Monday, April 24, 2023

Shadowing: An Important Key For PT School Preparation

Shadowing a physical therapist is an essential step for anyone considering a career in PT. Here are some reasons why shadowing is so important before applying to PT school:

Gain real-world experience: Shadowing allows you to observe physical therapists in action and see what their daily work entails. This can give you a better understanding of the profession and help you decide if it's the right career path for you.

Learn about different specialties: Physical therapy is a broad field with many different specialties. If you can try to shadow in several areas. I wish I would have had more shadowing experience outside of outpatient orthopedics. I had no idea how diverse PT really is.

Networking opportunities: Shadowing can provide you with the opportunity to meet and network with physical therapists. Seems like a stretch but you never know where you might end up working. I do contract work for a PT I shadowed so I know firsthand that shadowing as a prospective PT student can pay off in the future.

Letters of recommendation: PT programs require letters of recommendation from physical therapists. This is exactly how I got my letters… I shadowed several PTs and the ones I liked (and they seemed to like me) were the ones I asked for letters from.

In conclusion, shadowing several PTs is an important step when considering a career in physical therapy. It can provide you with valuable real-world experience. Take advantage of shadowing opportunities whenever you have the chance! 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Steps for Acing Your Undergraduate Anatomy Class

Anatomy and physiology classes can be tough, but they are crucial for anyone aspiring to become a physical therapist. Don’t just go through the motions as an undergrad but try to really internalize the content. Here are some tips to help you not only survive but excel in your anatomy and physiology classes:

Attend every class: It's important to attend every lecture and lab session. This will ensure that you don't miss any important information and that you have a good understanding of the material.

Take good notes: Taking good notes is essential in anatomy and physiology classes. Write down key terms, concepts, and definitions. Writting helps with retention! Also, use diagrams and sketches to help you visualize the structures and functions.

Use study aids: There are many study aids available that can help you learn anatomy and physiology. The things that helped me the most were flashcards and self-made study guides. The fact of the matter is the more time you spend with the material the more likely you are to retain it. 

Study in groups: Studying in groups can be helpful as you can discuss and compare notes with your peers. This is not my favorite way to study to focus on but it can also help you identify areas where you may be struggling and work together to understand the material better. 

Use mnemonics: Mnemonics can be helpful but for me if I used this tool too much sometimes the mnemonics would run together. For example, "Oh Oh Oh To Touch And Feel Very Good Velvet AH!" can help you remember the 12 cranial nerves and their functions.

Engage in hands-on learning: Engaging in hands-on learning can be helpful in understanding anatomy and physiology. If possible get into a wet lab! Experience with wet lab help me tremendously when I got to PT school.

Seek help when needed: If you're struggling with a particular concept or topic, don't be afraid to get help. In my experience professors are not just happy to excited you are taking initiative. 

In conclusion, surviving anatomy and physiology classes requires dedication (time and repetition), hard work, and a willingness to learn. By following these tips, you can improve your chances of acing that undergrad anatomy class.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

3 Quick Tips For PT School Test Prep

 Here are 3 simple tips for preparing for a test in physical therapy school:

  1. Review your class notes: Take the time to review all the material covered by the teacher. Most of the time teachers lecture more on things they like to test on. Highlight key points in the text. Creating flashcards helped me study all the time. I would pull out and review flash cards every chance I had.

  2. Practice with sample questions: Look for sample questions or practice tests to help you prepare for the exam. These can give you an idea of what types of questions you can expect and help you identify areas where you need more practice.

  3. Get plenty of rest and exercise: Let’s get real your in PT school… you believe exercise is important. As simple as it sounds you should make sure you're getting enough sleep. Exercise and good sleep can help you feel more alert, focused, and confident on test day.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

5 Simple Ways To Knock Your PT School Interview Out Of The Park

Prepping for a PT school interview is a crucial step to ensure you knock the interview out of the park. Here are five ways you can improve your interview skills:

  1. Research the school and the program: Familiarize yourself with the PT school you are applying to, its mission, and the program requirements. Read about the faculty, the curriculum, and any special programs or opportunities that the school offers. Having a good understanding of the program will allow you to speak more confidently and demonstrate your interest in the school.

  2. Practice answering common interview questions: Prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions, such as why you want to become a physical therapist, how you handle stress, what you bring to the program, and how you would handle challenging situations. When you prepare think of stories from your life. For example, if the question is about handling stress give an example of a time you were under a lot of stress and then tell what you did to handle it. This makes the interview more personal. Don’t forget to practice with a friend or mentor to receive feedback and refine your answers.

  3. Dress professionally: Dressing professionally for an interview can help you feel more confident and show that you are serious about the opportunity. Make sure your attire is clean, pressed, and appropriate for the occasion. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. 

  4. Demonstrate your communication skills: Physical therapy is a field that requires excellent communication skills, so it's important to showcase your ability to communicate effectively during the interview. Make sure to speak clearly, listen attentively, and ask thoughtful questions. Practice avoiding um and ah when speaking so you sound more professional. 

  5. Be yourself: Finally, remember to be yourself during the interview. While it's important to prepare and present yourself professionally, it's equally important to be authentic and genuine. Make sure you share personal experiences and interests, and let your personality come through. This will help you stand out from other candidates.