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Life of a PTA

Self Evaluation

Published January 28, 2011 1:50 PM by Allison Young

As the last week of one of my last clinical affiliations comes to a close, I'm stunned at the amount of valuable information I've learned. I have to admit, I was nervous when I found out I would have to master large pieces of Pilates equipment for basic upper-extremity exercises at this outpatient sports clinic I was assigned. Like anything new, I awkwardly made mistakes yet slowly figured out the different techniques and how to cue for them. I had the opportunity to take Pilates mat classes during clinical hours and promptly get "schooled" by women twice my age on how to properly engage "the core."

Best of all, the learning environment was stress-free and welcoming to all my questions and observations. Although I still lean toward working in a skilled nursing setting, I thoroughly enjoyed the vast age differences of the patients (13-88 years) and the interesting orthopedic conditions I was exposed to. I'll enter my final clinical with certain knowledge of my own strengths, including my ability to adapt to patient personalities and carry a compelling conversation, all while quickly documenting. My weaknesses; goniometry (have I mentioned that before?), time management and the ability to pre-plan family dinners for the week - will no doubt improve with practice.

Last week, I had a mid-term review where my clinical instructor evaluated my performance thus far. Luckily, it went very well and he seemed pleased by my progress. However, he did mention I needed to pull all my skills together, to complete a full patient treatment independently. So with this goal in mind, I forge ahead into my final days at the clinic. My intent is to have a boost of confidence by accomplishing this goal, (which I know I can) and squeeze every ounce of experience out of the rest my time there.

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