Mod-Max Assist Gait Training
As I'm settling more and more into my current clinical rotation on a traumatic brain injury inpatient rehab unit, opportunities are more frequently coming around to develop hands-on clinical skills. Obviously, a lot of what we do revolves around functional mobility. What that really means is I'm finally getting the chance to practice gait and transfer training on patients with actual deficits (as opposed to my classmates and instructors who try their best to pretend).
I'll just say this -- no matter how well your instructors educate you or how well they can simulate a "patient case," very few things can prepare you for your first mod-max assist gait training experience. I was given my first opportunity to take the lead during a session with a patient the other day. Thirty minutes later, I found myself sweating through my scrubs and unable to vocalize any comprehensible instructions for foot placement, weight shifts etc. I thought about taking my heart rate when it was over because I felt like I had just completed a P90X workout. When the hour was over, we had a good laugh about it. When I say "we," I mean myself, my CI and our patient. As it turns out, they both realized how out of breath I was and thought it was hilarious. Thankfully both of them said I did well.
I talked to my clinical instructor after the day was over about the level of fitness required to do mod-max assist training all day long. She told me that when you're first starting, it's common to do too much and work too hard. I was approaching gait training with a brute force attitude, but apparently it requires more finesse. Definitely a lesson to learn going forward! If not, I'll need to bring a change of clothes to work.