Monday, June 6, 2016

Pre-field Training #1

I'm beginning an exciting period of training and preparation before transitioning overseas later this fall. There are quite a few things that need to be done before I am ready to leave, and I'll be writing about those in the weeks and months to come.

Here's what my to-do list looks like:

(I'll share about the SIM organization and about SIMstart in my next post)

Yeah... there's quite a bit that needs to be done. At first, it seemed rather daunting, but now I'm getting more and more excited! After a lot of planning and thinking, I decided to resign my position as a full-time physical therapist at the local hospital. I will miss my coworkers, the relationships I built with my patients (some of whom I treated multiple times in the 2.5 years I worked here), and the steady paycheck, but it was time to move on. I do plan to do some part time work in order to keep my skills fresh and to stay busy when I'm not in other pre-field training. I've felt a pull towards missions for many years—and in recent months the pull has only strengthened—but until this Spring there wasn't really a push away from my current job and from small town Texas. God is faithful and His timing is good!

Just because I'm no longer working doesn't mean I'm lounging around the house in my pajamas! Well, I don't think my mom would let me, even if I wanted to!

I just returned from a three-day continuing education class in Florida for pregnancy and postpartum physical therapy. This was the second of two such courses required to earn a certificate from the American Physical Therapy Association in pregnancy and postpartum PT. Now, I have to write up a case report on a patient, get that approved, and then I'll have my certificate. Thankfully, I had a lady with some postpartum complications come through the clinic a few months ago, and I think her case would be perfect for this assignment.

Some of you may remember that I was going through a similar process last year for the three-course certificate for pelvic physical therapy—I submitted the case report in February and just got the edits back from the case report committee. I'll be incorporating their edits and will have this re-submitted within a few weeks. I started the first of these courses just after graduation from PT school (and while I was cramming for the board exam!), and I hope to have both my pelvic and my pregnancy & postpartum physical therapy certificates before I leave for Africa.

Although holding these certifications does not give me any more letters behind my name, they signify a significant amount of post-graduate education and clinical competency in the evaluation and treatment of this unique population. Sadly, I had just one lecture in my physical therapy program regarding therapy during pregnancy, so nearly everything I've learned at these five courses is brand new! I'm excited to see how this advanced training comes into play in a mission hospital setting and working with women who have very little access to prenatal care!

Now, you'll have to excuse me while I return to re-editing my case report on pelvic rehab...

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