PT Career and Injuries
Three different events have come up in the past week that make me wonder about the world of "light duty" and injuries. If you're reading this, I'm assuming you have some career connection to physical therapy and therefore realize that ours are not the type of jobs where you can work through injuries -- sometimes even minor ones.
For example, a classmate of mine is faced with the decision whether or not to proceed on the surgical route for a herniated disc. Conservative approaches (including PT) have failed. If he decides to get surgery, there's a chance he won't be able to complete his clinical rotations as scheduled. He will of course graduate, but it's remarkable to think that a medical decision to prevent long-term impairment could potentially complicate and delay his graduation. But it's the nature of what we do.
An even more extreme example is a coworker of mine who is pregnant and recently was put on a 5-pound lifting restriction for the duration of the pregnancy, which is five months. As much as the hospital would like to accommodate her, they just can't guarantee it. I know it's not an injury, but it's another example of the physical requirements of our profession.
And then there's me. I just ran a 9-mile race, and now I can't walk up the stairs. Not that it's a major injury, but I'm a little bit concerned about how I'm going to get through the next few days. If I were in most other careers, it wouldn't even be an issue. To think that in the future I may have to take PTO for something like this is eye-opening.