September 10, 2019 | 1 Comment Throughout our clinical experiences, we have always been encouraged (and required) to self-assess. We have assessed the development of ourselves as a professional and our clinical skills. Two of the tools we have used to do this have been the professional behaviors assessment and the clinical experiences profile. Before starting our first two-week clinical education experience, we were required to complete a professional behaviors assessment. This tool allowed us to assess where we were currently in our professional behaviors and where we wanted to be. The tool includes ten professional behaviors, ranging from communication to critical thinking. At the end of the assessment, we wrote a professional development plan with goals and how to accomplish them. After finishing our first full-time, eight-week clinical, we were required to reassess our professional behaviors using the same assessment. I have attached the tool here: Professional Behavior Assessment 2 One of the areas where I demonstrated the most growth from my first to my final assessment was critical thinking. What helped me grow in this area was having real life experience in the clinic, instead of just being in the classroom. I was in outpatient orthopedics, so I was in a position to treat patients with direct access. I believe that this setting forced me to critically think and allowed me to develop this skill exponentially. I think that this is such an important skill to have in the clinic, and it has made me a better future clinician and a better student. Another area where I demonstrated a significant amount of growth was stress management. As I stated previously, I was in an outpatient orthopedic clinic for my eight-week clinical. This clinic was an extremely busy clinic, where a clinician would see around twenty patients each day. I had to learn how to deal with stress because of the fast-paced environment and constant multi-tasking. I also learned how to adapt to cancellations, late patients, etc. I strongly believe that I am able to manage all stress better because of this experience. I also believe that I am able to better balance clinicals/school and everyday life because of this setting. Completing the professional behaviors assessment has taught me that I have vastly improved from my first two-week clinical to my eight-week clinical. However, it has also taught me that I still have a lot of room to grow. Even though I have learned how to better manage stress, I think that I can improve the effectiveness of how I use my time and resources. I plan to do this by utilizing time management strategies that I have learned throughout physical therapy school. I also plan to do this by utilizing the current evidence to more effectively treat patients. Overall, I strongly believe that this is an effective tool to use to self-assess my development as a professional and in my clinical skills. Another tool that we have utilized to guide our development as a professional and in building our clinical skills is the clinical experiences profile. We were required to complete this tool after each clinical experience. This tool is a self-assessment intended to help us determine areas of continued growth and development. I have attached the link here: https://apps.exxat.com/CSPS/Students/ClinicalExperiences The area where I have seen the most growth in my skills is orthopedic evaluations. Specifically, I saw the most growth in my cervical and lumbar spine evaluations. The reason for this is because I was in the outpatient orthopedic setting for my first full-time clinical, and I saw a lot of patients who were being seen for their cervical and lumbar spine. Throughout this clinical, I learned how to become more efficient and more thorough with my orthopedic evaluations. For example, when I did my first evaluation, I took around an hour to complete the evaluation. As I got towards the end of my clinical, I was able to complete an evaluation in under thirty minutes and ask/do everything that was necessary. I figured out what special tests, subjective history, and observations were most important and relevant. From this first full-time clinical, I have developed more of an interest in outpatient orthopedics. I realized that I did enjoy the fast-paced environment and seeing a variety of patients. All of the orthopedic evaluations that I completed during my clinical taught me how to be a better clinician. I will definitely carry with me the information that I learned from this clinical in order to treat patients in the future. Based on the clinical experiences form, it’s clear that I need more practice in neurological evaluations. I believe that I will get this practice in my next full-time clinicals, one of which is in the neurological acute care setting. Overall, the professional behaviors assessment and the clinical experiences profile have been beneficial tools for self-assessment of my professional development and the development of my clinical skills. I aspire to improve in all aspects addressed by these two assessment tools in order to become a more competent clinician.