As an athletic training student, I feel the least confident when treating an athlete or patient that I have not been working with, especially if they have a complicated injury or condition For example, when I am at the physical therapy clinic and I am asked to do treatment for a patient that I have not met or treated before, I become very skeptical of what I am doing. I have a million questions like, “Am I doing this correctly? How long do I do this? Is this the right exercise?” I just worry that what I am doing is different, and maybe wrong, compared to what they have had in the past. Additionally, I find treatments to be much more productive when I can comfortably communicate with the patients. When a relationship has been created from the beginning, communication is much easier and trust is more easily established. It is very important for me to have a relationship with the patients in order to feel very confident as an athletic training student. This is not as much of an issue in the athletic training clinic because I know and am familiar with many of those who come in for treatment; however, it poses more of an obstacle in the physical therapy clinic.
I am most confident in the athletic training/ physical therapy clinic when I am working with an athlete or patient that I am familiar with. Also, it helps if their injury is a shoulder. I know that many people are skeptical about the shoulder because of how complicated that it can be, but I feel really comfortable with the shoulder. When I am with someone that I have been working with already, I feel confident about the treatment that I am performing because I am familiar with how they respond to a particular treatment. Additionally, I am able to gauge the progress and the efficiency of the exercises or treatment options that I picked for that day based upon how the patient responds to it because I know how they have reacted to past treatments.
It is super encouraging when I am able to work in a setting where I am confident about my decisions, but I also feel that it is important that I am challenged. I fully believed that if you are not made uncomfortable, then growth will not occur. The more that I am put in a situation where I am less confident, the more that I realize that I need to depend more on my skills and knowledge to be able to make correct and beneficial decisions for the patients.
This week I gained attempts from the PBL from clinical class.
At the current moment, I am pursuing a career in physician assistant studies. I would like to sit for the BOC exam to become certified before continuing my education in a physician assistant program. I began to think about this track when I was considering how to best use my career in the mission field. I had a hard time trying to imagine how I could use physical therapy in missions because physical therapy is more of a long term service. Additionally, I really enjoy the idea that individuals receive experience in a plethora of different specialities, which makes choosing a speciality or changing a specialty fairly easy. Lastly, the most superficial reason is that it takes one year less to accomplish than physical therapy.
I have done a lot of research into what I need to do to accomplish this goal. Each PA program demands something a little bit different. Each program needs patient care hours, and only specific programs will accept athletic training student hours. The only program that I have found that accept ATS hours is the Medical University of South Carolina. Additionally, the prerequisites for each program seem to differ slightly. I have made my schedule for the rest of my time in undergrad to try to accommodate all of the prerequisites for each program that I am interested in, and the only issue that I have had so far is fitting in microbiology. However, if I can take organic chemistry over the summer, then I will be able to fit in all of my prerequisites for each program. I shadowed a PA from a hospital back home this summer, and I am really interested in what she does. She works in a pulmonology clinic and a family practice, and she offered up some very good advice about what I needed to focus on learning while in PA school. She advised me to ask a lot of questions about paperwork and insurance policies. Additionally, she mentioned getting my CASPA application in early to be able to start applying to schools as soon as possible.
I would like to continue feeling out which specialty that I would like to pursue because as of right now, I would like to pursue a speciality in pediatrics, but I would like to gain more experience in other areas. I feel like finding physician assistants in other specialities this summer to shadow would be very helpful for both my resume and my future decisions. I would also like to learn more about different programs that I have not heard of yet.
This week I received attempts from Beth’s PBL in clinical class and five other attempts from the PT clinic with Matt.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.