Helloooooooo! I hope everyone is enjoying their life so far, especially during this lovely summer. I hope those who graduated are enjoying their residencies, I hope everyone in my cohort are enjoying their rotations and I also hope the class after us are enjoying their hands-on work! I apologize for not being consistent with my blog posting this summer. Y’all know I was SUPER EXCITED to start my clinical rotations!! Speaking of rotations, let me get into what I have been doing so far and what I have seen.
So, I started my clinical rotations this summer at two places, one being the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (which has always been my dream to work there so y’all know I am pumped) and another O&P office called ProCare which is also in Atlanta. One thing about my places of choice, I feel like I am seeing a balance of children, orthotics, adults, and prosthetics. At CHOA, I am usually seeing children and orthotics (which is much more common) and at the ProCare office, I am observing adults and prosthetics. I am loving both so far and with this in mind, I think I have decided to do separate residencies for both orthotics and prosthetics, not combined.
I love that all of the practitioners I am working with, are taking the time to teach and explain to me the concepts that I may not be familiar with. So far at CHOA, I have observed a lot of patients with cerebral palsy, spastic, diplegic, with ataxia, lot of muscle weakness, scoliosis patients, clubfoot, patients with brachycephaly and plagiocephaly. Meaning, that there were lots of AFOs, SAFOs, DAFOs, cranial remodeling helmets delivered. The thing about me is that even if I see it a million times, there is always something new to learn about it. The more I see it, the more I know about it, and the more I feel comfortable working with patients who have some of the abnormalities. I love observing and working with the children there. Sometimes, it is hard to control the crying babies and children with involuntary movements, but it is so rewarding. Every infant that I have seen always stares at me, so sometimes I have to become a distraction when they are scanning the children with the StarBand lol. The scoliosis patients usually have the Boston brace and the providence nighttime brace, but it was so interesting to see how they measure for a providence nighttime brace. For the Boston brace, you take your regular measurements, and they use the structure scanner. For the providence brace, measurements, scanning and a providence board is used. One unique patient had pectus carinatum which was interesting to see.
At the ProCare office, I have seen a lot of transfemoral and transtibial patients. I love that at that clinic, I get a chance to talk with the practitioners and discuss the different ways to align a patient’s leg in order for their gait to mimic a normal gait and in order for the patient to feel comfortable ambulating without balance issues. They are so passionate about teaching me materials. The practitioners in this office are young. I would say around 3-5 years older than me. It was really inspiring to see that soon I will be as good as them at aligning and finding the right parts for a patient. Most of the patients I have seen are patients who are middle aged and up. There was one patient who almost made me cry (I’m emotional lol) because he loved his leg so much during delivery. He thanked me (I didn’t really do anything, but I did point out an alignment issue which was fixed) , told me good luck and that I would be successful. Those are the patient interactions that make me want to work for free.
As you can tell, I am enjoying my clinical rotations. Unfortunately, my last day is June 30th. However, I am still looking for more places to shadow and help out with like camps for children with disabilities and also more shadowing opportunities. I used to say, “ I can’t wait to start my clinical rotations!” Now that I have started, I cannot wait to graduate and start my residency program.