The first day of physical therapy school is in the books. I was a bit anxious on the day before class but everything went fine once I got to school. The people in my program were approachable and friendly, I didn’t flunk out, and I managed to keep from spilling food on my pants. So chalk that up as a win.
The first day began with a few hours of clinical anatomy lecture. As expected, it hit us hard and fast. The amount of material was manageable only because I previewed the lecture notes prior to the session, and reviewed it again once I got back home. I don’t really want to think about what my mind will feel like after trying to absorb five straights days of this amount of information. The tired, worn cliche of “drinking water from a fire hydrant” will likely be no exaggeration. The lecture, itself, was very interesting and entertaining. The lecturer was very knowledgeable and had numerous clinical asides to the didactic information — a welcome change from what I was exposed to at community college. Quick tip though: do not drink two glasses of water and then chug coffee before a lecture, when the only way to exit the room would be to walk by the instructor. It was a struggle; I can only imagine the self-inflicted torture if I had actually drank from a hydrant.
Anatomy lab directly followed the lecture session. We didn’t dissect. Instead, we simply “met” and prepared our cadaver. I didn’t have time to feel hesitant about what I was doing, because we moved about our tasks so quickly. Apparently, if the skin and extremities became dry, making even simple incisions becomes very difficult. So our first day’s assignment was to prepare to keep the skin viable. We covered the face, hands and feet with vaseline. Then we wrapped those extremities in a moist, protective cloth. We also had to drain the body bag of excess formaldehyde and other fun, aromatic juices.
We then had a very short lunch and the rest of the afternoon was blocked off for physical therapy-specific sessions. This first afternoon centered on ethical and professional discussions that were geared towards getting everyone in the program familiar with each other.
The day boiled down to getting familiar with the flow, as we all collectively dipped our foot into the water. PT school is actually a lot like grade school: we all take classes together, we all eat lunch together, and we all have little lockers to put our coats and lunch boxes in. Except that everyone’s an unapologetic nerd that studies all the time. And everyone’s in good shape. And we’re all adults (I think).
I’m so glad to be here.