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Pros and Cons of Doing 2 OP Neuro Affils and No OP Ortho?

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by WillBeDPTSoon, 09.20.14.

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  1. WillBeDPTSoon

    WillBeDPTSoon 2+ Year Member

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    Physical Therapy Student
    I'm a 3rd year PT student in NYC looking for any thoughts on the pros and cons of doing 2 OP Neuro affils and zero OP Ortho affils during PT school.

    My clinic director told me one of my last 2 affils would be OP, and asked if I had any thoughts on it. I wrote back and said that OP with a neuro emphasis would build nicely on my skills. This week, when everyone got their placements, it seemed like everyone else in my class is doing at least 1 OP ortho affiliation. It made me second guess my decision.

    It's probably too late to change anything, but I am wondering if I made a mistake not going with OP Ortho? By way of background, I like neuro better than ortho and see myself working in an acute/subacute rehab or OP neuro rehab setting in the future.

    I'd really appreciate hearing any thoughts on this, especially from anyone else who is following a similar path of affils!

    This is my list of 4 clinical affiliations:

    1- OP Neuro (run by a major hospital)
    2 - Skilled Nursing Facilty
    3 - OP Neuro - TBI unit (next spring)
    4 - Acute Bedside (next spring, at another major hospital)
     
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  3. Schland

    Schland 2+ Year Member

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    The pro would be that it will look better on your resume to get into that type of setting if that is truly what you want to do. You will also get to see different viewpoints and develop your own style. The con is you don't get to experience ortho. You may have a love for it but were never given the chance.

    I didn't really like neuro in school. I got placed in an inpatient rehab on the stroke/ TBI unit and feel in love. Got hired there now. A year ago I would have never pictured that.
     
  4. WillBeDPTSoon

    WillBeDPTSoon 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for your reply Schland!

    I like the way you weighed the pros and cons out. I think a lot of us at school wish we could try more areas than our 4 affils give us. Of course, we can't try everything.
     
  5. Julie S

    Julie S Functional monster 2+ Year Member

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    Another thing you may want to consider is that OP neuro jobs are not the easiest to come by. Some OP therapists see a variety of patients including neuro and ortho.
     
  6. WillBeDPTSoon

    WillBeDPTSoon 2+ Year Member

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    Sure, that is a good point. Doing placements in "OP neuro" still exposes one to ortho, just not as extensively as an OP Ortho practice. So, the double OP neuro may turn out to be both a + and a - in my job search.
     
  7. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel 5+ Year Member

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    I echo what the other two respondents said. It's nice to be exposed to things that you wouldn't normally think you'd be interested in, because you can find an unknown love. My interests lie with patients with cardiac issues (and pulmonary by default, since they go together), however my job is at an OP clinic that specializes in pulmonary/cardiac rehab on MWF, but is purely OP ortho T/H (and of course, I see ortho patients on MWF in addition). Within my OP ortho patients, I have had the pleasure of working with several patients with neuro conditions, as well as being pleasantly surprised with the rare occurances to work with some patients with visual or hearing impairment. Being in OP ortho is quite diverse. But, it's not my passion. I'm working with my company to transition into a bigger leadership role with the cardiopulmonary aspect, and I hope eventually I will be able to move into that patient population solely. However, the OP ortho is something I'm trying to make the most of while I have the opportunity. 9 out of 10 times, my patients with cardiac/pulmonary issues also have an ortho issue that I can help them with (or request a script if it's a big issue) and I'm glad that I'm knowledgeable in being able to do that.

    ANYWAY... point being, be thankful that you'll get the over-exposure to neuro in two different settings (giving you a good feel for all the aspects of neuro) and in that OP clinic you may have patients with ortho issues as well.
     
  8. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    It's better to get exposed to multiple settings but it also helps that you will get additional experience with neuro patients. But like the OP said, there isn't as much opportunity in neuro rehab as there is in orthopedics. But it's not like you can't transition to orthopedics later in your career. Not only that, but neuro rehab can be physically demanding, and you probably won't want to do it for the rest of your life.
     
  9. WillBeDPTSoon

    WillBeDPTSoon 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks, so grateful here for everyone's input and support!
     
    Last edited: 09.23.14
  10. truthseeker

    truthseeker Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Every patient you encounter will have both ortho and neuro issues. You can't effectively treat the ectoderm without understanding the mesoderm. They are integrated. Both are involved in one way or another in EVERY patient. IMO you will not be a complete PT without some skill/experience/knowledge in both areas. By having no ortho experience, you will effectively limit your employment opportunities. i.e. if you ever want to move out of the city and into a rural or even suburban setting, you may be expected to be able to treat everyone/anyone who comes in competently.
     
  11. WillBeDPTSoon

    WillBeDPTSoon 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for your comments truthseeker. Points well taken. As you said, I will get ortho experience too working in an OP neuro setting. I just signed up for a 3 day ortho course coming up in Nov. One of my profs suggested that I deal with this issue by being sure to strive for excellence with treating the ortho issues I encounter in any setting, and being diligent about maintaining and building skills via continuing ed courses.
     
  12. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    @markelmarcel, was it you that once wrote a post that said that you were the only one in your class who liked cardiopulmonary therapeutics class? :lol:
     
  13. markelmarcel

    markelmarcel 5+ Year Member

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    Lol, yep that was me, all right ;)
     
    knj27 likes this.

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