The ride to Austin was a solid 6ish hours of reading. It was amazing. I have been reading The Lovely Bones, loaned to me by the roomie, and finally finished it a few days into my Austin stay. I highly recommend it. From page one, it held my attention. Since then, I picked up Vonnegut's The Cat's Cradle. I'm a Vonnegut fan, and it's very very Vonnegut. So I'm enjoying it too.
Let's talk about job-shadowing! I followed around people at the Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, TX, from Mon-Thurs and I saw many different types of physical therapy/occupational therapy (PT/OT). I will not be giving out details about what I saw, patient privacy, but I will just note that this is a trauma hospital: I saw some crazy stuff.
On Monday, I followed Jeff 2 as he was on the floater shift. That means I saw neuro patients (with spinal cord/brain injuries), wound care, and mobility PT.
On Tuesday, I followed Laura as she did her PT rounds in the ICU. At a trauma hospital, you can only imagine the things I saw. It was the most exciting day for sure.
On Wednesday, I followed Shannon in the morning and Sheila in the afternoon. Shannon does outpatient PT. So if you've ever broken a leg or something, you've seen a PT like Shannon. Sheila was an inpatient PT who did similar stuff like Shannon, but for those people still in the hospital.
On Thursday, I following Sara/Gina/Missy in the morning and Lisa in the afternoon. Sara/Gina/Missy are hand therapy OT. So if you injury your hand or have surgery on the elbow or lower, that's what these ladies specialize in. Lisa is an OT. Her job is to work with your injury/limitation/whatever and make it possible for you to once again function on day-to-day tasks. Brushing your teeth, putting on clothes, showering, etc.
One part of working in a safety net hospital in Texas is that a high percentage of the people they see speak Spanish as their first language. I loved listening to the translators or the broken English/Spanish mix in a conversation that people work around to get the job done. I worked with 2 translators (which was awesome) and then most of the other therapists knew broken Spanish to get points across.
I really enjoyed the ICU work, but I don't think I could do it as a career. It takes patience, a strong stomach, a cheery personality, the ability to remain calm in INSANE situations, and being okay with a lack of structure to your daily responsibilities and never know what's coming next. I really really really enjoying spending a day there, and I could spend a long time there, but as a career, maybe not. Who knows!
So far, I still would like to do outpatient PT (like Shannon). It's a calmer environment, for sure, and more structured with the "ok, this is my 9 o'clock person, she is my 10 o'clock, no one is scheduled for an 11 o'clock" etc.. However, I would still like to shadow a Sports Medicine PT if I have the opportunity. That's has the potential to be amazing.
Aside from work, I spent time with the family. One of the most fun parts was trivia night at Pluckers. The food wasn't bad, but the company/trivia was awesome. Sure helps my opinion that we WON! lol. Here is a picture of the trophy:
Yes, that is a picture of a "Baby Sith". The winner takes it home and adds on to it.
On a final note, I wanted to give thanks/kudos to Jeff, Leah, Spencer, Laura, Chase, Shannon, Georgina, Sheila, Edgar, Sara, Missy, Gina, Lisa, Eric, Brian, Frank, Patty, Dayne, Anjea, Amy and anyone else in the therapy department I missed who was so kind to me and allowed me to tag along, ask questions, and interrupt the normal flow of things. And the kudos is because you do amazing work and I applaud you.