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Life of a PTA

Geriatric Advice
by Allison Young
"I have a positive attitude and I surround myself with positive people. I eat cleanly and have a bowel movement every day -- it makes a difference (wink)." This wise statement was given to me by a 98-year-old patient when I asked her, "What is the secret Read More...
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Reassess the Goal
by Allison Young
Last weekend I ran my second half-marathon. In hindsight, I'm pleased with my performance, having finished 4 minutes faster than last year's half. When I signed up for the run this year, however, I originally set the lofty goal of running the full marathon. Read More...
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Midlife Crisis
by Allison Young
Last month I was lucky enough to celebrate turning the age of 40. One would assume, as I did, that working with the geriatric population on a daily basis for years by this point would give me a healthy perspective on aging. In general, I like to think Read More...
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The Importance of Mentorship
by Allison Young
Although having only been a PTA for three years, I've found myself in conversations with many potential future SPTA candidates. Quite a few have been with bright and hardworking CNAs who I work with in skilled nursing and others have been with folks my Read More...
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Why Are You a Therapist?
by Allison Young
A few days ago, I was preparing a patient for a slide-board transfer from the edge of her bed to the wheelchair. As she was a max-assist with two therapists for this transfer up until this point, we were attempting to progress to a one-person assist and Read More...
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Avoiding Burnout
by Allison Young
My experience working in a skilled nursing facility has many advantages including autonomy as a therapist, a bustling team atmosphere and working with my favorite group: the tough-as-nails geriatric population. However, being a full-time PTA in a SNF Read More...
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Just Keep Moving
by Allison Young
Recently, a coworker of mine introduced me to a quote by Albert Einstein and how appropriately it relates to our patients in the SNF setting: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving . For that matter, this quote can be Read More...
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Now Where Was I?
by Allison Young
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 Read More...
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Creating a Fall Risk?
by Allison Young
Working in a skilled nursing setting definitely has its benefits and drawbacks, as I am constantly discovering. There is a huge advantage to working with the same patient every day of the week. Watching him make gains and meet goals, sometimes daily, Read More...
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No Energy? Just Add Water
by Allison Young
Last week I finally went for my annual physical with my doctor. I was a twinge nervous, as I've been exhausted recently and well, I haven't had a doctor's appointment in more than three years. Luckily, all was fine -- and I was given some valid (if not Read More...
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A Difficult Encounter
by Allison Young
As a relatively new physical therapist assistant, I accept that I have a monumental amount of knowledge to learn. Trust me; I'm humbled every day by the vast amount of experience I'm gaining and the gap in what I have yet to master. This week alone, I've Read More...
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Sitting on My Hands
by Allison Young
As I recently blogged , I've been clinical instructor to a first-rotation PTA student. I share the duty with my colleague, who happened to graduate with me from the same PTA program our student is now attending. To say she is in sympathetic company is Read More...
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The Favorite Patient
by Allison Young
Often I find that I'll have a "favorite" patient on my schedule and will seek out that person's name on my list every morning as I begin my day. It can be something about their hard-working ethic -- knowing they'll always give me their best in therapy, Read More...
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A Working Schedule
by Allison Young
As of the beginning of April, I reduced my work week from five to four days a week. Initially, I felt guilty that I couldn't "hack" a full-time schedule and then I realized I was being far too hard on myself. My usual work day starts around 8:30 in the Read More...
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Team Player
by Allison Young
I vividly remember writing a blog nearly a year ago about the importance of being a member of the "Skilled Nursing Team" when it comes to patient care in a large facility. If I remember correctly, I was in awe of the seamless interdisciplinary networks, Read More...
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