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PT and the City

Guest Lecture

Published March 29, 2012 2:59 PM by Lisa Mueller

When I was finishing up my bachelor's degree in Spanish, I seriously considered withdrawing from PT school and instead getting my teaching certificate to teach Spanish. Many times I taught other students how to remember different verbs, or had volunteered at English-as-a-second-language facilities and really enjoyed teaching people new things. I think that's why I like being a physical therapist - because I can teach my patients a lot of things about their bodies, how to recover from injury and how to prevent future injuries. I'm constantly educating my patients throughout the day.

I had a wonderful opportunity to guest lecture at a physical therapy school last week. Last summer I had a student who was not familiar with respiratory equipment or treatment ideas/plan of care for critically ill patients. After discussing her clinical with the school, we realized that the curriculum would benefit from a lecture containing more detail about ICU-related equipment and treatment plans for those patients. And, coincidentally, this paired well with the presentation at the Wisconsin PT Association conference I will be giving later this spring with three other clinicians about the barriers of early mobility. So, as we developed the outline for the WPTA conference, I took some of that material and adapted it for the students to understand.

While I was preparing for the lecture in the months ahead of time (hello, over-organized Lisa!), I didn't really get nervous. I wanted to be thorough. I know in my own PT school experience, every minute of every course was crammed with information. There is so much to learn and so little time to present all of the material. I knew I needed to be detailed and concise at the same time. I also knew I didn't want to use PowerPoint. As a student, I hated PowerPoint. It's hard to sit in a lecture hall in a dark room for hours. I used a few photos but otherwise didn't rely on the PowerPoint.

Overall, I had a very fun time teaching. I think I did a good job. The students were attentive and didn't give any body language to indicate that I was boring or confusing them. They asked good questions. And, they laughed at my stories. Other than the seven hours in the car (three-and-a-half hours each way) and the jaw-dropping gas prices associated with such a long trip, it was a wonderful day.

Who knows? Maybe this will develop a craving in my career path to do more teaching. Hard to say. I love working with patients and nothing else can really compare to that, but helping a student develop that same love could be very inspiring as well. What do you think? Do you teach PT students? Do you enjoy teaching?

1 comments

Brava! it sounds like you were an awesome instructor on a topic that rarely inspires PT students.

I taught PTA students for 7 years at NYU. It was one of the most rewarding and frustrating times in my career. Rewarding because I got to see students grow and mature and some become, eventually, outstanding PTs. Frustrating because of the bureaucracy that rivals the NHS.

If one has the opportunity to teach, one should. There is nothing like a cohort of hungry students to ensure the teacher really knows their stuff. I learned so much from my students. I'm so grateful for their questions, when they challenged me, and for their professional success.

I have the hunch you're a great teacher. Don't deprive the students, or yourself, of your gift.

Dean Metz March 29, 2012 3:51 PM

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