Where is your fieldwork and what type of facility?
For my first Level II, I am at a retirement community in Charleston, South Carolina. The unit I primarily work on is skilled nursing / sub-acute rehabilitation
What does a “typical” day look like for you at your site?
A typical day at my site consists of treating 6-7 patients and performing 1-2 new patient evaluations. The day begins at 8AM with an ADL session. Throughout the rest of the day, I am scheduled to complete supervisory visits, discharge summaries, therapist progress notes, and care plan meetings.
What has been your favorite or the most exciting part of your fieldwork experience thus far?
My absolute favorite part of my experience so far has been interacting with my patients and the therapy staff. The patients are adorable, and I have felt so welcomed and supported by my therapy team since day one.
What has been the most difficult/ challenging part of your fieldwork thus far?
The most difficult part for me has been seeing patients progress so far and discharge home, only to be readmitted a few weeks with severe functional decline. These are usually patients with severe diagnoses like metastatic cancer, and it is heartbreaking to see them decline so quickly.
If you could go back and tell your self something prior to starting your fieldwork, what would it be?
I would tell myself to go buy some of my own materials to work with because the supplies are limited in the therapy gym to really engage patients in meaningful occupations.
Any advice for future students?
Have confidence, be flexible, take initiative, and ask questions. Extra emphasis on having confidence and taking initiative- your supervisor and patients will notice. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question- we are all still learning!
Anything else you want to share about your experience?
Every time I walk into a new patient’s room, my goal is to develop some sort of connection with them by the time I leave. And on the days where a patient want nothing to do with you, they still appreciate you. Try not to take anything personal if your patient is having a bad day. Good luck!