Category Archives: Jenna

Saying Goodbye

Here we are. December 2011.  This has been a date on the mind of all my classmates and myself since beginning the DPT program at Elon in January 2009. So many people told us that our time at Elon would go quickly, but when you are in the middle of classes and clinicals, with assignments and all on your mind, it is hard to believe that the finish line is not too far off. But it is here. We made it.

I cannot believe everything I have learned and had the opportunity to do in these last three years.  Elon University and all the professors in the DPT program have been an incredible blessing to my life, and I am forever thankful.  Elon was the only place for me, and I am so thankful that God led me to this university and this program.  I was challenged in ways I have never been challenged, and I was pushed to the edge of my mental, emotional, and physical limit at times throughout this program, but I am so thankful for the trials as God has used them to help shape me into the person, and soon-to-be professional physical therapist that I am.

The mighty challenge of physical therapy school leads to the feeling of a mighty accomplishment when it is complete. I feel that these past three years, this past season of my life, has been one of the most influential in shaping me into who I am and helping me to learn who I am.  As this season comes to an end, and as I prepare to go into the “real world,” I feel that I am well prepared and ready for my career and journey as a therapist.

If you have the opportunity to be a part of this program, Elon becomes your home for these three years. I encourage you to fully invest yourself into this program and pursuit, just as Elon and all the professors and staff will fully invest in your growth and development.

I am so thankful for my time at Elon. I am so thankful for all the DPT professors and staff members, as well as all the other professionals at Elon that helped me through this program. I am so thankful for all of my classmates and am so proud of them. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to share my thoughts throughout this program and the journey God had me on at Elon through this blog.

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It’s The Final Countdown

Hi everyone!  One more month has sped by us, which means I only have a little time left in my final internship!  Things are going well.  I am continuing to learn something new each and every day, both from the colleagues I am working with, as well as the patients and families I have the privilege to work with.

Elon has prepared me well for this journey, and I am so thankful for the time I have had in this program to be shaped into the near-future professional physical therapist.  I look forward to finishing this internship strong and taking the steps necessary to prepare for my career!

In just a few weeks I will be writing my final blog post as an Elon DPT student – crazy.  I look forward to writing, and please let me know if anyone has any questions or needs anything!

A True Calling

I was just reading what Brittany wrote about how time in this physical therapy program flies by – and I was just thinking about how that has been a consistent theme throughout my time in this program as well.  There were definitely times when I felt like I just had so much work on my plate and so much ahead of me that I did not think I had the energy in me to finish the tasks, but as I look back, I can just see Christ carrying me through it all, giving me His energy, and now I realize how quickly my time has gone.

I have been challenged in this program, sometimes more-so than I thought I could handle, but if it had been easy, it would not feel so rewarding to be where I am right now.

Being in this profession, you are going to come into contact with all types of people, patients, and families, carrying along with them their own special and unique stories.  In the past few weeks working in acute care I have spent time with more than a few patients and families dealing with hard situations.  One patient was an elderly man who was over six feet tall and outwardly appeared to be a stout, strong man who was now dealing with all sorts of complications from cardiopulmonary problems.  While this man appeared to be this strong person, I experienced his gentle, tender, and fatigued heart and spirit as he talked with me about how this sickness was just too much for him, that he was ready to go “home” (meaning Heaven).

I prayed with him and talked with him and left that afternoon with a greater understanding of the hope I have in Christ.  He is my strength.  His strength is revealed even greater in my weakness.  He is my hope and my purpose.  And because of this, I have a light of hope to share with each patient and family that I have the great opportunity to work with and serve.  The field of physical therapy is not just a career path.  It is an avenue to serve others in a time of need, an opportunity to provide hope when someone is lost or worn out.

When I began to write this blog, I was going to comment on a question that had been asked regarding the process of applying for PT school, but I just wanted to share a little of what was on my heart first.  Okay, now to the process of applying to PT school.

In regards to any advice I may have on applying to different schools, I am not very knowledgeable because I only applied to Elon.  I know there are many students who apply to multiple schools, but I just felt that Elon was the place for me, so that is the only application I filled out.  I applied to Elon after looking through Elon’s DPT website, after gaining an understanding of their modular schedule and getting a feel of the purpose behind the program.  I appreciated that the prerequisites at Elon were not as stringent as some other schools, with the purpose behind this being so that people of all different ages and backgrounds could be a part of this program, enhancing the diversity and strength of the program.

So, from this, I would advise that anyone looking to apply to a PT school search the school’s website and understand the anticipated schedule for the program.  I would also advise that if you have the chance, go tour the school and talk with people in the graduate admissions and DPT program so that you can get a feel of what life would be like on that campus, in that program.  I went on an informal tour at Elon a few months before my interview and when I left that day, I just felt like that campus was home, that Elon was where I was meant to be for this season of my life.

I am not sure if this helps in any way to answer this question, but if there is any other question that anyone has, please let me know, and I will do the best I can to answer.

Have a great day!

Seeing Myself Differently

Hi all.  Well, I finished the first half of my final internship at the outpatient clinic and have now transitioned to acute care at a local hospital.  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work at this outpatient clinic, to grow, learn, and continue my preparation for my career.

I was definitely somewhat nervous before starting that experience because I knew a high volume outpatient clinic was going to be challenging, but I can definitely say that I learned so much and feel that that experience was a vital one.  I started in acute care last week and am enjoying my time so far.  Starting in a new setting always incites some nerves on my part, so it is always nice to be a week or so into a setting, familiar with the people, as well as the functioning of the facility, including how documentation works at that setting.

