Saturday, August 15, 2015

Experiences: By Dalin Hansen, SPT

  • What do you like about physical therapy/why did you choose physical therapy?
I chose physical therapy because I want to help people. I looked at other healthcare professions and they just did not offer what I was interested in. I like fitness and wellness. I felt like as I shadowed PTs they treated the whole person not just an illness/disease/problem. As I have been on my internship it has been a testament that I have picked the right career. I have been able to help people get a better overall wellness. Sometime a listening ear while exercising seems to make a world of difference in peoples lives. I love spending time with people everyday. Most other healthcare professionals just do not get one on one like PTs do.
  • What type of facility were you in, where was it located, and a brief background?
My internship was located in South Austin, Texas. Being in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) sounded like such a drag at first but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Essentially, I was able to work with long-term (people who can no longer care for themselves and need 24 hour help) and short-term (knee/hip replacements, fractures, spinal surgery, etc. but just not quite ready to go home from the hospital) residents.
  • What was your biggest surprise/learning curve at your internship?
Having confidence in what I know. I feel I have learned so much in school thus far but sometimes it was hard to talk with patients and be sure of what I was saying. With simple cases I felt I could walk in confident but with more complex cases or agitated patients I felt a little more timid.

Something else that took me off guard was when patients seemed angry or agitated. I can understand why they might be upset; many of the patients just went through a traumatic event or surgery. When I did my first evaluation the patient was screaming and yelling. Honestly it freaked me out but I made it through and felt so accomplished afterward.
  • What was your case/work load like during your internship?
I covered between 70% and 90% of my CI’s caseload on any given day depending on who we were supposed to see. My CI slowly worked me into more and more patients as well as note taking. It is tricky to manage time wisely to see all the patients and get all the notes done but it was not crazy; it was definitely do-able. Of course my least favorite part of the workload was the note taking but again totally do-able.
  • Additional thoughts.
Just want to add be confident but not cocky. If your CI is any thing like mine take careful note of their advice. Listen to your CI, they have great insight and advice they have been a PT longer than you. Also, go into your internship open minded, I did not think an “old folks home” would be any fun but it was a blast. I don’t know if it is what I want to do for a career but I am not opposed to it.

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