A DPT Student with Patients
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!