What a rush the past few weeks have been! We have successfully tied up all the loose ends in our classes and completed our last… Final…. EVER!!!! (oh except that comprehensive exam in two months that covers two years’ worth of curriculum). We are all very ecstatic about the completion of our last final and are looking forward to this short summer quarter before our internships.
In the past few weeks we finished up our musculoskeletal class with Dr. Kawaguchi lecturing on the hot topic of concussions. As a PT and ATC, Dr. Kawaguchi has seen more than his fair share of concussions. When he was lecturing one of the messages that came across loud and clear is that there are discrepancies in what exactly defines a concussion and how do we properly assess for concussions. Ultimately it is not just one sign or symptom that determines if someone has experienced a concussion, but rather it is a constellation of signs and symptoms that are observed and felt. More importantly there have been way too many inconsistencies in the manner in which we detect concussions that have led to poor outcomes and even death. As PTs we have to be cognizant of some of the signs and symptoms and be able to know when it would be recommended that someone would benefit from further analysis/treatment. Aside from our concussion lecture our last two appearances in class were for aour two finals. Our practical was a case study that contained two diagnoses that we had to figure out from the history and physical exam that was provided. After filling out the entire plan of care we had to explain our diagnoses to our partner and then perform a manual technique or two exercises targeting the area of interest. IT sounds straight forward but there are always difficult questions that are asked by our professors during the practical scenario that challenge us to critically think on our feet.
In neuro we completed the quarter with practical study scenarios and our two finals. For the most part the scenarios were with hypothetical patients with brain injury, CVA, and SCI, which are some of the more common diagnose that we will encounter in our acute and rehab settings. Our two finals were difficult in sections mostly because of subtleties that differentiate the treatment and care of these injuries. The incredibly fascinating aspect of neuro injuries is that no matter how much you know about the pathology, the presentation is unique for every patient. Whether it is cognitive, sensory, or motor, each patient will present with an entirely different distribution of strengths and deficits and will require an innovative physical therapist to accommodate their therapeutic interventions.
In our multiple systems course we finished with the project presentations we had been working on all quarter. Topics that were presented on were chronic illness, cancer, and women’s health. Each of the presentations included a mock case study of a patient with the particular diagnosis. The beauty of these projects is that we have to work through each of the systems that are impacted by the pathology and thus influenced by our interventions. Our final consisted of our two projects completed this year as well as our section on women’s health. Like always there were a few stumpers but everyone passed and we finished strong into summer.
On some lighter notes we have been getting out in this lovely weather lately having BBQs and happy hours and birthday celebrations. The other weekend a group of the both the first and second years got together and did a multi-boat raft trip down the Spokane river. Although it was a water battle between the boats most of the way down, we all had a blast without any injuries. The following weekend was exciting as my classmate Brandi and I share the same birthday. As it landed on the last day of class on a Friday we took to the town and did a tour de Spokane visiting a variety of bars and even Elk fest, one of the sweetest music festivals that takes place once a year in the heart of Brown’s Addition. Another pearl of Spokane that was unexpected at first glance. As you may know the 2014 World Cup has been going on and as an active class we have been getting together for each of the US games through thick and thin and on to the next round!!!