For this semester, I have been placed with Barret Blevins at Wellmont Physical Therapy in Abingdon, Virginal. Barret attended Emory & Henry in the early 2000’s and obtained his bachelors in Athletic Training before attending VCU to obtain his Doctorate of Physical Therapy. I was very excited and nervous heading into my first day at the PT clinic. I was excited in knowing that Barret had taken the same path I am planning on taking heading into my career. This has and will continue to open opportunities for me to ask him for advice about graduate school, the field of physical therapy, and the use of the skills I have learned to this point. I was also excited about being in a rehab setting, but at the same time this scared me a bit. Most of what I have had the opportunity to do in my on-site experience has been acute care, emergency care, and injury evaluation whereas now I am in a setting where I am dealing with a lot of chronic issues from a rehabilitation standpoint. I felt that I might not have the greatest bearing on some of the strategies used in rehab, but I also knew that going in head first would allow me to learn faster. I can already say that my experience there has been amazing so far. At the beginning, I was doing more following and watching than anything, but Barret started to slowly started to work me into being hands on. This past week I was able to do an ultrasound in the clinic, take control of a rehab leading a gentleman through his exercises, help many patient with various exercises, and perform special tests to lead to a thoracic outlet syndrome diagnosis and plan of treatment! The TOS experience has been my favorite so far as Barret really put me on the spot with the special tests, diagnosis, and explanation of TOS in front of the patient. This got me on my toes very quickly, but I was able to explain the information thoroughly and he seems satisfied with the occurrence. I am really looking forward to continuing at the clinic for the duration of the semester. Barret is from a local small-town just as I am, so I am able to ask him a lot of questions in regards to advice for my particular situation. Also, I am already seeing one of my goals play out right in front of me. One of my more important goals (from a personal perspective) is to build patient relationships by the end of the semester. To this point I have been able to see many return patients and get to know them. I feel as if I have already built trust with some and hope I am leaving a great impression with them. This week I was able to obtain four attempts in my packet.
For this semester my goals are to: Obtain six masteries per week, develop my rehabilitation skills in a clinical setting by the end of the semester, work to build patient relationships in an off-site environment by the end of the semester, and to have my clinical question picked and board established by February 15th. This semester we have the opportunity to practice our rehabilitation skills in clinical, with our rehab projects, and in my clinical setting at the PT clinic. I am very excited to have a strong focus in this area. I feel like we have a good base of understanding of rehabilitation from our class last year, but I feel that we have not had a lot of opportunities to use the skills or to focus on them. I also feel a little rusty on the concepts since we have had a year off from the course. I feel as though this semester will allow us to review the concepts, dive further into them from a comprehensive viewpoint, and to apply the skills. My first goal of six masteries will allow me achieve the 84 by the end of the semester. My second and third goals are very important to me as I plan to pursue a career in physical therapy. It is important that I develop my rehab skills early so that I am better prepared once I reach graduate school and beyond. My third goal is very important to me, as I expressed to Dr. Blevins, due to the fact that I decided to change my collegiate goal during high school to go into a field where I felt like I could help people every day. In doing so I want to build lasting relationships, build trust with patients, help people to the fullest extent, and be able to be very successful in my future field. My last goal is timed to ensure that I have the topic and board picked for the little clinical question a few weeks in advance of the due date. I believe that doing so will take some stress off of the work of the semester as well as lead to better clinical question research and a more thoroughly developed topic. I am also very excited to start the rehab project as I will be able to build on three of my goals and experience a rehab I would not typically see in this setting. I have been researching the lumbar spinal fusion and discussed some aspects of the rehab with Dr. Blevins this past week. I obtained 4 attempts this past week, but no masteries.
Each week, the students in our Athletic Training Program are required to post a journal entry. These can be typed our video recordings. Each week we focus on a different topic relating to clinicals, research, EBP, classes, or life in general. We are also graded through our websites, so if you notice any weird notes or things that do not make sense it is probably part of an assignment. Take a minute to check them out!