The Monday Memo: 6/30/2014

The Monday Memo

June 30, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“All You Have to Do is Ask Why” 

  Last week we started our full time six-week clinical rotation. The inpatient setting was new to me, and I was going to be at the VA working with veterans. After the first day in the hospital I was instantly aware of the overwhelming amount of mutual respect that existed between the veterans and the care staff.  I knew I could never relate to what some of the veterans have been through, but what I could do was thank them and make sure I provided them the best care I could.

This brings me to one patient encounter I wanted to share. My patient was a gentleman in is early 90’s who had suffered a fall back in April.  He was advised to come to the hospital by his primary care physician with the main diagnosis of increasing lower extremity edema. Physical Therapy was being consulted to help determine the next course of action for the gentleman.  Physicians and nurses had already seen the veteran and we were the last to talk to him.  I conducted a brief history with this gentleman, and found that he had stayed seated in a chair for almost 6 weeks after the fall.  I wrapped up my history by asking him one simple question:

“So, tell me, why did you sit in the chair for six weeks after your fall?”

 His response was simple:

I was simply afraid that it would happen again”.

 I asked if he would be willing to try and use a walker and if he may be more inclined to get up and move around to which he replied with enthusiasm

“Well Yea! Can you do that for me?”

  As I ask the veteran to wait one moment while I get a wheeled walker his wife comes around the corner to which he commented looking at her with a big smile, “Now that right there is the only therapy I will ever need”. I asked the gentleman to hold tight one moment and to just sit there as he attempted to stand again indicating, “Absolutely not, I need to give my wife a hug. This is the longest we have been apart in 69 years”. I bring the walker over; he grabs hold of the rails, gets a feel for the grip and then takes a few steps. He proceeds to look at me, and with a laugh and a smile, and says, “This is amazing, this is absolutely amazing, it feels good to stretch my legs and move”.  We complete a lap around the floor and the whole time he is amazed and says he feels good.

After the session I spoke with my CI about the interaction. I was amazed that no one had asked “why”, because up to that point, that was all I really needed to ask.  This man’s motivation was being at home with his wife. He didn’t need a skilled facility or care; he needed his companion and the walker to feel empowered and safe.

This experience taught me a lot about the power of open-ended questions and what it means to truly listen. The simplest of questions was consistently overlooked; by talking to this man as a person with purpose, I was able to determine his barriers to movement.

It is always important for us to remember that our patients are people who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.  We must always be conscious of the patient’s concerns, and not to assume function based on a written impairment, diagnosis, or age.

~Andrew Clark

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)
June 30, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 6/23/2014

The Monday Memo

June 23, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Walking With a Purpose”

This week’s example of doing more comes to us from Temperance, MI, which is the home of Hunter Gandee.  Hunter created a 40-mile walk to raise awareness for cerebral palsy and the need for innovation in mobility devices for people with CP.  Gandee completed the walk with his younger brother, who has CP, strapped to his back by a harness system created by his younger brother’s therapist.  The walk drew throngs of supporters, including the University of Michigan wrestling team, who joined them to complete the walk.  Said Hunter, “I can’t even describe to you how special [Braden] is to me … He’s always there for me. I really just wanted to give back to him in some way.”

To support someone can often be the best thing we can do in trying times.  Whether mental or physical, the solace of support goes far beyond a word, a phrase, or a gesture.  With that support comes the knowledge that you are not fighting alone; that no matter how many times you fall, someone will be there to catch you and carry you.  Hunter Gandee’s physical and mental support, along with scores of others, is a fine example of the necessity of support.

You can check out the full story here:

Hunters Story – On ESPN!

~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)
June 23, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 6/16/2016

The Monday Memo

June 16, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“NEXT”

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the House of Delegates and APTA NEXT in Charlotte, NC. To say that I had an unforgettable week would be a severe understatement. I can say with confidence that I have officially found my new favorite APTA National Conference. I experienced the continued value of making connections with clinicians that I have viewed as my idols in the profession.

I attended a programming session entitled, Face Into the Storm, by Alan Jette. I chose this session because we had been assigned to read Dr. Jette’s article for our Evidence Based Practice Series and I hoped that it would only add value to the content of that article. The lecture put into perspective the third year outcomes project that the Class of 2015 is currently undertaking. The significance of the data that we are collecting as a class is a demonstration of what our profession needs. We are moving towards a system where we will be reimbursed based on best practice. How do we determine best practice without measuring the outcomes of our patients based on the interventions that we provide?

