Wow, 2 posts in one week for me. I’m impressed 🙂
As I wrote in my previous post, this week started off a little rough. It did get better, though. I had moved over to sit with the other therapists so I felt more included. I was seeing patients for their second or third visits (and some of them had gotten A LOT better!). It went pretty well.
The problem I’m currently having right now is figuring out who I am as a physical therapist. What do I believe in? What do I stand for? What is my preferred way of practicing? I’m still figuring that all out and it’s a little scary.
I had had 3 clinical rotations in outpatient ortho before going to per diem at a clinic and then taking the full-time position where I’m at now. All of these experiences have been super helpful, but they are also confusing the heck out of me. Some therapists did STM…others were very much opposed to it. None of the therapists on my rotations used ice and stim but my per diem position did and now they are telling me I should do that with my patients where I’m currently at. One clinic had 1 patient every 45 minutes with no overlapping (it was the best!!!). Everywhere else has been 1 patient every 30 with overlapping (and my per diem was switching to 1 every 20 min!!…glad I got out!). I get why it comes down to that but I absolutely hate that set-up, especially since I know what it’s like to have complete 1 on 1 time with patients. I can’t help but feel completely stressed out about making sure everyone is happy and feeling cared for. And I don’t feel like I can really make sure they are doing things appropriately. But there’s nothing I can do about that. Ultimately, the goal is to find a clinic where patients are seen 1 on 1 without overlapping but, for now, I need to get experience under my belt.
I’m also struggling with what types of exercises I like for my patients. In this day and age, we have access to sooo much information. It’s great but it’s overwhelming. There are so many therapists posting their opinions on exercises and techniques that it’s really had to figure out which is the best. Obviously, if there’s research to support it, it makes that decision making process easier, but sometimes there isn’t any research. So what do you do?! How do you figure out the best course of action for your patients? I’m not going to lie, there have been quite a few days where I’ve felt like hiding the content from all the PT Facebook pages and just saying “screw it…I’m just going to do things my way”. In a way, that’s actually probably what is best but then I freak out about missing something that my patients could really benefit from.
So I’m obviously floundering around at the moment. I know I’m eventually going to find my way and I know I’m going to come out of this a great therapist. I care too much about my patients to give them anything less than what they deserve. I just have to figure out myself out along the way.