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Clinical Experience Reflection Paper

Michele LeLacheur

Preparation for Clinical Practice HLTH 1003 - 17W

Professor Brian Dormer

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Clinical Experience Reflection Paper

Part A - Interview Questions -

On a scale of 1-10, how anxious were you prior to starting clinic? If anxious, how long
did that last?

The student clinician that I shadowed was fourth-semester student Allyssa Comer. Allyssa

gauged her pre-clinic anxiety level to be around 6-7 out of 10 but said that number decreased

by 50% after her very first shift in the clinic. She continued to say that a contributing factor to

her pre-clinic nervousness was the uncertainty of knowing when patients with complex

cautions and contraindications would end up on her table. After her first clinical experience,

Allyssa said the uncertainty and anxiousness shifted into eagerness and anticipation as she

quickly realized that the diversity of client needs would allow her to continuously improve and

build on the techniques and skills introduced in lecture and lab. In terms of modifications to

treatments due to cautions and contraindications, Allyssa emphasized that in addition to our

classmates, the clinic mentor is always present and attentive, providing support and answering

any questions or concerns that the student clinicians may have.

How did you find your first semester in the clinic and did you learn a lot?

Allyssa responded by saying that her first semester in the clinic was good and went well.

She recalled having to spend some extra time getting comfortable with the EMR system and

said even though the program is fairly user-friendly that there was still a period of adjustment

once working live in a public setting. She continued to say that she learned the most about

the flow of things during her first semester in placement, particularly the importance of being

punctual by beginning and ending each massage treatment on time. Allyssa said a factor to

consider when estimating time is to be mindful of post-treatment assessments and remedial

exercises that need to be demonstrated to the client before their departure. Overall, she had a

positive experience and continues to look forward to her time in clinic on Fridays.

Was there anything you would like to have known before you started that you did not

Allyssas initial response pertained to the EMR stating that more training would have been

beneficial in helping reduce her apprehension leading up to clinical practice. She explained that

the challenge of beginning clinic, including the uncertainty surrounding which cases she would

be presented with, combined with limited knowledge of the EMR system added to her overall

worry. In addition, she felt that more preparation in dealing with difficult patients would have

been an asset. While clients are said to have been prepped beforehand by reception staff, she

and some other classmates experienced individuals who became impatient during their pre-

treatment assessment. Eager to get on the table these clients were noticeably put off,

subsequently creating a feeling of awkwardness during the assessment. Allyssa said, while

these occurrences are rare, they do happen, and she would have felt better prepared had these

scenarios been examined and discussed more thoroughly in class.

What words of wisdom can you tell me to prepare me for my clinical experience?

When asked what words of wisdom she could pass along, Allyssa emphasized the

importance of attending every clinic with an open mind. She continued by explaining

that while we should always review and consider the notes from previous students

assessments, that we need to rely more so on our own set of objective tests and measures to

create our own clinical hypothesis. By keeping an open mind, we are less likely to stay focused

on previous findings, thus making way for the possibility of identifying newly developed

impairments. Allyssa also stressed the importance of continuously reviewing anatomy,

specifically the actions, insert and origins of muscles. Although the third semester can be

challenging due to the course load and difficulty of Clinical Assessment and Pathology 1, Allyssa

suggested setting aside time every week that is strictly dedicated to reviewing anatomy.

Part B - Reflection Paper

What will I bring to my clinical that will make it a positive experience for my patients?
What areas will I find challenging?
What strategies can I use to overcome those challenges?
What were some benefits that this experience gave me as I prepare to work in the

This Clinical Experience assignment has proven to be extremely beneficial as it has helped

quell some of the anxiety that has been building as semester three and clinical placement

draws nearer. My two main concerns were how do I respond if a patient becomes annoyed

with the pre-treatment assessment, and what do I do if I cant remember the necessary

cautions and contraindications? During my time shadowing Allyssa, I was fortunate enough to

observe as she used her experience to navigate through these two challenges, as they did

present themselves. While her client was not aggravated, he did comment on the redundancy

of the assessments at each visit whereby Allyssa simply informed him that each assessment was

key in determining the most effective treatment plan based on the patients specific need for

that day. Then, when faced with the challenge of recalling the cautions and contraindications

related to her patients condition, rather than panic about not being 100% sure, she discussed it

with her fellow student therapists, then confirmed the answer with her student mentor. And

just like that, another obstacle was smoothly overcome. I am happy that I was able to passively

experience those two complications while observing as a more experienced student handled

the situation. To overcome the challenge of remembering all cautions and contraindications for

treatment I intend on creating a travel-sized journal that I can bring with me to the clinic and

refer to when needed.

Upon reflection, I feel that my extensive work history as a restaurant manager and

veterinary practice manager will be a great asset as I begin working with the public during

placement. My previous customer service based, managerial positions have allowed me to

build strong interpersonal skills including communication, listening, decision-making and

problem-solving abilities. I am comfortable meeting new people and possess a confident,

outgoing attitude. I believe these qualities, along with my strong work ethic will make for a

positive experience for my patients. I am motivated and eager to enhance my knowledge and

look forward to continuing education opportunities in the future, so I may provide a broader

range of care for my patients. With respect to now, to provide the most complete care with the

skills and knowledge I have learned thus far, I feel it may be worthwhile to create a clinic

journal or bible. In this journal, I would like to include information on special tests,

hydrotherapy, muscle-testing and muscle actions, for use as a quick reference before my client

arrives. By doing this I hope to make accurate and informed decisions both during the

treatment and afterward when creating a plan of care.


Overall, I can honestly say that this assignment has been the most valuable of those

assigned this semester. This backstage pass to the clinic has allowed me the opportunity to see

first-hand how another, more experienced student navigates through their shift, and so from

this, I have learned some key ideas and concepts to keep in the forefront as I begin my own

clinical placement journey.