Thinking Out Loud: One Month Update

Hi friends! (I just started typing “Friday” instead of friends…wishful thinking over here?) I haven’t talked much about my job lately and I feel like I have a lot of random things to chat about in regards to it, so I thought I would make this Thinking Out Loud about work and how things are going! So let’s jump right in! Warning, there are zero pictures. Deal with it.


  1. This week I officially hit a month of working in the real world, as a real physical therapist, with an actual license, making my own decisions without someone over my shoulder making sure I didn’t mess up. Whoa! Well the good news is that I haven’t messed up yet and things seem to be going great! Every time I go in to headquarters for meetings, my manager tells me that she continues to hear how great I am doing, which is really awesome to hear and such a confidence booster.
  2. I’m getting the hang of just about every aspect of the hospital I’m currently at. I am getting to know the nurses on most of the floors, I understand the protocols for the surgeons and can spit it out to a patient without stuttering or checking my cheat sheet, I know the numbers to get in to the equipment rooms (but sometimes have to ask if I accidentally lock it out by putting in the wrong number too many times 🙂 ), my documentation is getting quicker, and I feel comfortable and confident answering patient’s questions.
  3. The down side of number three: now that I’m getting used to this hospital, now I’ll have to go orient elsewhere. That’s just part of the position that I’m in. I have to orient at each of the hospitals individually for a few weeks before they can “clear” me to be independent at them.
  4. I’m pretty much hitting my numbers every day. Typically, we are expected to see 10 in a day; that would be considered a “productive” day. Monday I saw 10 before lunch. But then I’ll have days where I just am striking out every room I go to – patient’s are off the floor at testing, patient’s troponin levels are high (active heart injury, we can’t see them), patient refuses to get out of bed, the list goes on and on. On days like those, I may only see 4-5 before lunch and finish the day with 6-8. It happens.
  5. I’ve determined that I can pretty much type my notes solely in abbreviations and it makes complete sense to me and my coworkers. It’s pretty cool when you really think about. Some examples:
    • “Pt req VCs for incr safety c RW” = Patient requires verbal cues for increased safety with rolling walker.
    • “Adm c AMS, RLE weakness; PMHx: CAD, DM, HTN, Afib, CABG” = Admitted with altered mental state, right lower extremity weakness; past medical history: coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery bypass graft.” I’m a nerd, I know, I get excited about these things. 
  6. My next stop for orientation is the transitional subacute area of the same hospital I am in. I’m not too concerned about transferring to a different area because the documentation will be similar and I’m still going to be doing basically the same things, just spending more time with the patients.
  7. I’m really loving all of the people at this hospital I’m at and I’m a little sad that I’m going to be leaving. I keep hearing distant comments about the other hospitals and the PTs there, and it’s not making me excited about going elsewhere – but it’s a part of the job. I’m really appreciative of all the help I’ve gotten from my mentor and everyone else who helped me to get comfortable in my current position.
  8. I think I’ve finally finished with all of the orientation meetings that are mandatory for new employees. Only a month later. Yesterday I took a class about how to converse with someone who you may have a work related issue with, or how to address an authority figure when you believe something is not right. There were a lot of useful tips, but sitting for 4 hours is just not my forte. I could not sit still and I’m pretty sure my desk mates hated me. Sorry not sorry, I chose to not have a desk job for a reason.
  9. I really, really want to start documenting crazy things my patients do/say. It’s just so amusing sometimes the things that I get asked or the way patients respond to things/act. In example, this week I walked in to a patient’s room who had just gotten to the floor from surgery – he was seated on the edge of the bed eating, with his gown wrapped around his male parts only – nothing else on. He seemed surprised to see me, screamed a bit, his wife was cracking up behind him, and he says to me “Wait, go back behind the curtain, go away, I need to get dressed.” Uummmm why were you undressed to begin with, sir? Oh, if only I could tell all of my stories right now.

And that’s all I have for y’all today! I just wanted to catch up on how work has been going and didn’t want to leave you all out of the loop. This weekend isn’t going to be as fun as last weekend, but I’m more than ready for a few days of relaxation – then a 4 day work week next week, followed by a weekend at home!

Happy Thursday y’all!


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