Internship, week 4

Today I finally got back into the grind of the internship, and running entirely TOO MANY errands! It was so warm in my room last night I couldn’t sleep, so my alarm going off at 7am was not pleasant. I got to my internship early (thank God!) and was in the Ortho unit for the morning. I worked with 2 OTs and worked with 3 patients and a group session.

The first patient I worked with was the CUTEST little old lady EVER! She had a knee replacement, and was scheduled to be discharged this afternoon, so most of our time was spent working with her to get her back into the community. We worked on getting her in and out of the shower, getting around the kitchen, cooking, doing laundry, and getting into a car. This was the first patient I worked with that was close to discharge, and it was incredible to see the progress that people can make in such a short time period.

The next patient that I worked with was an older woman who was almost ready to go home, but did not feel comfortable enough to do so, and was trying to get out of having to work to make herself better. I watched the OT work with complete confidence that she would be ready to leave the facility soon, and her attitude change within the session was amazing. Someone who was so pessimistic and down-talking themselves had a complete attitude change and was ready to embark on the next part of her journey in rehab. Since she was so close to being ready to go home, we taught her exercises to do while sitting in her wheelchair, or while lying in bed. We also worked with her on transitions, similar to what we did with the first patient.

The third patient I worked with was a younger woman who had had a double knee replacement. I can honestly say that joint replacements are some of the most incredible surgeries out there. They take people from barely being able to walk as a result of extreme arthritis, put a new joint in, and within 12 hours of surgery, the patients are up walking around! I can’t say that it isn’t also a VERY painful experience for the patients, but the fact that they have the ability to just get a new joint absolutely blows my mind. This woman, who was probably in her 50’s, was not excited about being in a center with such intense therapy. She was very easy to give up on herself, and was hesitant to do anything that we asked her to. However, we pushed through, and while it was a long, drawn-out session, finally ended.

Finally, in the last slot of my time today, I got to observe a group OT session. This was focused on patients who had hip surgeries (mostly hip replacements). It gave the patients a chance to talk about their questions and concerns about their recovery with others who know how they feel. Everyone seemed to enjoy participating and I was amazed at how many precautions that these patients have to take during recovery, and for the rest of their lives. I learned that these men and woman must be incredibly strong emotionally in order to endure surgeries like this because the road to recovery is LONG and takes a lot of hard, hard work. Every time I go back to these sessions I see how rewarding this profession really is. Since I have been observing here for so long, it is hard for me sometimes to not jump in with suggestions and helpful hints that I have learned along the way. There has been so much that I have gained from my experience thus far and am SO excited to see what the next phase of my life has in store! Let’s just hope that I get into a program somewhere!!


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