Shadowing in Physical Therapy

Megan Kriger,

I was able to shadow a physical therapist for several weeks. During this time, I experienced the setting of a larger PT clinic with 3-5 physical therapists in one facility. This fast-paced facility allowed me to compare this setting to two past settings I have encountered with one PT and one PTA at a facility, and on a mission following a single PT. After seeing these settings, I think I like the larger/fast-paced setting like this office. That was probably my biggest take-home point from this semester while shadowing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to experience a new facility.

In terms of Physical Therapy, the physical therapist really explained certain muscles, exercises, movements, ligaments, and types of rehab based on different injuries. I learned specifically about the meniscus and how it is vascularized, the rotator cuff and its arrangement of ligaments, the arrangement of muscles in the calf, and the differences of weight-bearing and non-weight bearing rehab in regards to different injuries.

I really enjoyed this experience and really appreciated the time the physical therapist took to explain why he was doing what he was doing. During this time, I learned about physical therapy, but the experience of a PT facility with great PT’s, PTA’s, and PT techs is something I would not have learned from reading a textbook. This kind of experience is so much greater and truly is a blessing from God.