Tests in the PT Clinic
I'm starting to find some conflict between what I am learning in class and what people actually do in the clinic. Not that I'm surprised it's happening, but the inconsistency is something I struggle with at times.
In class, we've covered goniometry, manual muscle testing and the basics of the lower quarter screen. We are obviously instructed to perform each test in a specific position, but I am quickly starting to realize that this does not translate to the clinic. Which brings me to two different issues. First, if these tests are not practiced in the "correct" manner, whether it's due to time constraints or patient comfort, how useful is it to learn them in the first place? On the other hand, if the slight changes that come about with patient positioning really do improve the tests, why are we not doing them?
However, the most challenging aspect is being a student, and not knowing which road to take. I feel slightly ridiculous when I'm having a patient move around five different times for five different muscle tests (most of which, as I'm seeing, can be performed from one or two positions). I just don't know how to walk the fine line between the gold standards we are learning and practicality in the clinic.
Does this all really matter? Does a hamstring test change between sitting and prone? These are the current issues I'm struggling with.