Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Pearl S. Buck: The Good Earth

The Good Earth was so good! It takes place in China and tells the tale of and poor farmer and his rise to wealth. A real rags to riches story but that's not all. After the main character reaches riches and status it continues and shows you becoming rich is not everything. 

He goes from a hard-working farmer who is obsessed with buying land and obtaining independence. He gains wealth but life does not necessarily get easier... just more complex. 

It is well written and makes you want to get back to it. I normally listen to books during my drives from patient to patient and then take a break when I get home but I wanted to keep listening/reading even after I got home.

Reading to or listening to something interesting. Drop a line I would love to hear what it is so I can read it too! 


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Home Health: Book Club

 Since starting home health I am on the road a lot! Let's just say I'm doing my taxes right now and I did 47k miles last year! So when I say I'm on the road a lot I mean it. At first, I just listened to music but that got old after a while. I started listening to audiobooks. I found I was consuming audiobooks so fast audible just wasn't enough. I went to the local library and got set up with a library card. In my experience in Utah, New Mexico, and Texas you can sign up for whatever digital library service your library contracts with. 

Currently, in Corpus Christi, a library card gives you access to 5 free checkouts per month on Hoopla. It's been great because it's free and there is a decent selection to choose from. I go through those books like it's nobody's business. I figured since I am reading anyways I would start making my thoughts about each book into a blog post. 

If you have read/listened to anything good please comment and let me know so I can enjoy it too! 

Book reviews:

Micheal Hyatt: Your Best Year Ever


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

What To Do If You Fail A Clinical Or Get Kicked Out Of A Physical Therapy Program


(Video: Language Warning)

Here Dr. Brandon Smith, PT, DPT, MPH briefly breaks down 3 different legal cases that involve PT students taking legal action due to a bad internship. He shares his advice if you find yourself in a bad situation. If you find yourself in a bad situation don't just sit back, take action. Stand up for yourself and this video can give you some guidance if you find yourself in a bad situation that may require legal action. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Home Health: How Did I Get Here

I was going to be an outpatient PT my whole career. I did 3 out of 4 of my internships in an outpatient setting while in school. I was going to rehab people back to the playing field. I wanted to be the hero in the clinic helping fix back pain and getting that post-op ACL back to their sport. Okay, you get the picture. 

Then things came to a screeching halt. I had opened a hybrid clinic taking some insurance and a fair amount of cash-pay patients. Life was going pretty good then bam... Covid-19 hit. Life was uncertain and nobody knew what was next. After being in business a couple of years at this point I decided to jump ship. So we shut down and contacted an acquaintance in Texas to get a feel for the job outlook in the area. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right move but here I am. I moved from Utah getting an office going to home health in Texas.

After 2 years of putting my heart and soul into a business, it felt painful to let it go. Time heals wounds. As time goes on I feel it was the right move but at times I long for a clinic. Perhaps someday I'll transition back to a clinic setting but for the time being, home health is what pays the bills. 

The point being life can take us in different directions. Unforeseen circumstances can alter the path of our life and that's okay. God has a plan for all of us so if you find yourself in a setting, location, or career path that you didn't expect it's okay. To go along with this if your try something and fail it's alright. Failure is part of life, it brings pain but also expands our knowledge and helps us grow. 

In the end, am I a failure because I failed? No, I just pick back up and keep moving forward. You can do the same... Don't let past failures dictate your future but use the lessons you learned and get back on your feet.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Michael Hyatt: Your Best Year Ever

Okay, this book was great. As I listened I found myself wanting get started right away applying his ideas. It's a short listen at 4h 33m but he has packed in such good info. The author talks about the several different domains of life which was great because sometimes I tend to focus on career but when evaluating my life I need a lot of work in other areas of life. Honestly the info was not rocket science but it was delivered in a clear concise way. He of course touches on SMART goals but adapts it to SMARTER goals. Read the book to see his adaptation. The audio book was read by the author which is a nice touch.

