I have completed my first week of work! It’s definitely been an exciting yet challenging experience so far. I have worked with a number of patients, including two that barely speak any English. On my second day there was a new admit that required a physical therapy evaluation. We went into her room and she was quite unresponsive. We were told that she has no family in the US and that her neighbors check in on her from time to time and that’s who found her on the ground one day. She was very disoriented and honestly, I think she had no clue that we were even there trying to work with her. She had two fractured ribs from her fall at home and she had fallen twice more since her arrival at the nursing home. I felt terrible because I could tell she wanted something but I couldn’t figure out what. I have seen this patient over the course of the week working with other therapists and it is honestly remarkable how much progress she has made. She has had a few more falls since that first day (she is very impulsive and doesn’t understand that she is at a high risk for falling when trying to move around her room) but she is much more oriented now, she is trying to carry on conversations with people and even walking around with therapist supervision. It is SUCH a difference from that first day when we couldn’t even get her to sit up in bed for more than 15 seconds.
So my first two days I spent working with Jenni. I finally got to meet my official CI, Kelsey, on Thursday. For the most part, when I was with Jenni, I was doing a lot of watching and helping out with some of the easy things like guarding the patient while balancing. Working with Kelsey has been VERY different. She basically just threw me in. “Here Kelly, I want you to do some bed mobility with this patient.” -and there I stand with the deer in the headlights look- not because I don’t know how to do bed mobility but simply because I was not expecting to be thrown in and let loose and given free range! I was expecting something more along the lines of “Ok Kelly, I’d like you to show Mr. Smith how to bridge to help improve his bed mobility.” And that’s what I’ve learned about working with Kelsey, even just for one day so far, is that she is really great about giving me the freedom to do what I think is best and to actually participate in treating these patients. It’s both exciting and makes me nervous at the same time. I’m really excited to see how the rest of this internship goes once I get settled into a routine and begin working more one-on-one with patients.
Tomorrow (Friday), Kelsey is not in but she has set up some time with the speech therapist for me to follow around. I am really excited about this because I have no exposure to speech therapy at all!