The quiet campus will soon return to its normal order as we adjust to sharing the gym and library once again.

Hurricane Irene seems to be leaving us fairly alone here, at least from what I’ve experienced so far, so I’m quite grateful for that.  Hope the rest of you are staying/stayed safe as well!

Finally, if any of you are from the incoming class, please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions as you start to plan your next three years.  I know I had questions a year ago so feel free to ask about whatever you need!