While the nerves were still there with regards to the newness and unknown of starting in another setting, it has been encouraging to see the progress I have experienced throughout my time in this program, in that I do not feel any hesitation with talking with patients, families, or physicians, and I do not have any nerves with performing evaluations and daily treatment sessions.   While I definitely still have questions at times and I definitely seek guidance or assistance if needed, I have become confident in my abilities as a to-be-therapist and have begun to really consider myself as a therapist and not just as a student.
During this internship, I have met some amazing people, including co-workers, patients, and family members.  This is why I love this profession – this profession incorporates teaching, motivating, counseling, training, and serving, and that is why I am thankful to have the opportunity to pursue this profession.
Just a few more months left on my journey as an Elon DPT student, I wonder what God has in store.

Learning Through Service

Hey everyone!  Hope all is well.  Things are great here, moving right along with my internship, as two months have already gone by.  I am still working at the outpatient clinic and will be there another month before transitioning to an acute setting for my last three months.

This past week I was able to take a few days to go work at a children’s camp, and it was amazing.  During our internship, one of our requirements is to complete a consultation experience due to the fact that the service of consultation is one of the primary roles of a physical therapist.  For this experience, we were to explore opportunities to serve in our community through providing a service, through using the knowledge and skills we have as physical therapy students to serve others.

Here in Birmingham, AL, there is an organization called Lakeshore Foundation that serves individuals with physical disabilities.  I had the opportunity to help at an inclusion children’s camp, which was a camp for children with physical disabilities and their siblings.  With the inclusion camp consisting of both children and counselors of all realms of physical ability, the goal and the focus of camp was to emphasize the ability of all individuals, especially the ability to participate in sports and be active.

I had such an amazing time with these children and counselors, and while I feel I was able to serve by being a volunteer, I feel that I was the one truly blessed to be a part of this camp.  Throughout the camp, we all played different games, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, as well as other team-building games in wheelchairs.  In addition, we all tried out hand-cycling (bikes with the use of hand pedals), which was so much fun, but a definite workout ☺.

Through the emphasis of embracing the ability of individuals in wheelchairs and the ability of individuals with all levels of physical ability, a greater respect is developed for the similarities in all individuals and the great potential for success for all individuals.

As I sit here, I think about all that I have learned over this past week and over these last two and a half years, and I am so thankful that God’s has given me these opportunities to learn through my time at Elon.

I look forward to writing next month, as I will be just a couple of days into my acute care part of my internship!  Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to give my perspective!  Have a great day!

Off Campus and Still Learning

I am sitting here on my couch in Birmingham, Alabama, one month into my internship already.  My husband and I have loved being back down here in Alabama, so close to home (Auburn).

Of course it is still an adjustment being away from North Carolina, and I have found myself at times thinking I wanted to go meet up with a friend, and then realized I am not living there ha.  But, all in all, things have been great down here.  I absolutely love the people I am working with right now.

I am doing outpatient physical therapy for the first three months of my internship, and then I will be moving to a different facility to do acute physical therapy for the final three months of my internship.

I am learning a lot, and continue to realize how much I still have to learn.  I can definitely appreciate and advocate the fact that learning is going to be a lifelong venture.  Elon has prepared me well, and one thing it has prepared me for is to continue my education for the rest of my life, because evidence is always changing, new techniques and interventions are always being explored, and it is my job to stay on top of it so that I can provide my patients/clients the best possible care.

I find in a battle with myself of wanting to be efficient and effective in all my work during my internship and realizing it is okay and it is necessary to be open to seeking advice, guidance, assistance, and research to improve my knowledge and refine my skills.  I am someone who wants to do everything right at all times – but that is unrealistic, and I know that – but I battle with having a low threshold for frustration for myself, finding myself feeling frustrated or upset when I am not confident about a diagnosis, prognosis, intervention plan, etc.
With that said, I have come to realize all the more that this internship is not only to help refine my skills during these last few months that I am a student, but to help prepare my mind for my future career as a professional physical therapist, a career that will involve constant learning and growth.  Understanding weaknesses or admitting you have questions is a vital part of this profession, an imperative step that must happen so that you can then seek out the answers and grow as a professional.

I know without a doubt that these next five months will be a period of learning and growth.  I look forward to writing blogs over the next few months and sharing this journey with you.  Thanks for reading and have a blessed day ☺.

The Big Move

I am currently sitting in an almost-empty apartment here in Mebane, NC, with the moving truck all packed up ready to make the trek bright and early tomorrow morning down to Birmingham!

This has been a crazy week.

Wednesday was my last day of class in PT school, and now it is time to move on down to start my final internship!  I am really excited about getting back in the clinic, but of course the nerves are there too.  It is just really neat that this next chapter is starting – finishing up school and starting to explore possible job opportunities and career paths.  It does feel weird though to think that my time in the classroom at Elon is done – it has been my day-to-day routine for the past 2.5 years – so it will definitely take some time to really realize that I am not just going off on a two-month clinical and then coming back to class – but that I am really at the point of moving on for my internship and future job!

I am so thankful for my time here in NC and at Elon.  I have learned so much and grown in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined – and so for that, I am so thankful.

I have no doubt that it was God’s plan for me to be a part of Elon and to be here at this time in my life – and I look forward to seeing what all else He has in store.
Have a wonderful day, and I look forward to keeping you updated on how my internship is going!