The Monday Memo: 9/30/13

The Monday Memo

September 30, 2013                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

Doing More: The Team Approach 

Well, it’s Bucs Fever here in Pittsburgh, PA.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have made it to postseason baseball for the first time in twenty seasons, and the city is beyond excited about it, for good reason.  I, however, am not totally participating in this excitement, for I am stricken with another type of bug: Indians Fever.

Yes, my beloved hometown Cleveland Indians will be seeing postseason baseball this year too, and to say I am ecstatic would be a true understatement.  Truth is, I have had physician diagnosed Indians Fever since childhood, and this ever-chronic condition has kept me living and dying at each twist and turn, no matter how bad they may be, for as many baseball seasons as I can remember.

All of that aside, there are some parallels that can be drawn between both of these clubs in the present day.  A primary overarching theme that I see between the teams is that their winning was based on the squad functioning as a single unit.  In the interviews following the final game of the season, each Indians player that spoke explained that the reason for their success was because of the cohesiveness of every member of the organization.  Yes, each of them competed to the best of their ability, but their success lie in their capacity to work together as a unified whole.  No one person was a star above the rest; they did the most in their respective roles so that others would benefit.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “That’s all well and good, Jeremy, but what does this have to do with doing more in my PT career?”  This may come as no surprise, but doing the most that we can does not mean much if we are not working as a team player.  From the physician to the physical therapist to the receptionist, the quality care of an individual depends on the coherence and function of the team as a whole.  Though we may treat patients one-on-one, there is more to their rehabilitation than the interaction between therapist and patient.

We can see the significance of this concept in our careers as students as well.  It is very easy to become walled off from classmates, with the bite of competition making us fearful that our peers will out-perform us.  But, if we are to turn our focus towards quality care of the patient both in the present in the clinic and in the future as clinicians, working together holds the utmost importance.  Our wish to be extraordinary in the practice of physical therapy thrives on each member of the physical therapy community functioning as a knowledgeable, well-informed practitioner.  When we learn as a team, our abilities to treat as a team will grow, and will give us the power to do more when it is needed.

Just as my beloved Indians learned from and fought for each other throughout the perils of a baseball season, we as student physical therapists can maximize on this idea and continue to move forward with assistance from one another.

– Jeremy

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events
Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 4,200 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
  • Log ‘N Blog –  Our PITT PT team is up and ready for new members! Please join and ask friends and family to join as well! 
September 30, 2013 |

The Monday Memo: 9/23/13

The Monday Memo

 

September 23, 2013                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

 

“Do More” – From Bouldering to Life

For those of you that know me, you will know that I am a man of many phrases. Often, I will latch on to a saying for some time, repeating it almost ad nauseum until both my peers and I get sick and tired of saying it and/or hearing it. I have been lucky to carry this “endearing” quality into my graduate school years, with my classmates giving me little backlash, embracing and almost enabling me to go along with this deplorable habit.

Of each of these silly sayings, one has really stuck with my classmates since I began my career in Pitt DPT: “doing the most”, or its derivative, “do more”. I will provide an example: when someone is doing an outstanding job at something or excelling with a certain item, that person is said to be “doing the most”.

Example: “Nice job with that manual muscle test. You are doing the most!

Conversely, if a peer is giving an average performance with a task, they will be commanded to “do more”, or perform to the best of their ability.

Example: “You didn’t use the proper alignment of your goniometer, and it’s upside down. Do more, you can do better than that.

This, out of any other phrase I have said, has seemed to gain the most traction with my classmates; I hear them saying it now far more than I do. Hearing it said so often has caused me to challenge my thoughts on a relatively ambiguous phrase. How do we “do more”? How do we excel, and how do we set ourselves above the rest?

Since I moved to Pittsburgh to continue my academic career, I have begun to go rock-climbing at the local climbing gym with two other members of my class on a regular basis. We invited the rest of our classmates to join us on a recent Friday afternoon, and had many take us up on the offer. After everyone got acquainted with the facility, the equipment, and got their safety orientation from a gym employee, I went off to tackle a route I had been working on the previous week but had not quite finished. Once I gave up, my hands tired and sore, I returned to the group to find my classmates cheering each other on, clapping for one another when they completed a route, or giving them tactical and motivational advice as they conquered harder and harder challenges. Other gym patrons even joined our group, and got the same response when they got on the wall.

