I drive past an elementary school on my usual route to work. Call me reckless but I always get irritated when the car in front of me goes 20 MPH when there are no kids in view. Am I driving behind Michael Jackson or something?
Today, driving slowly past the school made me think about whether my future work schedule would allow me to see my future children. This is extremely premature worrying because I’m a dude with no plans of having children during PT school and I haven’t even begun PT school yet.
But the outpatient orthopedic companies I know of do not have parent-friendly clinic hours. These clinics see patients until seven, eight or nine in the evening. That’s lights-out time for young children. It’s also dinner time for a lot of families.
If I decide to go the outpatient route, I wonder if I’ll find a job that’ll allow me to get out of work at a reasonable hour. I wonder what our physical therapists’ experiences have been with this potential problem. I’m not sure I’d be happy sacrificing family or wife time so I can treat a snobby, ungrateful, middle-aged corporate braggart.
My last day in the clinic as a physical therapy technician is in two weeks. I’m quitting early so that I can give myself some time to relax before my DPT program starts. I’m extremely excited, both to start my program and to finally put an end to my erratic work schedule.
I trained my replacement yesterday and that experience showed me how far I’ve come since I was a lowly physical therapy novice.
My replacement hadn’t done any type of PT observation. So she didn’t know any therapeutic exercises, didn’t know about any modalities, and was generally clueless about the structure of outpatient, orthopedic patient appointments.
She’s interested in applying to physical therapy schools next year, so I asked her about what prerequisite coursework she had outstanding and to which schools she planned to apply. Her answers betrayed a naive confidence that she’d get into one of the “second tier” schools in the area — although each school in our area received more than 800 applications in my cycle. I tried to unobtrusively give her some advice: apply broadly, apply early, and get some observation hour variety.
I certainly don’t fault her for her lack of experience but it highlighted how much knowledge I’ve gained from two years of clinic work.
I also know just enough about PT to know that I ultimately know nothing. And that’s what excites me about starting the DPT program this year.