The Summer Olympic Games are here and it’s impossible to ignore the inspiration they bring to all of us. Whether you’ve competed in these events or are just a fan of sport, it’s truly amazing to see how years of dedication, training and commitment culminate into these few brief moments of immortal glory. They serve as a reminder that dreams, no matter how big, can be achieved! As we approach the final week (or two-weeks for the 1st years) of our summer semester at the University of Pittsburgh, let’s be sure to believe in your training and finish strong! After all, isn’t that the advice you’d give our USA athletes?
Mark Your Calendars!!
Month of July– Renew your APTA Memberships
Wednesday, August 1st – Registration Open for National Student Conclave in Arlington, VA (Nov 2-4,2012) REGISTER NOW!
Friday, August 3rd – Be sure to turn the following into Lynn 1) CI CIET; 2) Self CIET; 3) Clinical Site Evaluation 4) Benchmark Checklist
We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk from TEDxToronto, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Drew Dudley believes leadership is not a characteristic reserved for the extraordinary. He works to help people discover the leader within themselves.
Leadership in Physical Therapy
Physical therapy needs leadership. We’re not talking about the kind that gives speeches, can recite ‘core values’ on command or that even knows by-laws and legislation like the back of their hand. Actually, we’re talking about the same everyday leadership that Dudley explains in his TED talk. He has an incredible message for aspiring physical therapists at the University of Pittsburgh. Each of us are afforded a daily opportunity to be leaders in our families, group of friends and of course, our profession. Whether we’re in the classroom or clinic, ‘Lollipop Moments’ might occur without us ever being fully aware of them existing. Embracing our ability and capacity to be everyday leaders is the first step. The next, is to acknowledge and thank those who have been leaders in our lives. Many times, they’re the same people in the audience who choose not to raise their hands! Give them credit and encourage them to continue to inspire others with their actions. Step up and lead!
If you look beyond my 5am wake up, hour and half commute each way, $16.50 metro ride, and playing Frogger with DC traffic at a stop light that never seems to have a walk sign; I was lucky enough to get a clinical rotation of a lifetime from the University of Pittsburgh. I get to spend everyday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) working with our nation’s veterans, their families and friends, and collaborating with medical professionals to provide them to best care possible.
I work in the Inpatient unit treating a case-load that includes patients with spinal cord injuries, amputees, cardio-thoracic surgery, total joint replacements, TBI’s, oncology, and a variety of other patient presentations. When I pick up a consult for PT, I never know what I’m going to be getting until I start doing the chart review- which really keeps me on my toes. This past week I was able to rotate through the hospital in a variety of settings including:
A day spent in the OR watching a soldier who had just arrived from the Trans-Atlantic flight and went through 12 hours of emergency surgery!
A day in Outpatient Traumatic Brain Injury where I was able to see a NueroCom Balance Master in action. And at the end of the day, I was able to be a “patient” and go through a balance assessment myself
A day spent in the Outpatient amputee rehab center where patients go after I see them in inpatient and they become medically stable enough to be transferred
An afternoon spent in the WC clinic where MD’s, PT, OT, the patient, and a WC vendor hash out the specific long-term needs of a patient.
Pictures can speak louder than words so I will take you through a couple patients who have truly inspired me.
Mat to Wheelchair Transfer
This individual above was set to go to medical school after his graduation from the Naval Academy but he decided to defer for 2 years to be an in field medic to see what it was truly like to be in a war and what his future patients would be going through. Unfortunately, he sustained a war injury himself. This is a video of him transferring from a mat to his WC. Pretty impressive!
1 Full Mile
This individual is a quadruple amputee who is honestly one of the funniest people I have ever met. Upon being introduced to him, he stuck out his left below-the-elbow amputation to shake hands with me. I greeted him with a shake of his residual limb, for which he promptly screamed out in pain!! Fake pain, of course, but it scared me half to death!! He promptly laughed, stating “gets you new kids every time”. This is a video of him 1 lap from his finish of walking a mile on his “shorties”. (If you look at the gentlemen walking backwards, you’ll notice he had a below the knee amputation. They make quite the comedic pair if I do say so myself).
Return to Sport
At Walter Reed the goal for the Wounded Warriors is to get them back to everything they did before the injury. This includes hunting and fishing trips. Adaptive boxing and jiu jitsu zu (pictured above).
They also adapt “regular” sporting equipment to each patient’s specific needs. The patient seen below is an avid biker who sustained a hemipelvectomy and with the help of a well-fitted prosthetic, is still able to enjoy riding his cycle.
Never Far from Pittsburgh!
And in case you were worried about me losing my Pittsburgh pride, don’t worry I’m getting my Pennsylvania fix in here in Maryland.
Alex Teves was a recent graduate of University of Denver with plans to begin graduate school for physical therapy. “He was a wonderful person,” his aunt Barbara Slivinske told the Daily News. “He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was loved by everyone,” she said. “He was a lot of fun, he had a great sense of humor, and he was very intelligent. He loved everybody and everybody loved him.” [Read more about all of the victims: NY Daily News]
The University of Pittsburgh students would like to extend our deepest and most sincere thoughts and prayers to all of the families and friends affected by the tragic events in Aurora, Colorado.
One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness …
Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the “Singin’ Scientist.”
“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.” – Jill Bolte Taylor