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Journey of a DPT Student

Yearlong Placements at Last

Published February 11, 2013 11:34 AM by Lauren Rosso
Four months of waiting are finally over -- I finally received word about where I'll be for my yearlong clinical. It took every ounce of maturity and focus not to have a breakdown while I was waiting, but I'm happy that I kept myself together because I couldn't be happier about the placement.

During the first six months of the rotation I'll be at Mercy Hospital, a large urban hospital located in downtown Pittsburgh. The placement is on an inpatient rehab unit where I'll likely work with a neurological population -- stroke, spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. (There's a chance that I'll be on a general rehab unit, but I'm hoping to be placed in the former). This hospital has one of the most respected rehabilitation units in the city, particularly for the population that I'm interested in.

I'm slightly intimidated by its reputation, but I know that a large hospital is the perfect place for me to start. There will be complex patients and a lot to learn, but it's exactly what I'm looking for as a student. The other benefit of the Mercy placement is that I'll have the opportunity to be exposed to other units, facilities and medical procedures that I wouldn't have the chance to see at a smaller hospital. I'm hoping that I'll occasionally get to observe surgical procedures and transfer to other units (acute care, trauma etc.). It's the perfect place to learn!

The second half of the rotation will be spent at an outpatient facility that sees a heavy volume of patients with neurological diagnoses. They also see orthopedic patients, so I'm glad that I'll be able to work with both populations as I'm still lacking confidence in my assessment and intervention skills. I have heard that a number of patients with spinal cord injury are seen at the clinic, but I'm not sure. Either way, I'm grateful for the split between the inpatient and outpatient settings.

At this point in my education, I feel that I need to be exposed to as many settings and scenarios as possible, so these assignments are perfect for me. It's so exciting to realize that my career is within grasp, and I'm in a very good place to prepare myself for it.


Good luck to you too, Katrina!  It's going to fly by- enjoy it all (even the stressful parts.)

Lauren Rosso March 9, 2013 4:18 PM
Pittsburgh PA

Hi Lauren!

My name is Katrina and I am a first year DPT student at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  I am about to go on my first clinical rotation and am very excited! I'll be in an outpatient orthopedic setting which I think will be good as a starting point with the basic examination information I learned this year.  I'm nervous also, but I can't imagine what you must be feeling, knowing that you'll soon be working. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who is nervous about assessment and intervention skills.  It must be something that comes with more practice and experience on the job.  I'm hoping that's true.

The hospital you'll be at sounds amazing and I'm sure the patients will love you.  It sounds like a great mix of potential cases.  I've really enjoyed my neuro classes so far and would love to see patients that have survived strokes and help them regain function.  I wish you the best in your last clinical and as you begin to think about where you'll be headed in the future!

Katrina March 6, 2013 12:18 AM
Greenville NC

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