Advocacy Update

Advocacy: Why you should be involved.

As students entering a profession influenced by federal and state legislation, it is important that we become educated in current issues regarding such legislation and learn to advocate for the best interest of our profession.  While laws and regulations may create a framework from within we work, we have the ability to make alterations and additions to that framework as we see fit for our profession through advocacy.  Only we, as physical therapists, are experts in the field of physical therapy, so we should be the ones involved in making decisions affecting physical therapy.  Not only are we as physical therapists affected by legislation in the way we practice and provide services, but our patients are affected in the care they receive and how they receive it, as well.  By becoming professionals of physical therapy, we have a social responsibility to advocate for access to and delivery of essential and appropriate rehabilitation services for the health and wellbeing of the public.

Getting involved is easy.  The simple use of social media, like Twitter and Facebook, and email can be the start of making a difference.  The APTA’s section on advocacy and the PT PAC have great resources to make advocating easy and possible for us students.  It is both our own and our patients’ future, and we can help guide and form it through advocacy.

Be sure to check out the advocacy section on the APTA’s website and stay tuned for more blogs discussing current issues to learn more about advocacy efforts and how to become involved!

Keep an eye out for more advocacy updates from Natalie Novak.

~Natalie Novak

January 29, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 1/27/2014

The Monday Memo

January 27, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

User-friendly? Try User-Obsessed

 In the TED talk below, engineer Krista Donaldson describes the ReMotion knee, an above-knee prosthetic that she and her colleagues were able to develop and market to amputees in underprivileged countries for a retail price of 80 dollars.  While the price itself is staggering, what is most compelling about the story is the model employed by her design firm in creating this prosthetic.  The first model was square and chunky, giving a sterile and machine-like feel to the new knee.  Over time, she saw its user creating modifications to the limb, to try and hide the stigma they felt by having an observable prosthetic limb.

What she created in that process was the ReMotion knee, and she considered her approach to its development a model of  “User-Obsession”.

Novel approaches to modern healthcare such as the one presented by Ms. Donaldson are groundbreaking in more ways than one.  The conceptual framework behind being a “user-obsessed” clinician means we are driven by the human element of our patient’s success.  If we continue to drive forward with the mindset that lives are improving under our care, we cannot go wrong.  The true nature of our care depends on individualized, patient-centered thinking.

In the end, our “obsession” with positive patient outcomes is the fuel behind doing more in our clinical practice.

You can find the full TED talk from Krista Donaldson below.

http://www.ted.com/talks/krista_donaldson_the_80_prosthetic_knee_that_s_changing_lives.html

~Jeremy Harris

 

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 9,500 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)
January 27, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 1/20/2014

The Monday Memo

January 20, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

Beep. Beep. Beep. My alarm goes off. It’s 6:30 AM. Still pitch black outside. I make small movements to wake my body up. I get out of bed, eat breakfast, get dressed, and pack my lunch. You would think I’m getting ready for a long day of classes, but instead I’m getting ready for a full day of skiing. It’s Saturday morning.

The Three Rivers Adaptive Sports (TRAS) skiing program is well underway for this season. Each weekend, on either Saturday or Sunday, a few of my classmates and I volunteer to help the adaptive skiers at Hidden Valley or Seven Springs. There are a wide range of skiers-from children to middle-aged adults. Some have never skied before while others have been at the sport for 18 years. Diagnoses include spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy to name a few.

Untitled

My classmates and I enjoy this fun activity outside of our studies, but this program is very relevant to physical therapy. As volunteers with other local physical therapy and occupational therapy students as well as Doctors of Physical Therapy, we transfer the skier from wheelchair to ski-device (bi-unique or monoski usually) and from ski-device to wheelchair. When we strap in the skier, we need to keep in mind the location of catheters, colostomy bags, etc. We demonstrate proper body mechanics when we lift the skier onto the lift chair, with the help of the ski instructor. We have fun on the slopes all while watching other skiers and snowboarders to make sure they steer clear of the adaptive skier. I love when I get to the bottom of the hill and can admire the big smile on the skier’s face.

As physical therapists, we will serve the people of our community to help them return to sports and their prior level of functioning. Volunteering with the TRAS skiing program has opened the doors for me and my classmates to help the people in the community while we’re still students of physical therapy. After two weeks of volunteering with the program, I’m confident the skills we are learning will carry over into our professional careers in the future.

When 6 PM rolls around on Saturday evening, I’m sitting on my comfy couch, legs propped up, reflecting on the rewarding, exciting, and calorie-burning day. I won’t be able to stay awake for much longer, so I check my phone: no alarms are set for tomorrow morning.

~Jenna Scanlan

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • PT Pub Night –  Join us Thursday, January 23 for Pittsburgh’s first PT Pub Night at Fat Heads Saloon in the South Side!
  • #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 9,500 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)
January 20, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 1/13/14

The Monday Memo

January 13, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Some things stop you dead in your tracks.  For me, it was this video.”

The Ironman Triathlon YouTube page posted a video entitled “The Most Inspiring Ironman Story of 2013” in Mid-December. The video chronicles triathlete Chris McDonnell’s road to the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.  There is a tremendous challenge for anyone racing at this or any level of triathlon, but McDonnell had an unfathomable barrier that stood in his not so recent past.  McDonnell and his family hailed from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, the site of an unimaginable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School earlier this year.  The family’s daughter had been killed in that shooting.

In lieu of this insurmountable travesty, the video displays the family’s sense of courage, hope, and perseverance as they pressed along after their daughter’s death.  The Ironman championships in Kona represented far more than a race for McDonnell, it was a symbol of life and a fulfillment of a family’s goal.

How do we respond to challenges in our own lives?  Be they large or small, do we carry them as a burden or use them as fuel to carry on?  In the wake of an unforeseeable tragedy, the McDonnell’s remained resilient and brave, with the knowledge that the honor of their daughter stood in each breath they took, each move they made.  Chris McDonnell carried the spirit of his daughter through the finish line.

The Spirit of the McDonnell family teaches a valuable lesson in perseverance.

To dwell on tragedies, misfortunes, or stresses is to restrain ourselves from finding out what those hardships mean in a positive context.  In other words, there is a part in each adversity we face that inspires us to keep going, to keep a memory or a dream alive, or to achieve something great.  These same hardships in the end always inspire us to do more.  It’s how we face them and how we meet these challenges that dictates what we learn from them.  We could not find a better example than to look at Chris McDonnell and his quest to the Ironman World Championships.

As much as I try to analyze the story, it is best to watch for yourselves.  The video can be found below.

~Jeremy Harris

 

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 9,500 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)
January 13, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 1/6/14

The Monday Memo

January 6, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Don’t Just Talk About It, Be About It.”

Since the steady rise of Apple Computers and his untimely death in 2011, Steve Jobs has been used time and time again as the example of innovation, change, and revolutionary thinking.  Mr. Jobs is often regarded as a symbol of greatness, his everlasting drive and dedication to his work evident through the soaring popularity of Apple products.  In Jobs’ biography, he discusses the Zune, Microsoft’s mp3 player and attempt to compete with the success of the iPod.  The reason the Zune was a failure, he explains, “ [is] because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally love music.”

As we continue our quests to become great clinicians, many of us are also in search for what it really means to be great.  What qualities must we embody to truly be above the rest?  Is Jobs saying here that a personal love for something is that separator, that difference-maker?  If so, how do you translate that “personal love” into a mechanism of success?

Earlier in this past week, I came across the website for the Korey Stringer Institute, a research center at the University of Connecticut that studies sudden death in sport.  The banner on the website read, “Don’t just talk about it. Be about it.”  Always in search of a great new phrase to use, I immediately took to it.  But as I considered it more, maybe the idea of “being about it”, whatever “it” is in the context of your life, is how you take that personal love and create a path for greatness.

To “be about it” means to truly believe in what you are working for.  To embody what your product stands for.  To have the utmost faith in its potential to do what it claims to do.  Jobs continues to be the foremost example of “being about it”, embodied in his “personal love” for what his products did for the human experience.  And down to every last detail of every Apple product, he believed, loved, and cherished its existence.

As students and future clinicians, we know that believing in the power of physical therapy changes the way our patients see their road to health and well-being.  We all love what we do, but we also have to translate that personal love into a mechanism for success.

To “be about it” means to live it.  Let’s continue to be about improving those lives that need it.

~Jeremy Harris

 

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 9,500 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)
January 6, 2014 |