Just killing some time between inpatient visits at the hospital on Christmas afternoon and I began envying my private practice friends who are laying comfortably at home, probably enjoying various broiled meats and season-appropriate nogs. The question popped into my head, "When did I stop caring about working exclusively in outpatient?"
The truths are, it doesn't bother me all that much that I'm in the clinic on Christmas Day, I recently realized that the PT in my head that previously thrived on athletic injuries has found joy in a variety of areas, and my vision of my long term career path may be less clear than ever.
My first job out of school was with a private practice, my bread and butter. I never really assessed whether I would be happy in other practice areas. Private practice was what I always envisioned doing, and ultimately someday, I would work for my own private practice. Then, I started as a traveling PT. Originally I took all outpatient assignments but somewhere along the way I fell into assignments in other settings. Now, I haven't had an exclusively outpatient assignment in over 2 years. Somewhere in those two years I learned a lot about myself, here's a list of things I never expected:
-I like home care. Not necessarily the clinical side of it, but I like the lifestyle, the freedom, and being outdoors during the day.
-Prosthetic training is cool. Many of those people are highly motivated and won't reach their fullest potential without intensive physical therapy.
-Urgent Care is a life-changing experience. You will see stuff happen in an ER that you won't see anywhere else on earth.
-Inpatient has taught me a lot about every aspect of surgery, even if I don't do acute care long term, I've learned a lot from it.
I don't have a conclusion. Maybe I have attention deficit issues and what I really like isn't any one thing, but a constant variety. But, through trying different things, I've broadened my own personal scope of practice. Some day I think I'll have to focus a little and put more effort into one portion of the PT spectrum, but for now I like seeing it all.
Time to head back to the floor. Maybe my patient will get to go home for Christmas night because of what I do this afternoon, that's pretty cool.