Quantcast
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

twugal13

Full Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
2

Members don't see this ad.
Hello all.
i have only done 1 observation and it was for an assignment in class that only required one hour. It was so awkward though, i felt like i was intruding or would be in the way if i asked questions or followed them around so i was...a corner observer :sorry:
i need to do observations now as a junior but i dont know what to do during them! Do i just observe or do i go into action like an unpaid worker...? What questions do i ask? Can i interact with the patients?
 

DPThopeful176

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
30
Reaction score
15
Before you set up a place to observe, ask the PTs what they expect from you. Some places make me do laundry other places just made me observe and sometimes I joined patients during the exercises.
Ask them if you can ask questions during treatment or afterwards.
A question I always tend to ask is "why did you do that? "
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

Blosk123

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
11
Hello all.
i have only done 1 observation and it was for an assignment in class that only required one hour. It was so awkward though, i felt like i was intruding or would be in the way if i asked questions or followed them around so i was...a corner observer :sorry:
i need to do observations now as a junior but i dont know what to do during them! Do i just observe or do i go into action like an unpaid worker...? What questions do i ask? Can i interact with the patients?
I would definitely try to get a job as a tech!! I got a job as a tech in a clinic and it was the best decision. I feel so comfortable interacting with patients and feel like I can now better communicate how to do exercises and can better understand patients and their needs. I was lucky enough to find a job in a clinic where the clinicians respect me as a tech and value my opinion so it may be different in other places but definitely try to get a tech job!! As for observation just try to get a long term thing like an internship where you can get more comfortable and build a connection with the clinicians for reccomendation letters. Ask them questions about what they're doing with the patients, ask what you can do to help, maybe suggest that you want to work with a patient. We have a couple interns at my work and we definitely notice those who actively want to learn and help and those who seem like they're only there to fulfill a requirement. These PTs bring on volunteers and interns as a learning experience, make it obvious that you are there to learn and they will help you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

DPTwenty20

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I totally understand the situation you're in terms of feeling intrusive in shadowing PTs. I was fortunate enough to do some observational hours as well as work as a rehab tech for an out-patient company. With shadowing, I felt like I was just a person floating around and pretty much observing. Personally, I found it hard to come up with questions, because I didn't know which questions to ask. However, working as tech I was able to build rapport with patients and PTs because I had to learn exercises, stretches, and cues. It also helped that the PTs could observe me more and write a more personal recommendation letter, as oppose to a typical cookie-cutter letter.

Overall, I've had co-workers that were working as a part-time rehab tech and also going to school, so it isn't possible to balance both out. If you feel that you can build a relationship with PTs shadowing over a short period of time, then I wouldn't worry trying to find a job in the field. Remember, you get what you put in so make every interaction count!

And to answer your questions:
Depending on the clinic/PT will determine if they will allow you do clean tables, do laundry, or help patients with exercises. With my experiences in shadowing they always allowed me to interact with patients unless the patient says otherwise. I also feel that asking questions happen over time. Once you're familiar with the setting and exercises it can help form questions on why PTs do certain things. Good luck I hope this helps!
 

Smash Atoms

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
163
Reaction score
96
Heh...

Everywhere I have shadowed I just jump right in. If its outpatient, in every down second I do what I can to help the clinic move and make life easier for the techs, but at the same time I am not there to fold towels... I am there to learn... So I saddle up, and ask questions. A basic understanding of the job and anatomy goes a long way.

What muscle or group are you working? What are you testing? What do you see when you do xyz? etc etc etc.... Every single PT I have shadowed has been extremely helpful and insightful. The one benefit to shadowing with PTs vs other careers is that being a people person is kind of a corner stone to the profession... So chances are the people you shadow will be friendly, accommodating, and helpful. If you want to be a PT there are a million questions!

It never hurts to ask the PT if anything is off limits (other than the obvious), or at the end of sessions if you thought you may have over stepped your boundaries just ask. If anything it shows humility. Obviously tread with some degree of caution and treat the patients in the same manner you would want to be treated, don't ask directly about diagnosis, don't make inappropriate comments, if you are in a hospital where there may be gowns flapping around always be the first to jump and get a second gown to help cover the patient up, etc...

Chat. Be an open book. Get to know the PTs, get to know the patients...
 
Top