Over the past few weeks the weather has been quite bi-polar out here in Spokane. One day we get a foot of snow and the next it is 40 and sunny. But when the weather forecast is unpredictable, our workload sure isn’t. As students in such a rigorous program we are always prepared for the forecast of a 95% chance of difficult with a high probability of stress. But weather aside we have been progressing nicely through the quarter.
In pediatrics we have had the opportunity to work with more children, applying the expected milestones and certain assessments to the motor skills we observe in the classroom. Last week we had a 4 year old by with cerebral palsy come into the class. It was lovely to see him walk in with the most vibrant smile on his face, waving at everyone that was gathered around to watch is movement patterns. He had some major speech deficits but was able to understand most of which we asked of him and used some sign language to communicate with his mom. He had a dorsal rhizotomy last year that has allowed him to learn to walk, along with the continuous dedication of his parents and therapist to augment his growth and motor progress. It was interesting to observe his gait and to identify his deviations and speculate based on his pathoanatomy why he has adapted these patterns. Little to say we learned a lot from such a spirited and energetic child. We also had the opportunity to have our classmate Zach’s daughter Kayden join us in lab for a short playtime. She is developing well for an 11 month old child and is always stoked to get to hang out with her extended family =)
In Cardiopulmonary we have finally finished up the last two patient cases, totaling 5 very extensive and complex patients that we have had to decipher in teams over the past year and a half. Last week we had our midterm/final exam on the last two cases. It was a tough one but im pretty sure we all came out with confidence and a bit of relief that we are one more final closer to being done with this quarter. In other news our labs have been focused on acute care scenarios. During these times we have had to decode a myriad of lines, tubes, and apparatuses attached to mock patients, identify suspect lab values, and simulate acute care patients with an array of diagnoses in small groups. For those of us that have not had the chance to observe in the acute care setting, this has been a bit of a shock to the system while we watch our classmates operate like professionals. But that is the beauty of this program. We get the opportunity to highlight our strengths while at the same time teach one another how to improve each others weakness. Its what makes each and everyone of us unique and an elemental part of this program.
In our integumentary systems course Dr. Gersh has been lecturing on elecro, ionto, and laser therapy and its implications in wound care management. This topic has some of the class a little queasy at times due to the graphic nature of some of the example wounds and treatments. It is the section of the curriculum that is fairly specific and specialized but in the end we will be thankful if by chance we end up switching therapists halfway through one of our internships and getting thrown into a burn unit or paired with a wound specialist. To mix it up a bit we had Carrie Davis come in and guest speak to our class about upper limb prosthetics. Being someone who was born missing part of her left arm, Carrie has incredible insight as to what it is like growing up being different than everyone else. She is also incredibly motivated and passionate about working with children with partial and amputated limbs because she has truly recognized to power of prosthetics and their ability to change the lives of those who wear them. Carrie also works at Camp No Limits which is a summer camp that is for children with prosthetics. At the camp children get to participate in workshops, adaptive activities and just overall fun-tastic adventures! It is held in july and i know there will be a handful of us that will be applying as volunteers. This would be a great opportunity for us to give back and to learn an incredible amount. Not only was this lecture insightful, but it was also one of the funniest we have had all year. Little to say we could welcome back Carrie any time.
In musculoskeletal we have worked down into the lumbar spine evaluation as well as the hip. These portions are structured similar to the other segments of the body that we have already covered. After learning the examination portion of the evaluation we then discuss the different conditions that make up the select preferred practice patterns as outlined by the APTA Guide to Clinical Practice. Along with lecture we also have be completing all of these examination and differential techniques in the lab as well, getting a double dose on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I guess you could say that practice makes perfect, or just entirely stressed out DPT students. Either way we only have a few weeks left until spring break. There is a light at the end of the tunnel…