2004-12-03 / Columnists

Eye On Physical Therapy

By Dr. Tim Rohrs


As a student at Stony Brook and working towards getting my physical therapy degree, we were required to do a number of internships that would last from anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. We would choose a setting; hospital, nursing home, pediatrics, rehab, orthopedics etc. For the 6 to 8 weeks we would put our newly learned didactic knowledge to practical use, and treat patients under our clinical supervisor’s supervision. We conducted initial evaluations, developed treatment plans, and treated patients.

During my second year, my second internship was to begin January 2 and last for 8 weeks. I would be working 40 hours a week in an outpatient orthopedic private practice in Lynbrook. As each day passed and brought the internship closer, the more nervous I became. Besides being nervous, another odd thought had crossed my mind. While enjoying the Christmas holiday I began to think about my first day, which was about a week away. No doubt I would perform an initial evaluation on a new patient. Quite possibly, as I sat there having Christmas dinner, the person that I would evaluate has not even been injured yet. Perhaps tomorrow would be the day that they hurt their back shoveling snow, or sprain their ankle slipping on ice, or twist their knee as they played on the floor with their kids. I was already mentally preparing for our first encounter and that person was totally unaware what fate had in store for them.

During this holiday season please take your time and be careful. Everyone is rushed and is rushing. Motor vehicle accidents, bad weather, concentration on shopping for the holidays all increase the odds that you and I will be meeting this January. Although I would love to meet you and love my job of treating those that are injured, it is especially difficult to hear stories of those hurt around the holidays. Take extra care when shoveling snow or have a neighborhood kid do it. Hold onto the arm of a loved one when walking on ice. While driving and shopping remember this is the holiday of “Peace on Earth, good will towards men”. Ignore other’s rudeness and anger and their transgressions against you. Most of all have a great holiday season; Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy New Year.

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