Having officially finished the first week of a full-time clinical, I can only express amazement at my luck for choosing such a rewarding profession... and my complete exhaustion. The positives of this clinical experience are numerous. From my fantastic (and patient) CI to the Pilates-based therapeutic exercise techniques on which this outpatient clinic bases its practice; every day has been packed with learning opportunities. The downside is having zero energy after a 9-hour day for my two kids (and two dogs) that need to be fed, loved and tucked into bed.
Although I love my sweet little family and I do get assistance from the spouse (there have been a lot of Mac 'n cheese dinners served this week), I'm still struggling not to fall asleep as I walk through the front door. I know this fatigue will pass. This isn't my first clinical nor my last (I have another 5-week following the completion of this one).
The general stress and panic of the first days of clinical usually subside after about a week and a half once the learning curve has been mastered. So needless to say, day 10 is circled on my calendar. Luckily, once I'm in the clinic I feel swept up in the different diagnoses, therapist styles and patient personalities. Not a day goes by that I haven't added another new skill to my base of knowledge. This is of course what practical experience is all about.
Although I feel frustrated at times with my mistakes during a simple task, I try to remember that this is the time to make those mistakes, ask questions and continue to learn. Hopefully, my children see my dedication and drive in accomplishing my goal of being a PTA and ultimately improving our quality of life. In the meantime, I'll continue to keep my focus while in the clinic, (wear comfortable shoes) and leave the weekends for family.