Lessons from Clinical Experience 1: Week 2

Week 2 is in the books. It was actually in the books about a week ago, but I just didn’t take the time to put pen to paper. It’s nice to have established myself with my patients and bring them on back to start their therapy. I’ve started to find my groove but want to keep pushing myself and my patients as they progress. I will say that I have heard about and have been considering travel PT so it is reassuring that I can adapt promptly. There were even quite a few times where I was treating two people at once. Not a full load for a high volume clinic, but approaching entry level status homie.

Lessons from my second week:

  1. Life as a PT is so much better when I get to see a patient from eval to discharge. The APTA has pushed the notion of “movement experts” which, while it is perhaps a bit nondescript, plays a large role in setting up a progression of my patients. Each time I see a new patient that has already established a plan of care with another therapist, I have to get to know their body to appropriately treat (always be watching). I can garner most of the info about their strengths/weaknesses and ROM from the exercises they have been doing, but I do find myself having to modify new exercises more if I’m not as well acquainted. Once you layer on having to spend time piecing together their MOI, the bouncing back and forth of patients simply isn’t an efficient use of either of our time.
  2. The importance of pain education cannot be overstated. Working in a clinic with MDs and PAs is both a blessing and a curse. Virtually everybody gets X-rays and MRIs are fairly common. Again, this is a worker’s comp population so these companies certainly want to do their due diligence. Imaging can be a curse because derangements and malformations are common as we age. There are plenty of asymptomatic people who have degeneration. It is tough to assuage the fears of all those who have degeneration in their knees and spines, etc. and convince them that they can be helped even though we are limited in affecting the structure of many of these tissues. In some ways these are just like wrinkles on the face, only they’re on the inside. MRIs on the other hand can be pretty dang nice in giving you the green light. At that point I can mostly rely on my knowledge of tissue healing for grading therapy.
  3. Via a patient: Aliens in September 2017.  You heard it hear first. If I had been told this in 2015, I would have dismissed this jibber-jabber. After 2016 though…time to build a bunker.

Only two and a half more weeks of shenanigans.

Ramble on,

Sam

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