Apr 1, 2011
Whats up yall!

Just came over a great semester and I found a physical therapist to observe. I start tomorrow, although it's at 8:blackeye:. I'm gonna try to get my 50 hours in before I go back to school on the 20th.

My questions are:

1) Should I be taking notes during my observations? Or really just observing and taking everything in mentally.
2) How should I dress? Since I'm not too sure, I plan on wearing dress shirt and tie, nice pants and nice shoes tomorrow and asking him.

Thanks guys!
May 13, 2013
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
1. There is no expectation that you will take notes and most in my experience do not, however if you really want to you can. Whether you take notes is not as important as you being engaged and asking intelligent, thoughtful questions.

2. In most observation experiences the dress is Business Casual. You may want to (or be asked to) help out (ex. getting ice packs, wiping down beds, setting up equipment) so you wont want to be super dressed up and ruin a nice suit. However, there may be some instances where the PT prefers you dress up. Usually a good way to gauge what is appropriate is to mirror the PT, if it is a hospital setting and they wear scrubs, business casual should be fine. If you really feel uncomfortable you can also ask the PT directly. Chances are they wont mind you asking and will appreciate you putting in the effort to be prepared.

What you really want to keep in mind during these experiences is that you will need LORs from a PT. In the letter (it is more like a scorecard with room for notes) they will ask about leadership skills, stress management skills, professionalism, ect. Sometimes it is difficult to show those traits while observing so try to demonstrate those abilities in any way you can. (ex. be on time, tell the PT about activities you are involved in, ask good questions not only about specific patients, but about the field in general, volunteer to help out, be nice to all patients) Most importantly remember to let the PT get to know you WHILE being professional. When you are shadowing for that long with one PT it is easy to get comfortable and let professionalism slide. Doing so will not be in your best interest in the long run.

edit: One more thing, you said you want to get all 50 hours in before you go to school on the 20th, will they all be with this therapist in one setting? If so you will want to get more hours in a variety of settings. Usually the goal is 100-200 hours in 3-5 settings.

Good luck on your observation, I'm sure you will have a blast! :)

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