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Transition to Rehab Management

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Published March 8, 2012 12:45 PM by Karen Schiff

My name is Karen Schiff, PT, and I am ADVANCE's new blogger. I find myself back in study mode with this transition toward my graduate degree, which, after 20-plus years of practicing physical therapy, is quite a rewarding experience. At this moment in time, I am learning how to look at my practice in a different light, and realizing how much more valuable physical therapists are becoming in modern practice. We are transitioning to doctoral-level education with the gift of being able to touch our patients with a much better understanding and autonomy than ever before.

As I sit typing this, I am wrestling with drug interactions my patients may be encountering as well as with three large dogs running through the house and two kittens on my keyboard. I can do this. At the same time, I wonder what time my teenage daughters will be coming home, as this is a school night. Not to worry, my next assignment isn't due for another two weeks. I have to keep on top of things, as well as make sure I can get to my interim job as director of rehab at a sister hospital of the one I have worked at for 19 years. Tomorrow I will be at the sister hospital in the morning, followed by my "home" for the past two decades, as the senior physical therapist. Did I mention that I can do this? Yes, if I can do this, any therapist can!


Hi Karen,  thank you for your response. I will enjoy the course work. But it seems crazy at this point in my life to add a "part time job" on top of a completely full schedule. But here it goes. May I ask which program you are involved in?

Janet April 24, 2012 9:04 AM

Hi Janet!  I typically spend approximately 15 to 20 hours a week on my t-DPT, most of the time in the evening after my house has calmed down and the zoo is sleeping...   More importantly, I have learned so much that is easily used in my daily practice.  Almost halfway through the program, I can say that I am very happy with the decision to invest in our profession.  I encourage those around me and will support my peers in anyway necessary to build our future.  Good luck, Janet...  you can do it!!

Karen Schiff April 23, 2012 11:36 PM

Hi Karen, it is good to see that other therapists who have been out of school for 20 years are pursuing this degree. It gives me hope that I will be able to get through it. How many hours a week do you invest in the program?

Janet April 23, 2012 9:10 AM

Scott, you're starting your studies this year for your tDPT....  that's great!  You'll be amazed at what you will be learning, and how applicable it is to your everday practice.  It reinforces what you already know, and adds just a 'bit' more  :)    

Karen Schiff March 28, 2012 8:20 PM

Thanks for being so candid with your comments. Those of us who have been formally out of the classroom for what seems like an eternity can empathize with your sentiments. I'm embarking on the trek toward my tDPT this yr and I can't wait to get started.

Scott, PT March 25, 2012 9:00 PM
Oklahoma City OK

Hi Jason!  Thank you for the warm welcome :)

Karen Schiff March 9, 2012 9:04 PM

Hi Andrea!  Very true...   getting 'online' has a WHOLE new meaning for the transitional Doctoral student...  I don't think I ever enjoyed studying as much as I do now, as everything just makes sense having experience under my belt.  Yes, some peers have grumbled at the thought of going back to school (to say the least).  Our director has always encouraged the staff to invest in themselves, and led the way with returning to school for her tDPT.  I have to admit, I am blessed with wonderful peers that I consider my family, and stronger because there are 6 of us studying for our t-DPT!  The passion of learning becomes evident when we discuss topics we are learning, and I do believe we are infecting those around us..  there are at least four more PT's who are seriously considering the move toward higher education!  Now if we can only get them to apply to the program...   :)

Karen Schiff March 9, 2012 9:01 PM

Hi Karen! NIce to hear from another Sr therapist who is back in school! I am nearly finished with my tDPT from Temple Univ. It was been a more challenging, enlightening and enjoyable experience than I ever imagined. I have learned a lot more than I anticipated. Managing the house, work, teenagers, illnesses and school has not been easy. The next person that says I am "only going online" - insinuating that it is easier in some way - is going to get a smack from me! one thing I am finding interesting as well is the mxed reaction from undergrad classmates and other long time therapist. I get the "you're crazy I am never going to do that" from many, and support from some. I am not sure the entire contingent of PT's in the workforce really understand where the profession is headed and the need for the DPT. Are you finding that as well?

Andrea March 9, 2012 10:46 AM

Welcome to the therapy blogosphere.  It will be nice to have your thoughts heard. And yes, you can do this.

Jason Marketti March 9, 2012 9:18 AM

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