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PT on the Run

New Beginnings

Published July 2, 2014 5:19 PM by Michael Kelley

For many in this country, the beginning of July is marked by celebrations of America's independence. Parades, BBQs, fireworks... it's all part of the annual celebration of this land we call home. But for those of us in the healthcare field, the beginning of July also signifies something else: new residents.

That's right folks, around the country, thousands of young, bright-eyed, newly christened "doctors" are venturing out into their first year of residency. While, no doubt, the road they've traveled to reach this point has been arduous at best, leaving the safety and security of the classroom can be unnerving for anyone.

Even we as PTs had to go through this, as we left the confines of our lecture halls and supervision of our clinical instructors and started really earning our paychecks. And while I don't know what the sentiment is everywhere else in the country, at our hospital there's always a guarded approach to dealing with these new residents.

Our hospital system does a fairly good job of orienting new residents. They have some pretty serious training on pretty much all aspects of how the hospital functions, but there still seems to be a rather slow learning curve when it comes to rehab services. It seems it always takes some time to bring these residents up to speed on when to order, when not to order, what services are provided, what services aren't provided etc.

When I was in PT school, I remember our professors telling us that medical students get very little education on rehab services. I never thought this was true until I talked to a friend a couple of weeks ago who's in medical school and she confirmed my worst fears! How is it that the physicians who are in charge of ordering our services or referring patients to our services, don't have a thorough education on what our service actually does? It's mind-boggling, I know.

Needless to say, over the course of the next few months, we have staff who will be attending monthly multidisciplinary meetings with these young doctors to try to further educate them on all we can and will do. It may be a long road, but we've got a few years here to get it down pat before these young residents turn into attendings!

On a quick aside, I wish everyone a happy 4th of July. To all those who serve our country, their families, and those who serve our men and women in uniform and their families, I offer you from the bottom of my heart a great big "thank you" -- can't say it enough.

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