I feel like he gives simple ways to start writing and putting goals to action. I do have a couple of small complaints though (which did not stop me from listening to the book twice). At the end he seems to pitch his master class that he teaches in conjunction with the book. This move does make sense given her wrote the book based on his class. I just don't love a book with a pitch at the end but to be fair it was a soft pitch. The other thing I found a little bit lame was the means of meeting his goals. For example he talks about utilizing his secretary to schedule things and prepare things for him i.e. set things up for success. He also talks about some of the automation techniques he uses. These would be of great help to accomplish goals but the caveat is I don't have these resources at my disposal. Regardless of your resources there are no excuses not to go for your goals. Maybe I'm just jealous he has access to resources that are out of my league at this point. Regardless, I did not love those aspects of the book but in the end it is a relatable read. 

He does touch on some of his personal life which I liked and found relatable. At first, as I was listening, I started to think I don't have time for goals and then he mentioned he has 5 kids and I realized I was making excuses. I have 5 kids when he mentioned this it resonated with me giving me a sense of self-efficacy. 

If you are looking for a book that encourages not only goal writing but pushing you out of your comfort zone, this book is great. It's well rounded not just focusing on your career but talks about setting goals in all aspects of life. 

Have you read this book? If so, let me know what you thought.

Haven't read it? Here is an affiliate link to check it out. Michael Hyatt: Your Best Year Ever 

Have any book suggestions? I would love to hear what you have enjoyed reading so I can read it too. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Almost 5 Years Later: My Loan Is Still HUGE

I've been a PT almost 5 years now... The time has gone fast and life has taken me on a journey. I graduated, got a job, and worked hard. I paid extra on my loans for 2 years then I made the bold move of working for myself! I opened a small PT office in the town I grew up in. Things were going okay (not amazing but I was able to cover the basics and I continued to make minimum loan payments. Then Covid hit like an unexpected snowball to the face. Patients cancelled therapy and there were no new patients. The rug got pulled out from under me! 

So I closed up shop and took a 1099 (contract job) upwards of 1600 miles from where I was. The money was good and the thought of making some extra payments on my loan was enticing. At this point I have been doing this contract work for 6 months and starting to chip away at my loan with small extra payments. 

I used to have the mentality that I can't do anything until my loan is paid off but at the moment I have come to terms that I will just keep chipping away a little bit at a time and keep living live. This doesn't mean that every once in a while I don't freak out about the sum but for the most part I just try to forget about it and just understand it is part of my budget for the foreseeable future. It's not really how I thought things would go but plans change.

If I allow the loan to paralyze me with fear and anxiety that I am chained to it for years and years to come. The fact of the matter is for now I am tied to the loan but I have to live life. I have a family to raise. Having 5 kids and a wife I just can't say sorry family we are going to move to a one room studio apartment for years to come so I can pay down my loan. So I will continue to budget and pay down the loan as best I can. I surely will shave some time off but I guess I am not going to be the story you see on Yahoo! News about getting my loan paid off in an incredible period of time. I can only imagine what the headline would say if an article was written about me... Guy Pays Off 185K In 27 Years: How He Did It. 

When it comes down to paying down your loans find a plan that is realistic and stick to that plan. We'll make it through the next couple of decades together. 

Join the journey with me! Leave a comment and let me know where you're at in the process. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Dear CI: Please Be A Mentor

Going through PT school was tough to say the least. Entering the clinic to start applying what classes can only talk about is like a dream come true. It seems so wonderful but then you find out you CI does not like you... This was my reality. I had a CI try to get me kicked out of PT school!

Because of my experience this is my letter to that CI.

Dear CI,

Thank you for your willingness to accept a student and to trust me with some of your patients. I know how important it is to you to get your patients better. I am so grateful for this opportunity. While I am very grateful for your willingness to take me I need more than just that. I need you to have a little patience with me, I am not a perfect clinician but then again nobody is. I will make mistakes and I need your feedback in order to learn but please do not grill me in front of patients. Coming out of school I am going to be by the book because that exactly where I have learned to be a PT, the books. There is a chance I'll put a gait belt on someone who doesn't really need one but I'm just trying to be safe. Instead of focusing on my weaknesses coach me to make those weaknesses strengths.  I know you are not required to go out of your way to help me but I plead with you to be an advocate for me, show me your style but let me find my own style too. Remember what it was like to be a student even if it was 30 years ago. Please do not tell me you had it worse back then because of one reason or another. Validate how hard school is and contribute to my education. Essentially, I ask you to be a mentor. Be someone I could call down the road and ask questions. Be someone I could seek advice from because that will help me more than anything. The way you talk to me can destroy my self confidence and can tear me down in general.  In closing don't go through the motions but instead please help me to be a better clinician.

