Week three was helpful! I got to experience the clinic when it was a little slower, so I saw a lot of the business side of having a PT Clinic. Dan, my mentor, is the owner of Rivergate. A lot of this week he showed me the paperwork he does for patient's insurance and paying bills for the practice. I got to see how hard it is for the provider and the patient to work with the medicare cap and how they deal with insurance. It is very hard for the provider when he has to basically tell a patient that he can't treat them anymore because they have reached the limit that insurance will pay for. I learned a lot today about how many ethical dilemmas Dan deals with every week. He also let me start charting for him. What this means is that I actually ask the patients questions about their progress and write down anything they say since the last PT session.
I also nailed down my project! As you know, I created a home exercise plan for my dad. He has had two surgeries on his arm and many PT sessions, and in the past couple of years, his pain has come back and he needs PT again. So I created a plan for him to do at home with me, and then he can take it to his future PT and they can modify it to their needs! My dad will actually become a patient at Rivergate, so I am able to give Dan the HEP I made and he can give it to my dad when he comes in!
This week really taught me the "work" side of PT. Most of the days we are spending time treating patients and it can be so much fun to help people all day. Although, what I have learned, like most professions, there are going to be some "boring" or grueling parts of the day. I have just told myself that we have to remember why we are passionate about the job and think about that when the job gets hard. Overall, this week taught me a lot.
Week two was a really good one I got to observe some of the other PT's in the clinic, so I got a closer look at some of the variety between PT's and how they work. I learned about the Vestibular system with one of the PT's, Jess. The vestibular system is made up of the inner ear, eyesight, and sensory nerves that all help you balance and have spacial orientation. She had a patient who was working on balance and strengthening his spacial awareness without one of the three categories. He had a benign tumor in the inner ear and it was affecting his balance. We worked with him and his balance without his eyesight, or without his hard ground sensors in the hopes that his balance would increase without the help from the inner ear. She was a great teacher!! I also got to work with Ben who is one of the PT assistants. His main job is to create exercise plans and go through them with the patients after they have seen the main PT. I got to actually suggest and run through movement with one of our patients who was strengthening his lower back and legs. I showed him how to do the Single Leg Deadlift and help him with form. I knew about this movement from my experiences at the gym, and it was really cool to actually take what I know and apply it with a patient! I also made some headway on my project today! I studied the muscles around the shoulder and upper arm and found movements on HEP 2Go that would use those muscles. This will help me narrow down the exercise plan for my project! I am all done with the research part, now I get to create the project!!
Top left: Vestibular system (inner ear)
Top right: HEP 2GO program that PT's use
Bottom: Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift