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Striving to Be a DPT

Wound Care PT

Published September 2, 2014 5:08 PM by Jocelyn Wallace

One of my classes this semester is titled "Integumentary." The course covers a variety of topics related to the skin but is centered largely on wound care. In the first two days of the course we've learned dozens of dermatological terms, staging for different types of ulcers, wound and burn classifications and more. We've also seen a ton of shocking pictures. More shocking, however, is that I actually like it!

I've enjoyed studying wound care a lot so far. It's interesting to consider the functional limitations that wounds place on patients, and the topics we've covered so far have given me the impression there's a lot of room for seeing quick progress. Soon, we will add lab components to the class and I'm excited for that. We'll learn soft-tissue mobilization, wound debridement, callous shaving etc. Sounds exciting, right? I certainly didn't think so a week ago.

While I hope my interest in wound care doesn't wane, I've learned an important lesson either way -- keep an open mind. My primary interest coming into school was outpatient orthopedics, specifically pediatrics. Now, just a week into the semester, my head is already spinning with the possibilities (and not just about wound care). My pathology and pharmacology course has me interested in acute care, the stories my kinesiology professor has to tell about spinal cord injury patients are incredibly inspirational... the list goes on.

Overall, I'm more excited for this journey than ever and am looking forward to learning all that I can. Hopefully my head can keep spinning without coming off!

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Hi Lauren,

I do not have any experience on real wounds. We used some awesome wound models for our practicals but no real people yet. My program does "Integrative Clinical Experiences" or ICE, so I get to spend a few days in a SNF this semester. Hopefully I'll encounter it there, before my full time rotation.

As far as tips, I can only pass on what I learned from my integ course. Expect terrible smells & scary sights, but don't be afraid to step out of the room if you need to. Just do you best to keep these emotions from your patient.

I hope that helps. If I come across some real experience I will try to remember to return to this post or write a new post about it.

Jocelyn Wallace January 13, 2015 3:35 PM


I am a first year DPT student at East Carolina University. Coming into school I felt that I had a fairly good idea of my areas of interest. However, after two semesters in the program I am learning that there are a variety of settings and populations I am interested in working with. I agree with you about the importance of keeping an open mind about future possibilities while in PT school. In my opinion, one of the best things about a DPT degree is that we will be prepared to work in any setting. I am hoping that my course work and clinical experiences will help me decide the direction I would like to go in the future.

Good luck with school! I look forward to reading future posts.


Alyssa Crumpton, , DPT Student ECU January 13, 2015 11:56 AM
Greenville NC


Despite my variety of volunteer settings in preparation for my application into DPT school, I am still in awe with the many possibilities that PT can take me. Unlike most of my class, I have no idea what direction I want to go once I graduate. Fortunately, I have 7 more semesters to figure that out. I have pondered the idea of outpatient orthopedics, spine, and most recently geriatrics. I find this uncertainty to be a good thing, because it is allowing me to stay open-minded – like you said. As I come up on my first clinical rotation I am excited yet concerned. I will be in an acute setting, where wound care is a major focus. Unluckily, my Integumentary course will take place after I come back from my rotation. Although I really enjoyed Gross Anatomy, I have heard some graphic stories and I am worried that I will not be able to handle it. Have you had first hand experience yet with wound care? Do you have any tips as I enter this clinical rotation?



Lauren Lee January 13, 2015 9:31 AM
Greenville NC

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