In A Student’s Words… Heather

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November 19, 2012
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  • A Day In The Life
  • Greetings Future Colleagues!

    The cooler months are upon us and I hope everyone is doing well! My peers and I are about halfway through our fall rotations and graduation is quickly becoming a reality. I wanted to pass along one of my learning experiences from this rotation so far.

    I may be the only one, but I think students often put a lot of pressure on themselves to know all the answers and be able to recall things in the clinic that we learned two years ago. We cannot be expected to know everything that there is to know in the therapy world. Something I have to remind myself of is that we have resources for a reason: to use them. So often therapists find their own niche in practice but then a patient walks into their clinic with a diagnosis or certain co-morbidities that the clinician hasn’t worked with in a while. This is a classic example of “use it or lose it”. Just as true with the mind as it is with the musculoskeletal system. It is not above us to have to look up something we haven’t seen or done in a while like a particular special test or an anatomical anomaly.

    As a soon-to-be new grad, I was feeling the pressure of having to know the correct answer to everything I was challenged with in the clinic. With my Clinical Instructor’s help, I remembered the entire purpose of the Hypothesis-Oriented Algorithm for Clinicians II that we learn about in school; we test our best hypothesis for each patient’s condition, and if we don’t quite get it right, we back up, re-assess, and start again. It’s the rehab version of the Scientific Method that we learned about in grade school.

    So there you have it, even future therapists aren’t perfect ;-) Go forth and be brilliant!

    Cheers, Heather Vaughn

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