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Journey of a DPT Student

A DPT Student with Patients

Published May 13, 2013 11:42 AM by Lauren Rosso

I completed the first full week of my six-month clinical affiliation, and things are off to a tremendous start. This past week, I was assigned two patients of my very own who I'll likely see throughout their course of care on the inpatient rehab unit. It might not sound very monumental; however this is the first time that a patient has been "mine" and solely mine, and where I'm the primary decision maker.

There's a completely different vibe when you are a full-time student assigned to a place for a significant amount of time. Obviously the amount of responsibility is much greater than it has ever been, which is likely why I'm acutely aware of the impact that my decisions will have on the recovery processes of my patients.

I find myself coming home at night and planning out my next day. I come up with a strategy for the morning and afternoon sessions, dream up a ton of different interventions, and research anything I don't know. Part of it is that I've developed a huge interest in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, but the other part is that I feel very new to the responsibilities that have been placed on me. The only thing I can think to do is prepare as much as possible and walk in the next day with more knowledge than I had when I left the previous evening.

I'm excited and nervous to finally start developing my own patient caseload. It seems like the more responsibility that's placed in my lap, the more I start to realize the potential I have to make a different in people's lives. It's an exciting thing to realize at the start of your career!

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1 comments

I am a first year student and about to embark on my first clinical rotation within the next 2 weeks. It is exciting to hear someone that has a very positive outlook on getting their first ever patients that are solely theirs. I have previously worked in an outpatient setting where I got to observe and assist in the management of patients but I am excited to be able to have my own patients. I strive to stay organized and plan for the next day in advance in the same way you did so that I can learn more about each patient and help them progress and meet their goals we have established. I know most people are extremely nervous when they get their own patients but it seems you were more excited than nervous and tried to be active in the clinical experience which is one of my main focuses so that I can become the best therapist that I possibly can.

Chris Fightmaster, SPT March 11, 2014 12:57 PM
Greenville NC

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