Now Where Was I?
Hello there, ADVANCE readers. My name is Allison Young and I've been a PTA for more than two years now in a skilled nursing facility setting. I took a year or two respite from the "blogosphere" to concentrate on my career and family with varying degrees of success, which I'll expand on later. To recap quickly, I began my original blog with ADVANCE as a fledgling student, also known as "Life of an SPTA," then graduated to my "Life of a PTA" perspective, albeit a new and naive therapist.
Although I'm still a "young" therapist, the experience I've gained over the past few years working with everything from post-op patients to the geriatric population (my personal favorite) has left me feeling like an embattled solider many days. Through full-time challenging patients and immense mentoring opportunities awarded to me by my seasoned PT and PTA coworkers, this experience has allowed my confidence as a therapist to grow.
My first year as a therapist, which I brutally described in detail during my previous blog tenure (honestly, I can barely read those posts now), left me white-knuckling the steering wheel every morning I drove into the facility parking lot. These days, I'm more concerned if my patients are progressing safely toward their short-term goals and whether I'll have enough time to fit in a run after work.
Don't get me wrong, the pressure is a constant in the current SNF setting. Patients are in high levels of pain, motivation to get out of their beds is low and the "productivity" clock never slows down -- which makes for a daily stress-filled environment. Looking back at my first few blogs as a licensed PTA, I believe "stress" headlined most of my discussions. Is the stress still there? Sure! But I've learned to process and adapt as well as find ways to take care of myself outside of work -- which is of huge importance and highly recommended, by the way.
Personally my life has changed as well. I'm still a mom of two, one of whom is a teenage girl now, which raises the level of parenting difficulty to 9 out of 10. If you have a 13-year-old daughter, you know exactly what I'm talking about (and I'm sorry by the way, I'm told it will get better). As well, I'm now a single, working mother having recently gone through a divorce.
Difficult times lie behind and in front of us all both personally and professionally, so I'm looking forward to communicating my experiences in the hope that someone can relate, maybe laugh and give me thoughts and feedback. I'll try to bring my unique perspective to this physical therapy community every week. I welcome your opinion and would love the discussion. Thanks for reading, great to be back!