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Journey of a DPT Student

Things You Can't Prepare For

Published July 6, 2012 3:16 PM by Lauren Rosso

If you read my last blog then you know I'm currently in England completing my first full-time clinical. As the week went on, I realized that despite my very best planning efforts, there were just some things I didn't anticipate. Some of them were obviously related to being on a different continent, but others had to do with being in the clinic full time.

First things first -- living in England. My friends would tell you that I show no caution when crossing the street at home, which is true. Compound that with roundabouts and driving on the other side of the road and I've nearly been killed about six times. I'm also having a problem with certain "vocabulary" in the clinic. For instance, they don't call the therapy table a "mat," it's a bed. A cane is a "stick." A walker is a "zimmer." And so many other phrases are different.

For the first three days, no one could understand me. The most ridiculous example of being unprepared was on my walk home from work on Thursday. Wearing only a pair of flats, I got caught in a flash flood and eventually waded through knee high water en route to my house. They warned me that England is rainy, but this was something else.

A lot of things are different when you're in the clinic full time as opposed to twice a week like we have been up to this point. I feel like I am learning so much more simply because of repetition. The other thing I realize is that my communication skills have improved so much (despite the vocabulary differences). I guess that's the result of increased independence with patient interactions.

However, the most obvious difference is how I physically feel at the end of the day. While being in clinic is more mentally taxing, I feel so much better physically, likely due to the fact that I'm not sitting in an uncomfortable chair for eight hours a day. I am noticeably more energetic at the end of the day and I'm really dreading going back to class full time.

The first week has been a great success and I'm really excited for the rest of the rotation. I can't wait to see how my confidence in my clinical skills changes five weeks from now. It should be an exciting transition!

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