Yesterday it hit me. I have 13 days of didactic work left in physical therapy school. 13 days. On August 7th, I will start my 1st clinical internship and begin the last chapter in physical therapy school. Looking back on my experiences in school, there have been some really great times, some really bad times, a lot of tears and hard work, social events and activities, volunteering, and built relationships with faculty, patients, PTs, other PT students and students from other disciplines. If I were to recap everything in PT school, this post would be CRAZY long; however, I do want to recap a few things from each semester.
Semester 1 (summer 2015): This semester was a blur. I LOVED anatomy but hated physiology. This semester made me realize I was capable of learning a TON of information in a short amount of time. I also learned that you cannot be too self-conscious considering you take your shirt off in front of everyone on day 2 of school and have to palpate.
Semester 2 (fall 2015): This semester was my 1st glimpse into true physical therapy classes and the beginning of my love story with neurological rehabilitation (even though I didn’t know it yet). I also experienced my 1st clinical rotation (1/2 day rotations 1x/week).
Semester 3 (spring 2016): One word. ORTHO. This semester was rough! Once again, a lot of information in a short amount of time. This is the semester that I realized that I was not as interested in ortho as I thought I was going to be (came into school with my mind-set on doing sports PT). This scared me a little bit because I was going through school with NO idea what I wanted to do. It was a very overwhelming and emotional semester. This semester I completed an 8-week Monday only rotation in the pediatrics setting. I respect Peds PTs SO much after that! I was exhausted every Monday (in bed by 830pm).
Semester 4 (summer 2016): This semester was tough, but was a good little breather from ortho semester. This semester included our 1st therapeutic exercise course and our 1st manual therapy course which was SO much fun. At the end of our short semester, I completed a 6-week rotation in an outpatient orthopedic setting. This rotation has been the most impactful so far. I learned how to complete an evaluation, document, write a plan of care and goals, and implement exercises I had learned in class with my patients.
Semester 5 (fall 2016): The hardest semester in PT school. All of the classes seem very randomly put together. Manual 2, peds, geriatric, cardio, electrophysiology, neuroscience 2, and prosthetics and orthotics. Though it was, in my opinion, the hardest semester of PT school, I finally began to realize that neurological rehabilitation was something I was very interested in. Over Christmas break, I decided to observe with one of my neuro professors in the clinic to be able to apply what I learned in class to real life scenarios. This semester I was also elected Student Government Association (SGA) secretary.
Semester 6 (spring 2017): Pharmacology. That was a HARD class. But I learned SO much. Wound care. GROSS, but again interesting and I learned a lot. I learned that wound care graces us with its presence in every setting, so I better suck it up!! This is semester I made the BEST choice of my life – to take Smart Success PT with Greg Todd. It has taught me how to leverage and market myself, that goal writing is imperative for success, the payor system in PT (which is CONFUSING), how to use social media as a marketing platform, how to rock an eval, and SO much more!!! I also attended Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) and met my mentor Greg Todd, Matt Villegas, and many other SSPT students.
Semester 7 (summer 2017): Easiest semester yet!!! With that being said I have had a hard time figuring out what to do with my free time! Honestly, it is weird having so much extra time. In our curriculum, the 3rd year PT students TA in anatomy during this semester for 2 of the 4 tests. Tomorrow, I will be heading back into lab to TA for test 4 material, head and neck. This is the semester I was able to be a guest on Matt Villegas’ Capable Body podcast and discuss living with MS (link below).
It seems like yesterday that I was starting my 1st semester in PT school. It is crazy how time flies. To look back and see where I was to what I am now is insane – how much I have learned, the skills I have developed, the people I have met, and the personal development that has occurred is so astonishing. I cannot wait to see what this last chapter has in store for me!
Capable Body podcast link: