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Summer Final Exams + Practicals

I’ve been slacking a bit with writing this post. Finals happened three weeks ago, and Fall semester started last week!

We had 2 practicals the week before written exams started. I studied super hard for the practicals, and then I didn’t have as much time to study for the 4 written exams and 1 practical the following week. Procrastinating is still hard to manage, but finals went well nonetheless.

  • Intro to Exam & Differential Diagnosis: This practical went really well! We had to do an upper or lower quarter exam, so practicing was pretty fun. I ended up in a group of three because my class has an odd number of students, so I had two classmates to work with. I got the upper quarter exam, which I was hoping for, and it went really well! I didn’t forget to do anything during the exam, and it was a great learning experience. The written exam was pretty tough, though. It definitely forced everyone to think clinically, so I kept second-guessing myself and thought I was completely wrong for a few questions. I compared answers with classmates after the exam and I was correct for those questions, so I learned that I need to work on being more confident.
  • Tests and Measures: Everyone was pretty anxious about this practical before we took it. We practiced our goniometry measurements and manual muscle testing, among a lot of other skills. I missed a couple things that I knew how to do properly, so that was frustrating. The written exam didn’t go as well as I hoped for, but I didn’t study as much as I should have for that exam. I was just exhausted, and needed a high A on the final to get the grade that I wanted, so I didn’t put as much effort into studying as I probably should have.
  • Acute Care: My clinical practicum was in acute care, so it was helpful to be learning and practicing my skills on actual patients. The practical involved an evaluation of a patient, doing bed mobility, testing reflexes and dermatomes, choosing the proper assistive device, and doing gait training. It was challenging to piece everything together and not be awkward about it, and I struggled on one thing that really slowed me down. The written exam was similar to the midterm in that there were some clinical questions, and I thought this was one of my better finals.
  • Neuropathology: Oh man. This exam was rough because it was a lot more cumulative than the professor let us to believe, so nobody was prepared for this final at all. I thought I did a lot better than I actually did, and that’s always frustrating.
  • Communications: We had to interview someone with a disability, and write a 5-7 page paper about their life and the struggles that they have overcome. I chose to interview my cousin who has Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, and I was so excited to video chat with her! I haven’t seen her since Christmas break, so it was nice to be able to talk to her and my aunt.

This semester was my lowest GPA so far, so that was a little disappointing. I’ve been struggling with getting over my perfectionism, and worse grades is helping with that. I also compare myself with my classmates far too often, and I really should have just been focusing on my own improvement. I learned a lot this semester, and I hope to get back on track over the Fall.

 

What was your first PT school practical? What did you learn, and what would you have done differently?

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