IMG_1632

So, the question remains: how do we do more? Going above and beyond to motivate, inspire, and push; reaching out to provide strength and perseverance; refusing to silently stand by. As we push forward in our journey of practicing physical therapy, the inspiration to “do more” is one that needs to thrive in order for our patients to complete the route, if you will. We need to challenge ourselves to promote health and pain-free living. Simply “doing” will not suffice as we begin to take charge as clinicians, providers, and motivators.

Yesterday, we saw a tragic event unfold as gunmen took to an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing upwards of 60 innocent civilians. The most poignant and pragmatic photos from this agonizing incident were not of the bloodshed and heartbreak, but of the mall’s patrons, employees, and community members leading others involved in the hostage situation to safety. They risked their lives to take care of others and assure the protection of fellow community members. Every day we must do more, more than what is expected, and more than what may be needed.

In times of crisis, hardship or challenge, we cannot not simply “do”, we do more.

This phrase is not, I have realized, a useless expression with a vague meaning; it is a call to go above what is the norm, and beyond what is expected.

There are countless accounts of those doing more in situations where they are needed. In the coming weeks as I write this memo, I hope to share those inspiring stories with you. There are reasons to always stay inspired, and always do more.

As I challenge myself with this, I will open the challenge to you: what will you do to do more this week?

– Jeremy

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events
Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 4,200 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
  • Log ‘N Blog –  Our PITT PT team is up and ready for new members! Please join and ask friends and family to join as well! 


September 22, 2013 |

The Monday Memo: 9/16/13

The Monday (Mid-Week) Memo

 

September 16, 2013                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

 

“Game, Set, Trainer!”: Daves’ Exposure to the Pros

The break between my full-time summer clinical and start of the fall semester was not only a time for me to go home and watch the Phillie’s play terrible baseball, but to also pursue an opportunity in professional tennis. I spent approximately two weeks traveling with a professional tennis player to a tournament in Canada and then to New York City for the US Open. Rewind about three years and I couldn’t tell you much more about tennis than the scoring of a match. Prior to my return to Pittsburgh for PT school, I spent two years at the University of Tennessee working towards a Master’s degree while serving as a graduate assistant athletic trainer. My primary responsibility was overseeing the athletic training needs of the Men’s Tennis team, and assisting with daily treatment/rehabilitation of injured Football players.

photo

During these two weeks, I combined a lot of the knowledge gained since starting physical therapy school along with my athletic training background. For the second year students, I also utilized many of the techniques Dr. Schneider discussed regarding soft-tissue massage during lecture last week. I also spent a majority of the experience developing an exercise program for various muscle imbalances and educating the athlete on proper technique.

Overall, this was a very humbling and motivating experience. It was humbling in the fact that I didn’t know much about tennis a few years ago and was now in the midst of the world’s top tennis players and physiotherapists. Also very humbling was returning to Pittsburgh and driving my beauty of a 2001 Saturn (complete with Knoxville, TN hail damage) after being chauffeured around New York in a Mercedes! On a serious note, I left New York City with a great deal of motivation and determination to continue increasing my clinical knowledge and skills to be able to achieve my goal of a career in professional sports.

Hail to Pitt and GO VOLS!
-David Colvin

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events
Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 4,200 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
  • Log ‘N Blog –  Our PITT PT team is up and ready for new members! Please join and ask friends and family to join as well! 


September 18, 2013 |

The Monday Memo: 9/10/13

The Monday Memo

 

September 10, 2013                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

 

Pinning Ceremony: Welcome Class of 2016

 
This weekend, I was lucky to be included in a very special moment: The 2016 Professional Pledge Ceremony. Listening to distinguished guests speak, leading the DPT 2016 class through the pledge, and sharing in the significance of the pledge signing was a proud combination of moments for me.
 
First, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed. My DPT class of 2015 has accomplished immeasurable feats, both inside the classroom and out. We are currently in our fourth clinical – FOURTH CLINICAL! When did that happen? We are going to be interviewing for our yearlong positions in one month – yes, just ONE. Those are two examples among many. (Be sure to check out the awesome experiences two of my classmates shared in last week’s Memo!)
 
Second, I have had the pleasure of working with the DPT class of 2016 since day one. In fact, I met many of these remarkable people at Preview Pitt. I have observed them begin their academic career at the university and have the unique perspective of how much they have already grown. The class recently elected their officers (stay tuned for their bios!), successfully passed the summer session, and has jumped into their first clinical experience. Time is flying by!
 
Finally, I am now more enthusiastic about the future of physical therapy than I have ever been. Knowing how far my class has come and being privy to the excitement of 2016 has reinforced confidence for the future of our profession. We are fortunate to have great leaders be our example, and are ready to continue to pave the evidence-based path of physical therapy practice.

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events
Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 4,200 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
  • Log ‘N Blog –  Our PITT PT team is up and ready for new members! Please join and ask friends and family to join as well! 


September 10, 2013 |

The Monday Memo: 9/2/13

The Monday Memo

PT Abroad Adventures

September 2, 2013                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

 

Dublin, Ireland

Instead of spending my summer in Pittsburgh with my peers, I spent 6 weeks completing our first full-time clinical rotation in Dublin, Ireland. I chose to go to Ireland for a couple of reasons. First things first, I can’t speak any other language! Secondly, being from the south suburbs of Chicago, I have grown up around an area heavily influenced on the Catholic Irish culture. Thirdly, I had never been to Ireland or out of the United States at the age of 25. I think it was time for some international traveling and exploring! Finally, my grandmother, Eleanor, who is one of the most influential (strong Irish) women in my life, was
from Ireland.

I spent my 6 weeks at a private hospital, UPMC Beacon, which is my first experience in an acute physical therapy setting. I was blessed to work with many different therapists and types of patients. Depending on the day, I would be with acute-orthopedic, oncology, intensive care unit, cardiac, or outpatient orthopedic patients.

My favorite experience at the hospital was getting the unique opportunity of being in the theatre or as we know it here in the states as surgery! I shadowed two different surgeons: orthopedic and brain. Seeing a patient in surgery and then being their physical therapist was such an educational experience. It allowed me to truly see a patient from the beginning of their care. I really understood what they went through and why they might present with the deficits they do post-surgery.

In addition to my educational and clinical experience, I spent my weekends becoming a true local. I traveled all around the country seeing cities like Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Belfast, and of course Dublin. I spent my weekends meeting people from all over the world, trying the not-so-famous cuisine of Ireland (which was delicious), and taking LOTS of pictures! This summer was more than just a clinical rotation. It was an unforgettable, brilliant life experience that allowed me to grow so much as a person and as a clinician.

kelly
Sláinte!

~Kelly Ricker

Munich, Germany

I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks in Munich this summer where I was placed in two separate clinics for 2 three-week rotations. The first three weeks was spent in an outpatient orthopedic ‘Reha’. A ‘Reha’ is a multidisciplinary clinic where patients receive many types therapy, take group exercise classes, attend patient education seminars, and perform therapeutic exercises. This clinic is starkly different from what is found in the US in that the patients are present at the clinic for 4 to 6 hours each day permitted by time off work follow injury or a surgical procedure. The patients come to the clinic 2-5 times a week depending on how much time off work is allowed and the severity of their injury. I was able to treat and observe as well as take some of the group exercise classes. The emphasis of the physiotherapy time slots was on manual therapy (each patient had 1-2 hours to perform their previously prescribed therapeutic exercises at a different time). I now know there are so many more manual therapy techniques available for use than I was aware. This exposure deepened my interest in manual therapy and has encouraged me to pursue it further through my career.

 

My second clinical experience was in an inpatient neurological facility. MFZ is a part of a larger system that allows patients who have cerebral palsy to have a lifetime of care including schooling and vocational training. The first step in the system is an inpatient facility for children and young adults up to the age of 21. If at that point they are unable to be independent and attend outpatient therapy, they move to MFZ where they can receive essential support and care. This clinic also provides jobs within the facility including but not limited to working in a bike repair shop, an Ebay book store, and many support staff positions on the campus. Additionally the facility has integrated a skilled nursing unit for the elderly. The physiotherapy is primarily focused on improving quality of life and preventing further impairments. This was my first introduction to neurological physical therapy and it proved quite humbling. It was obvious that the therapist truly loved their jobs and really cared for the patients. Across the board the patients were always happy to see me and knew way more English than I knew German.

DSCF1540

My 6 weeks in Munich proved to be invaluable and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I am so grateful for all of the support that made this trip possible.

~Karleen Smith

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events
Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 4,200 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
  • Log ‘N Blog –  Our PITT PT team is up and ready for new members! Please join and ask friends and family to join as well! 


September 2, 2013 |