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Transition to Rehab Management

What a Difference 20-Plus Years Make

Published November 29, 2012 5:50 PM by Karen Schiff

Waiting for a new semester to start is much different than 20-plus years ago. I don't remember having any length of time between semesters, let alone looking forward to the next-to-last semester of my preparation for receiving my DPT. The differences between then and now are astounding. Back in the 1980s, my only concern was hoping my used car would get me to the university for my classes from my mom and dad's house, which was more than an hour away.

In Chicago, during the middle of winter, this was quite an adventure. The drive during snowstorms, rain, hail and wind was undertaken on a daily basis, from the south side to North Chicago. Never was a day of school missed, but a few days my professors were more than generous to excuse my tardiness. Back then, our class was small (23 students), personal and we had each other's phone numbers, including our professors. That didn't do much good since we didn't have cell phones. Nor did we have the Internet. Many of my papers and notes that I saved were composed on a typewriter.

Today, almost 23 years later, I'm amazed at the changes as I continue my career, especially after writing it all down. By no means is this post all-inclusive. No longer do I worry about traveling to school, as this is done through an Internet-based program. My research is done at a local university, but most of it is online through respectable resources. Additionally, I'm in constant contact with my school in Virginia through the Internet and on my cell phone.

I don't need to print any papers for school, since my assignments are to be prepared using Microsoft Word and emailed to my professors. Even more astounding is that my classmates and I communicate through a virtual blackboard and through email on a regular basis. A few of us text each other and offer motivation and support when we're questioning ourselves.

With all of this technology to make our lives smoother and easier, I can hold a full-time supervisory job, raise a couple of awesome teenage daughters, take in rescued dogs/cats/birds, keep a roof over our heads and two cars in the driveway. I truly believe that my daily routine would be drastically different if it weren't for an Internet-based, distance education program for the DPT. As a matter of fact, I don't believe I'd have even tried a classroom-style transitional DPT program, if that even exists.

So on this day off from work, I contemplate cleaning the house, washing the dogs and shopping for the holidays, among other things. However, from what I've learned over the past year-and-a-half in my studies, I'm extremely motivated and looking forward to the next semester starting in January. In the meantime, I'll continue reading a manual on how to write a case report, now that I've narrowed down my search to two patients.


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