First Year

Summer Semester is Amazing

I had a midnight flight on the way back to Maryland. This is a photo of the southern part of the San Franciscy Bay Area. I really tried to not fall asleep on the flight so I could look at all the pretty lights, but there weren’t many lights over the midwest so I did sleep for a couple hours.

We’ve finished 3 weeks of the summer semester, and I love all of my classes for once. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that before.

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Our schedule is constantly changing, but this is what it looked like for the past week. Neuropatho gets moved around occasionally, and those longer Acute Care days were actually guest lectures. Communication is going to be online-only starting in 2 weeks, so Tuesdays will be very short soon!

It finally feels like we’re in Physical Therapy School. I know that we’ve been in school for 10 months now, but those classes felt like the General Education classes that you take during undergrad. Now it feels like we’re starting our “upper division” courses that are applicable to our majors, if that metaphor makes sense.

A lot of our classes overlap, and we’re using all of the information in our past classes and actually learning how to appy it to patients. We’re learning about writing SOAP notes, taking vitals, taking history and examinations, how to improve our communication skills, how all of our neurology knowledge relates to certain pathologies, how to test for range of motion, and how to transfer patients. It feels like we’re starting to learn physical therapy, and it’s so exciting!

We’re also starting our first clinical practicum next week! Everyone goes to a clinic for 4 hours per week for the next 5 weeks. We’re just there to observe and maybe do more active things, but it depends on what each clinic will allow. Our assignment is to write a SOAP note and a Plan of Care for two patients each week, so that way we are actively learning while we are observing. My practicum location is at an acute care hospital, and I’m excited to start getting outside the classroom! It’s also making me pay more attention in the acute care class, because I’ll be able to actually see everything that we are learning.

There are several downsides to the semester, though. We are in class a lot more than in previous semesters. We have to pack lunch and dinner on the days that we have Neuropathology in the evenings. It’s also frustrating because our campus is basically dead over the summertime, so the Starbucks and Chick-fil-A on campus are closed. We’ve been  driving to Royal Farms to get our coffee during the day, but thankfully it’s only about 1 mile from campus.

Salisbury University is the closest college campus to most people’s apartments, so we often study at that library during the year. However, the library hours are pretty awful during the summertime, so I’ve been forced to study at home more. I am definitely not the most productive at home, so I’ve been struggling with keeping up with the material.

A lot of us have a gym membership to the same gym, but they went bankrupt during the first week of classes. So, we’ve been forced to go to the gym on the UMES campus during the school day, but there often isn’t enough time to work out during lunch. It sucks not having a gym, and we’re all waiting a few weeks and crossing our fingers that they reopen soon. I started running at the end of the Spring semester, but now that it’s summertime, I haven’t been running as much. Summer is my least favorite season because it’s so hot, and I’m struggling to deal with some of the more humid days. If I want to run, I have to get outside before 7am on most days, or I’ll feel miserable when I’m running.

The biggest downside is probably our midterm examinations, though. We have our first midterm in Acute Care this Friday, and then we have 4 exams the following week. 4th of July weekend will be spent studying constantly, because we have 2 exams on the 5th of July, one on the 6th, and one on the 7th. I can’t tell if this is as terrible as our Finals from Spring Semester, when we had 7 exams on Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Anyways, I’ll end on a happier note. We have a Game of Thrones finale party tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that! It’s been a busy weekend of studying, so it will be nice to relax and hang out with my classmates. Well, not really relax, because GoT is pretty stressful, but you know what I mean.

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