Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Some days I just love my job!

I am a physical therapist, and I specialize in geriatric rehabilitation. I never thought I would end up in this specialty. I originally entered this field because of an interest in pediatrics. I swore I would never work in a nursing home, but the truth is, the most rewarding job I have ever had has been working for one!

I have an amazing patient right now who has suffered a stroke. He came to us just a week after the event. He has the significant advantage of not having suffered any cognitive deficits, but his affected leg was pretty much flaccid. In other words, little to no voluntary movement in that leg.

His first day with me, I made a point of walking with him. I have a few tricks I've learned in my years of practice for teaching someone how to walk who is paralyzed on one side. Well, he did it. And he did it well. He was so excited... and so was I. Those are the days PT's live for!!! He has now progressed from using a rail in the hallway to a large based quad cane. He has lots more movement in that leg... his progress is phenomenal, and I am so glad to be a part of it.

I guess the bigger challenge of working with this population is assisting those with dementia... especially those with significant issues, such as what you find with advanced Alzheimers. I have one patient now who is a retired Baptist minister. He just happened to go to the same seminary as my father. And I found a connection with him.... which is the key to helping these patients learn to trust me to help them. My breaking moment with him.... asking him what his favorite hymn is. He could tell me. And I told him mine. And he told his wife that they have some fine people working there....

I try my best to treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve. I imagine how I would want my own mother or father to be treated. And I pray that I never have to see them that way....

Sometimes the best toots in life are not scrapbook related. I am so lucky to have the job I have.

4 comments:

Shannon said...

Amazing.... absolutely amazing! How rewarding... awesome!

Heather said...

that is so amazing! It's great to have moments like that to make all the hard work so worth it!

Mellie said...

anne you touched my heart with this story. Have been readig the book Whats so Amazing about grace. This is one of those moments you were touched by grace

Mackey said...

What a wonderful way to touch someone's life Anne! It seems as if everyone older in my family ends up having strokes - it comforts me to know that there are those like you to care for them, respect them and help them so much! You're an angel!