Three's a Crowd
There has to be some way around the awkward CI-student-patient triangle. Does everyone know what I'm talking about? As a student following my CI's every footstep, I constantly feel like I'm encroaching on some private interaction between PT and patient. Sometimes it results in a hilarious interaction (i.e. a patient telling me he feels like he's at a recital), but at other times I feel like a more serious nuisance.
The awkwardness seems to be worst with the patients who are basically independent with their exercise programs. Realistically, these patients could probably make it through their therapy sessions with minimal input from their PTs. They surely don't need two people watching them, critiquing their form on every exercise.
On a more serious note, yesterday I ran into a situation where a patient was hesitant to disclose a part of her medical history, and I was afraid it was because I was in the room. I recognized that she was uneasy, but I didn't really know what to do. Just as I was about to kindly excuse myself from the room (hoping that would fix the problem), my CI moved on to the next part of her eval. My CI ended up getting the remaining part of the patient's history later, but I just feel bad that I was the limiting factor.
The line between lingering and learning is so thin. I know I'm in the clinic to follow my CI around and absorb as much information as possible, but sometimes I think it would be better to walk away and give everyone their space.