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Journey of a DPT Student

Taking Advantage of Unique Opportunities

Published September 23, 2013 5:49 PM by Lauren Rosso

I only have six weeks left at my current clinical (which, in the end, will be six months long). I'm working in a very large urban hospital, and I regret to say that I only know two floors in the entire place. As I see more and more patients and learn about procedures, tests and surgeries that are performed in our hospital, the more interested I am in pursuing the opportunity to observe all of them.

I'm in the best place to do this. As a student, there is obviously more of an effort made to expose you to as much as possible. Once I'm a full-time employee somewhere, I doubt there will be time to pop into different procedures and ask questions. That being said, I need to take advantage of the unique opportunity that I have. There is so much value to knowing the entire continuum of care and what a patient has been through. So my new goal for the next six weeks is to figure out the best things to see.

My clinical instructor and I talked about observing a spinal surgery and intensely reviewing anatomy ahead of time. We talked about taking a day on the neuro ICU and shadowing a nurse. We even talked about a few options outside of the hospital. There is a center for assistive technology where a lot of our patients go to get their wheelchairs. My clinical instructor used to work there, and is hoping to put me in touch with some of her old coworkers. There's also a place called the Human Engineering Resource Laboratory where they do a lot of work with orthotics and prosthetics. Lots of exciting stuff! I'm really hoping that I can take advantage of all of this before I leave. If not, I really think I'll regret it.

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Lauren, your formal education may be coming to a close, but as a PT, learning is a lifelong process (if you want to be a good PT that is). May I suggest start thinking now about what you want to learn/experience when you graduate and find someplace that will give you that experience. Graduating with student debt can steer someone towards the highest paying option. Don't fall into that trap! Choose an employer that will continue to foster your growth.

Dean Metz September 24, 2013 6:47 AM

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