My internship involves shadowing a physical therapist and helping around the clinic. As it is an out patient clinic I will have the chance to observe a variety of injuries and demographics, from children to student athletes to the elderly. I hope to learn how the special tests and treatment modalities I learned in class are applied to different patients. By observing intake appointments I hope to learn about the complexity of certain injuries and what therapists look for when presented with a complex patient. Also, by working at the same clinic for the majority of the summer I will observe how the therapists progress patients during their rehabilitation.
This internship will help me understand not only what a physical therapist does, but what a day in their life is like. There is a lot of paperwork and time spent scheduling patients to make sure they can get to their appointments. Another thing I am learning beyond the book knowledge is how to motivate different patients. This is hugely important as it is not something that can be taught in a classroom but is vital to providing care to patients. It is also interesting to interact with a third year physical therapy student, an athletic trainer, a physical therapy assistant, and two different physical therapists. These interactions allow me to see how each different professional works to provide care, which I want to be in the future, and what I should do to get there.