Thursday, April 7, 2022

SLU PT Student Elizabeth Liese had an Encouraging Clinical Experience at Select Physical Therapy in Greeley, Colorado

SLU PT Clinical Site Spotlight – Select Physical Therapy in Greeley, Colorado

By Elizabeth Liese (Class of 2022)

"At Select Physical Therapy, I treated a variety of simple to complex orthopedic and medical conditions with an emphasis on concussion and vestibular physical therapy. My clinical instructor, Micah Maley, taught me so much, but first and foremost, he taught me the true power of simply listening to my patients, which is especially important when working with patients who have suffered concussions or have vestibular impairments. He fostered a very safe environment for all of his patients and immediately established trust with them. These interactions demonstrated the importance of viewing my patients as humans first and patients second. We worked with several patients who had not been heard or truly listened to by previous healthcare providers; Micah handled these patients with grace and after the fact, engaged me in conversation about how sometimes the most therapeutic approach is giving your patients a chance to use their voice and to make them feel heard. 
Another area of care that Micah prioritized was patient education. He reinforced the importance of providing our patients with information to make educated decisions and encourage self-efficacy. With every patient he worked with, he took the time to have sincere conversations, providing resources- pamphlets, pictures, etc.- and explaining the pathology of their injuries/conditions as well as the trajectory of their plan of care. These interactions made it very clear how deeply Micah cares about his patients; this also translated into my experience working with him as a student. He often initiated one-on-one conversations with me to discuss the ""soft skills"" of our profession and how those are the skills that make a good clinician great; additionally, he never failed to encourage me in the moments when I needed it the most. I truly enjoyed my experience working with Micah; I notice a significant increase in my confidence as a clinician and feel more empowered to make a difference in my patients' lives while also allowing my patients to make a difference in my life. "

Micah, thank you for passing along your experience, knowledge, and advice to me. Most importantly, thank you for treating me as an equal and for constantly asking and valuing my opinion on clinical and professional matters. You taught me countless lessons that cannot be learned in a classroom and watching the way you interact with and empower your patients was inspiring. You challenged me to rise to many occasions and I feel so much more confident and prepared to be a full-time practicing clinician after working with you. Thank you for teaching me to never stop caring for every patient who walks through the clinic doors. You're the best!

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy students featuring their clinical site and their clinical instructors. The number, quality, and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU PT Program

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