One evening after conference activities, I headed out to enjoy what Charlotte has to offer and one of the clinicians that ended up at the same restaurant, as my group, was Chris Powers from USC. If you have ever picked up a copy of JOSPT, you will know this name. Dr. Powers is one of the leaders of our profession with biomechanics research and is a colleague of our own, Dr. Farrohki. He approached the group I was with and he immediately immersed himself in conversation with us. He offered such great perspective on residencies and mentoring.

My highlight of the trip was the Foundation for Physical Therapy Gala, where we were recognized for earning second place in the Miami-Marquette Challenge and our very own, Dr. Delitto, was the honored emcee of the event. It was the 35th anniversary of the Gala so they held a competition to see how quickly they could raise $35,000 with the attendees. It took only twenty minutes for clinicians and students to donate their money to reach the grand total of $35,000 dollars! That just continues to prove the recognized need for continued PT research and the willingness of the leaders of our profession to help move us forward!

Overall, the NEXT Conference was an incredible success and I cannot talk enough about the value of maintaining APTA membership and getting involved in our profession. I was given the opportunity to network with countless inspiring professionals, who wrote the textbooks and articles that we read for our classwork and who changed the face of physical therapy to continue to show the world that we cannot be left out of the ever-changing healthcare conversation. I can definitely say that my countdown for next years APTA NEXT Conference has already begun!

-Kaitlyn Bianco, SPT

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)
June 16, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 6/9/2014

The Monday Memo

June 9, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“All Together Better Health”

This past weekend, some of the students in the second year class had the opportunity to attend the All Together Better Health (ATBH) Conference held here on campus at the University of Pittsburgh.  This international conference, the first of which to be held in the United States, brought together clinicians, researchers and policy makers from across the globe to discuss new strategies for the implementation of an interdisciplinary healthcare model.  This model looks at the integration of multiple healthcare providers, be they physicians, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, or nutritionists, working together to provide the best quality care to patients.

The most polarizing lecture I attended included a physical therapist from Texas discussing a pilot study he had been involved in.  This clinician practiced for 8 hours a week in an urgent care facility – he would conference with the other providers when a patient with a musculoskeletal diagnosis would present, and then intervene if they thought physical therapy was necessary.  Not only did they find meaningful results from the inclusion of a physical therapist in this clinic, they also saw this clinician as a viable part of the urgent care team.  My head was not the only one spinning in that room- it was plain to see that this extraordinary model of change could significantly impact the way we practice.

We often speculate what change needs to take place in order for physical therapy to improve as a profession.  What was evident to me this weekend was that there are practitioners across the country and the globe that have elected to be the change, and put those words into action.  As future leaders in the physical therapy community, the challenge is embodying the impact you look to make, like many of these clinicians have done, creating change by finding ways to fill in the gaps in practice, legislation, and branding.  There are professionals blazing the trails towards changing the healthcare landscape – it is now our turn to do more.

Kelly & Irrgang

Dr’s Jay Irrgang and M. Kathleen Kelly with their poster presentation during this weekend’s All Together Better Health Conference on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

~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)
June 10, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 6/2/2014

The Monday Memo

June 2, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“The muscle of determination”

The video and article below describe the story of Charlotte Brown, a female Texas High school track and field athlete.  Ms. Brown has been a track standout and state qualifier in the pole vault over the past 2 seasons.  Aside from mastering the challenging dynamics of the pole vault (which, as a former high school and collegiate vaulter, I can attest to), Charlotte has another obstacle to confront each time she steps on the runway.  She is completely blind, and relies solely on her remaining senses to master the event.  The piece’s main focus is on this athlete’s unbridled spirit and determination to find a different way to do things in all aspects of her life.  From matching her shoes in the morning to clearing bars 12 feet in the air, Charlotte Brown has found a way to tackle her loss of sight with resilience and creativity.

So often in life, we focus on the barriers to success.  Those things keeping us away from our goal will do just that if we give them enough attention.  What Charlotte Brown shows us is that determination is the strongest muscle we have – if the force of our desire to succeed is unmatched, there is no barrier great enough to hold us back from accomplishing any goal we strive for.

Check out the video below for a look at the track and field career of Charlotte Brown.

http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/10827733/espnw-soaring-spirit-helps-charlotte-brown-blind-pole-vaulter-texas-succeed-track-off

~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)
June 2, 2014 |