The Monday Memo: 11/30/2015

The Monday Memo

November 30, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

 

During summer break, I had the opportunity to volunteer as a camp counselor at Camp Star. Camp Star is a weeklong retreat for youth amputees ages 8-17 that come from all across the United States and Canada. The retreat takes place at Camp Kon-O-Kwee/Spencer, 45 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh. The weekend consists of a quintessential camp experience with activities including fishing, rock climbing, archery, zip lining, canoeing, and obstacle courses. Camp Star also offers specialized activities for young amputees such as physical therapy education, wheelchair basketball, and visits from prosthetists.

 

Of all the time I spent at camp, one activity struck me more than most. I arrived at the camp while the campers were completing the adventure course. The course involved climbing, walking across logs, zip-lining, and rope swings that were completed by every staff member and camper alike. Immediately, I was struck by how positive the campers were of each other, and particularly how supportive they were of one new camper in particular.

 

One of the most challenging activities for the new camper was the rope swing over a ditch. The first-time camper was hesitant to complete the rope swing and attributed her fears to her missing forearm. After watching other campers complete the obstacle, the camper finally had the courage to try the swing. The camper accidently fell when landing (no injuries!), but after her fall I was amazed how the other campers helped her up and encouraged her to keep going.

 

On the next course, one of the campers helped the new camper swing across the monkey bars. The happiness on the new camper’s face was beyond words. Throughout the week, I would watch that same camper make a bulls-eye in archery, rock climb and achieve other milestones that she would have thought were impossible.

 

Jim Abbott once said, “It’s not the disability that defines you; it’s how you deal with the challenges the disability presents you with. We have an obligation to the abilities we do have, not the disability”. Camp Star is not only a venue for the children to be with others with similar experiences, Camp Star is a way for them to gain confidence and live up to their potential, both physically and emotionally.

 

As physical therapists, we have to help our patients believe that they are capable before we can ever help them achieve their goals. I challenge my classmates to find what’s important to every patient and use it to help motivate them through their recovery. You’ll not only leave the patient with a positive and memorable experience, but also continue to better our profession.

 

– Susan Staats, DPT Class of 2017

 

 

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 created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
November 30, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 11/23/2015

The Monday Memo

November 23, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

The Importance of Reflecting

The biopsychosocial approach to healthcare is something we learn about on a daily basis at the University of Pittsburgh. This model hit close to home over the past couple weeks as the first year DPT students completed their coursework on the ligaments of the knee. I have torn both my right and left ACL during my time as a student athlete, and have watched at least five other teammates tear their ACL during my high school and college careers. My fellow classmates were very interested in my personal experience with this injury and I was struck by my emotional response to this attention. I began to realize the complexity of my psychological and social experience of this particular physical diagnosis. Every aspect of our lecture, from mechanism of injury to intervention protocols, was filled with memories of my own rehabilitation or a teammate’s experience.

 

The physiological and tissue healing aspects of a post-operative protocol are immensely important to understand, but the support and encouragement we as therapists provide during a patient-PT interaction are also imperative in the process of rehabilitation. As I reflected on my experience, my teammates desire to return to the field beside the friends we loved were as much a part of each therapy session as were the inflammation and quad atrophy they presented with post-operatively. The internal frustration and perception of failure I experienced during plateaus in the lengthy rehab was as much of a barrier in my progression as was the persisting effusion in my knees. The dreams each of us had of continuing our sports at the collegiate level were just as motivating as were objective reports of increases in our range of motion and strength measurements.

 

I challenge myself and my fellow classmates to look at our patients in a holistic way, recognizing the complex impact of injuries on the entire person – physically, psychologically, and socially. There is power in relating our own experiences of injury and pain with that of our patients and empathizing with their situation on a day to day basis. We as patient-centered heath care providers should seek to engage the whole person, treating any physical impairments but also encouraging our patients through all aspects of the journey of restoration.

 

-Audrey Eisentrout, DPT Class of 2018

 

SPOTLIGHT:

Thank you to Mike Reeves, Anthony Sinacore, and Jeff Moorehead for representing Physical Therapy at the Interprofessionalism case studies this past week. And a big shout out to those who attended the PT/OT/Speech Pathology mixer to raise $680 for The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, Inc.

 

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 created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
November 23, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 11/16/2015

The Monday Memo

November 16, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“A Learning Profession”

It is a certain type of person that embarks on the lifelong journey of being a medical professional. Whether it is in physical therapy, medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, etc., it doesn’t matter – each person possesses a desire to learn all that they can about their chosen profession. And this learning does not end with a boards exam; it is a never-ending process of continuing education that keeps everyone up to date on the most recent research and recommendations for best practice. Physical therapy is fortunate to have such a large collection of evidence-based treatments and protocols, as well as the ability to implement them into day to day practice. Recently, and most noticeably, this has been seen in the evidence that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery at treating some types of low back pain along with the recommendation to reduce or eliminate the use of passive modalities with patients. Evidence-based practice recommendations are essential for an effective and efficient clinic, but it is not always easy to find the most up-to-date guidelines or to learn a new skill set.

 

Thankfully here in Pittsburgh there are wonderful opportunities to receive cutting edge research in the profession from some of the brightest clinicians, as well as opportunities to get a few Continuing Education credits. The University of Pittsburgh’s team for the Pitt-Marquette Challenge, the annual student fundraising competition for the Foundation for Physical Therapy, offers several weekend classes throughout the year that provide current evidence for physical therapy treatment as well as skill-based seminars presented by experts from across the country. This past weekend, the team hosted a Tai’ Chi certification course, as the discipline has been shown to improve balance and decrease falls within the older adult population. Coming this spring the Pitt-Marquette team will host Chris Powers for a seminar on the implications and considerations of the kinetic chain in patella-femoral pain syndromes. Also, Pittsburgh’s Pitt-Marquette representatives will present a training course on therapeutic taping techniques and their subsequent indications. For future updates and more information on these terrific education opportunities, regularly check their webpage: http://pittphysicaltherapy.com/pitt-marquette-challenge.

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to all of the Pitt-Marquette Reps who helped coordinate a fantastic Tai’ Chi course this past weekend!

 

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 created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
November 16, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 11/9/2015

The Monday Memo

November 9, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Practice Makes Perfect”

Experience is an invaluable asset. It can set you apart from the crowd. It can give insight into situations and scenarios that could never have been anticipated or planned for. Experience can also be a very effective learning tool. Here at the University of Pittsburgh, much of the classroom didactic learning is paired with hands on lab sessions; the “do this” portion of the coursework.

 

Every course is designed to include task specific learning where the student will personally carry out the tasks that were reviewed in lecture. For instance, it is one thing to talk about working with medically complex patients in an acute care setting, and it is an entirely different thing to physically guard and maneuver an unstable patient with half a dozen tubes and lines to work with at the same time. Luckily for the patients, students are able to take advantage of the Cardiopulmonary lab with its mock patients, full assortment of life support equipment, and digital scenarios. With the mock ICU, any number of cardiac issues, pulmonary complications, and vitals abnormalities can be simulated to allow the student to experience a patient crashing or having a dangerous arrhythmia. This allows the student to learn from the experience and to be better prepared for such an emergent situation, should occur with an actual patient. Professor Hornyak and Dr. Hergenroeder recently received an Innovation in Education grant from the University’s Provost office to further study the use of simulation as a teaching tool, similar to how the mock ICU can be utilized to simulate patients. This truly gives meaning to the old adage that practice makes perfect.

 

-Mike Turnwald

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Thank you to all of the students that offered their time to help showcase our amazing program to our Chancellor and his guests, and thank you to our Chancellor, Patrick Gallagher, for the incredible opportunity!

 

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 created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
November 9, 2015 |

The Monday Memo: 11/2/2015

The Monday Memo

November 2, 2015                                                                             PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Medical Interprofessionalism”

 

Six hundred healthcare students approach the University of Pittsburgh’s Scaife Hall. Upon entering, they are directed to sit in the large and grand auditorium where they file into the rows color coded according to a packet they are given. They apprehensively shuffle down the aisles approaching students of complimentary healthcare degrees. The crowd is silenced as a group of professors take their seats on the stage, two actors beside them.

 

The actors begin to exchange dialogue, playing a doctor and patient. As their conversation continues, the audience critically analyzes the ways in which their profession can assist the patient. The Dental students raise their hands to point out his ill-fitting dentures. Pharmacy students question the cessation of his medications. Physical therapy students comment on the patient’s inability to safely climb his stairs to his only bathroom, while the social work students inquire about his ability to access medical services recommended to him.

 

The dynamic interaction between the students facilitated enlightening discussions regarding the patient’s needs, services they’ll be able to offer, and general visions for the future of healthcare. This is the future of healthcare. Comprehensive clinics where professionals consult one another. Where patients can meet virtually all of their medical needs. It may be an idyllic dream, but it’s a necessary goal. One that promotes preventative medicine, patient centered care, and a supportive environment built by teams of professionals practicing at the top of their profession.

 

-Molly Bachmann

 

SPOTLIGHT:  Congratulations to the third year DPT students for completing their presentations! And a shout out to one of our third year students, Scott, for helping a struggling gentleman across the street.

 

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 created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
November 2, 2015 |