Sincerely,

Your student

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Covid: Clinic Crisis

Covid-19 has not been easy on most (unless you are in the business of making masks or brewing hand sanitizer). I have been trying my hand at a running a hybrid clinic. Mostly cash pay accepting a few insurances. Things seemed to be on the up and up in February of this year. 

It seemed like I was starting to make a little bit of money then things slowed down through March and April. In May things came to a screeching halt. My wife and I had some money tucked away but we are not independently wealthy by any means. We were losing money and panicking (if it was just my wife and I perhaps we would not have been panicking so badly but we have a troop of kiddos that depend on us... we have 5 kids!) 

Our business was bleeding money and after just 18 months the PT office was fragile. We started to scramble and began reaching out to past connections and God guided us to a past acquaintance. He was running a home health operation and they stayed busy through Covid thus far. 

I opted for a trial run. So I got a compact license for Texas and I left my wife and kids for a few weeks. I stayed busy seeing patients and called my wife and told her to start packing. We were in for a 1500 mile move. It seems nuts but this acquaintance was willing to pay us 100% of what he made off my visits as  a 1099. In a matter a couple of months I went from building a hybrid clinic to hitting home health hard. 

Talk about a trying year. I was so sad to see our clinic go and honestly a little part of me hopes I can try it again in the future. Fortunately I was leasing a small office and had been there long enough my lease was month to month.  I am still tying up the loose ends of closing down as I have had to try to learn all the nuances of home health. 

Never in a million years did I think I would be doing what I am doing now but that is just how the journey goes sometimes. We all have different paths as we are trying to create our best selves. 

I have been so busy in the recent past I have not had time to keep up with this blog (which is just a fun little hobby) but with this new found path I have a little more time. I'm hoping to stay a little more in touch. Also, I'm not the most poetic writer, my apologizes. 

I would love to hear where you're at in your journey as a PT or pre-PT. Has Covid thrown you for a loop like me? or perhaps nothing has changed for you. Comment... I would love to know what this past year has brought you. 

Looking forward to interacting with you.

Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT 

Monday, October 14, 2019

I Don’t Think That’s Going To Happen

“You’re school wants you to make the advanced intermediate mark on CPI within 8 weeks? Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen”. Those were some of the first words my CI spoke to me on my first day of one of my final clinical. I had simply spent the day in orientation, and she had not even seen me work with a patient yet.  Little did I know that that this comment was only the beginning. From that day on, I felt like I was climbing a never-ending uphill battle. I would show up prepared, connect with my patients and see improvements, yet my CI would spend each day scowling at my treatment plans, and belittling me every chance she had. At one point she even scolded me for my shoelace coming untied during gait training and stated “ THAT’S why I triple knot MY shoes. To make sure MY patients are safe.” 
While I feel like she did not necessarily do these things are of true malicious intent, I do not think she had the self-awareness to recognize just how abrasive and hostile she was being. Rather than taking the time to truly teach me and help me work on different areas, she instead felt it was her job to watch for me to do something that was even slightly different than how she would and attack me for it. It got so bad to the point that other students in our unit spoke with me about it and how they had considered speaking to their schools about how I was being treated by this CI. 
Looking back on the situation, I know that part of it was her general demeanor and her chosen way of communication. She had a very abrasive personality and oftentimes would be very strict and harsh with patients and coworkers. On top of that, it was a very unhealthy work environment overall. Therapists would talk poorly about each other when one was gone, and oftentimes you could hear whispering between CIs which caused the students in the unit to assume they were talking about us. It got to the point where I began to struggle with anxiety issues, those of which I had never experienced prior.
With so much pressure and being treated this way day in and day out, I definitely struggled. I felt like more of my day was trying to do everything how she would do it rather than actually learning and figuring out what was best for how I should treat my patients. And, of course, I was worried about passing especially since she had essentially told me since day one that I wouldn’t make the mark. Thankfully, I had a great school that keeps up with their students on clinical rotations. I made sure to document her comments and emailed in with specific examples of how I was being treated. Eventually, my school asked to do weekly phone calls which helped me to make sure my side of the story was heard. I would give my school examples of what was being said and how I would respond in different situations. This helped my anxiety a lot knowing that at least my school knew exactly what was going on and that they were willing to hear how I was responding. I also tried not to take how she was treating me personally. Easier said than done, but I found that going home each night and reflecting and writing down the different pieces of criticism and coming up with ways to incorporate changes into my following treatment sessions helped me separate the feedback from the attitude and discountenance that it was presented with.
When it comes to being in these types of uncomfortable situations, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainty, worthlessness, and fear. If you are a student going through this, or fearful of what future clinicals may bring, it is important to know you are not alone in that and that you have resources available to you. I felt so much support from my school and my friends and had to choose daily to be proactive rather than reactive to how I was being treated. It is easy to want to shut down because of the way you are being treated, but know you have the ability to make it through. Choose each day to be as prepared as you can for each patient, take criticism with grace and professionalism, and reach out when you need support. You have made it to this point and continuing through these moments of adversity with grace and choosing to find ways to learn from it can help it become a time of empowerment and growth rather than defeat. 
As for my story, I made it through. My school’s involvement was incredible, and they helped give me the support I needed. My final clinical following this one was a great reminder of how there are fantastic CIs also out there in the world. I was reminded of why I became a PT in the first place and was able to grow my confidence and diminish a lot of fears I had established during the prior clinical. Now I am officially graduated, passed boards and about to start my career as a travel PT on Monday! I even had the opportunity to be a teacher’s assistant for my program’s summer course after graduation and loved every moment of working with the students. I found myself pulling a lot of what I learned during this difficult clinical and treated the students I was teaching with respect, kindness, giving feedback in a way that empowered and challenged them rather than belittling them. I hope to one day have a larger role in education and plan to work towards that goal by first becoming a CI. 
If you need advice or just some encouragement, please feel to reach out. I am passionate about helping students feel empowered despite difficult situations and ready to tackle the next challenge ahead. You can reach me via Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/rachel.white.9655) or via Instagram (@rachelroamingdpt).
All my best,

Dr. Rachel White, PT, DPT

I want to give a huge shout out to Dr. Rachel White for sharing her experience. She overcame a bad situation and has come out on top. She is now a full-on PT and following her dreams. If you need someone to talk with for support in a bad clinical rotation feel free to reach out to me or Dr. Rachel White. She has some great insights and would be an awesome person to help you make it through.

-Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT

Thursday, October 10, 2019

CI From Hell: You're Not Alone

Alright, I had no idea what kind of response I would get but it was crazy! I posted on Facebook a quick question including a little info about my experience with a terrible CI (clinical instructor). I thought at the time there must be something wrong with me. I thought I was the only one to have such a bad experience.

After 48 hours this was the response!


I know it doesn't look like much but when you take a closer look we have 335 comments. People who went through similar experiences. PT students who suffered through their internships with terrible CIs.

To me, this was eye-opening. A lot of the stories are very similar. The CI is very oppressive and belittling. Some are verbally abusive and use their students as slave labor.

Another common thread is the PT students are scared. They fear being failed. They fear being held back. They fear the thought of spending thousands extra because some CI somewhere who just met them is on a power trip and fails them.

If you are having a bad internship experience its important to know you are not alone. Many of us have suffered and come out on top. Know that one CI's subjective opinion of you does not determine your future or your worth.

If you would like help or advice feel free to reach out. I would love to help how I can, even if it is just to encourage you. You can reach out via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dalin.hansen) or twitter (https://twitter.com/dpt_usa)

Good luck!

Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT
Owner/Operator Empower Utah Physical Therapy