SLU PT Clinical Site Spotlight - Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas
By Elizabeth Liese (Class of 2022)
I absolutely loved every second of my clinical experience at Baptist Health. I was able to work with several different physical therapists on a variety of floors, including Joint Replacement/Orthopedic, Cardiac, Psychiatric, Stroke Unit, and all of the ICUs. I primarily treated patients on the Neuro floor within the Stroke Unit as well as patients in the ICUs. I was lucky to work with an absolutely incredible and fun team of medical professionals who took advantage of every opportunity to teach me new things. This clinical experience exposed me to a number of areas within medicine that were new to me such as observing swallow studies, treating patients after revascularization surgeries, working with LVADs, and evaluating and treating patients with a wide variety of neurological conditions, just to name a few. Every day at Baptist brought new experiences and presented countless learning opportunities. My Clinical Instructor, Kerrie Pickering, PT, MPT, along with the rest of the team, really taught me the value of personalized care that is dependent on each patient's specific needs as well as the value of advocating for our patients. I am grateful to have learned about such a wide variety of medical conditions and to have witnessed and taken part in the incredible progress made by some very medically complex patients. One of my favorite moments from this experience was when my CI and I assisted one of my patients in the ICU with standing for the first time after having a stroke and being ventilated; he even took a few steps after this. He started fist-pumping and gave me a huge smile as his wife cheered him on; it was a really heartwarming moment that reminded me why I chose to go to PT school. Moments like that will stay with me forever and motivate me as I begin my PT career! I formed many professional relationships with healthcare team members like RNs, Surgeons, Neurologists, PAs, PTAs, OTs, and SLPs and now appreciate the multi-disciplinary aspect of healthcare on a whole new level. All of these team members respected me as a person and as a student physical therapist and valued my professional opinions and I truly enjoyed working with them. Thank you, Baptist!
Thank you, Kerrie, for welcoming me to this hospital and for all of your patience with my many, MANY questions. You made this clinical experience feel like home and really helped me build my confidence and find my groove as a clinician. I truly appreciate how willing you were to let me jump right into treating patients; your trust in me as I began independently working with patients motivated me to put my best foot forward. Thank you for pushing me outside of my comfort zone and for challenging me to work with complex patients, even when I did not initially want to; I learned more than I ever imagined I would. You facilitated my growth as a student physical therapist and helped me learn to trust myself and to rely on my skills and knowledge. Lastly, thanks for always keeping things light-hearted and fun between and while working with patients- there was never a dull moment between the movie quotes, singing, and dancing!