take me home: traumatized final year student.

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, they further go on to discuss trauma as having long term reactions that include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks and even physical symptoms like headaches (American Psychological association, 2016) .

meaningful life and death:

A death represents the soul’s elevation to a higher level, it nevertheless remains a painful experience for the survivors. At the same time, it must serve — as must all experiences in life — as a lesson. We must see death not as a negative force, but as an opportunity for growth. except from Towards a meaningful life (Jacobson, 2004)near-death-experience.

meaningful life and death:

A death represents the soul’s elevation to a higher level, even so it remains a painful experience for the survivors. At the same time, it must serve — as must all experiences in life — as a lesson. We must see death not as a negative force, but as an opportunity for growth. except from Towards a meaningful life (Jacobson, 2004).

Patients that seemed unmotivated for therapy, this always did puzzle me. A patient fractured his leg twice, but both accounts were traumatic. The first event was an assault, the second was a MVA where her father died from the collision. The patient was managed by a tibia external and internal fixation. Physiotherapy treatment involves maintenance of the patient post operative to prevent secondary complications. This patient was not co-operative at all, she said “she was in pain”. At the time this was irrelevant.

“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do”. – Don Galer

Excessive avoidance of reminders of the loss and compulsive proximity seeking have been identified as part of grief (Shear, 2014). Stress is the importance of refraining from unwarranted diagnosis. They discuss the importance of evaluating a bereaved person. Patients can be unresponsive in many situations. Clinicians need to recognize and treat those disorders because when present they, cause significant morbidity or mortality. Dr Stephen Klaskoa on tedx commented in an interview about  the future of medicine from a medical student.  As a final year student facing clinical and ethical dilemmas of dealing with grieving patients and on the verge of graduating, self actualization and motivation was renewed from this video.

A subjective history from the patients mother helped me discover or redefine the concept of humility and Ubuntu.  She hinted to the grief her son was suffering.  Allied health care professional students are taught to reflect when seeing patients.  I realized after critical reflection trauma can be psychological as well as physical.  Not being able to figure why the patient was demotivated i thought of myself. I love, physiotherapy.  Steve Jobs commented at a commencement lecture, stay young and foolish  (Youtubecom: jobs , 2016 Stay young and foolish) about life and death.  His speech is about positive reinforcement with right support structures. The patient was in pain psychological and physical pain. Physiotherapy protocol for an orthopedic patient post operative trauma involves mobilizing the patient and prevention of secondary complication. A referral when indicated within the healthcare system. This made me realize i needed to make a referral to a clinical psychologist to help the patient. Being unable to respond to the patient also left me wounded, but after my own soul searching a found the fear of death and the true meaning of a meaningful life.

To sum up with words from Esther Giller of the  Sidran Institute  that helps clients deal with trauma. ” we all use the word “trauma” in every day language to mean a highly stressful event. But the key to understanding traumatic events is that it refers to extreme stress that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. There are no clear divisions between stress,  trauma, and adaptation.” (Sidranorg, 2016) there is more to words than what meets the eye, we are health care students because i believe we care.   (Youtubecom dr klasko, 2016) because we are health care professionals.



American Psychological Association. (2016). Apaorg. Retrieved 1 October, 2016, from http://www.apa.org/

Jacobson, S. (2004). Towards meaningful life. (4th ed.). : William Morrow Paperbacks.

Sidranorg. (2016). Sidranorg. Retrieved 1 October, 2016, from https://www.sidran.org/resources/for-survivors-and-loved-ones/what-is-psychological-trauma/

Youtubecom dr klasko, S. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 1 October, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esugL07XANg

Youtubecom: Jobs , S. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 1 October, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOcPUAvom4E



4 Replies to “take me home: traumatized final year student.”

  1. Some of my patients allocated to me were also severely unmotivated. As a physiotherapy student you are faced with a lot of stress and your workload is high. You then feel that there are other patients who are motivated to become better that deserves your time more. However, when you critically analyse the patient’s situation, you will begin to see and understand why the patient is unmotivated. The patient sometimes just needs someone to talk in order for them to feel wanted and appreciated.

    Your content is good but I would of analysed unmotivated patients in a more deeper way. Seeing that I did something similar to your topic, I am aware of what good information one could use to back your claims. Did you ever try to take your patient to the gym or to a different venue to continue her treatment there? The clinical setting plays a huge role on the patient’s motivation levels. It is clear in your work that you did additional reading, but you did not really link your literature to your personal experiences.

    You did not make any claims/ arguments throughout your piece, which makes it very difficult to find literature appropriate to your topic. Try to add more of your personal experiences. What did you do when the patient was constantly unmotivated? Did you do the same treatment with her everyday? How was your behavior/ attitude affected by her unmotivated behavior? Did you treat her differently seeing that she was not motivated to become better? I really wanted to read this information to see how you reacted to this. If you start to research these questions you will be amazed to see what great literature you will find.

    Your spelling needs a lot of attention. Spelling mistakes are so easy to correct when using the technology of today. For a reader, seeing all these spelling mistakes, shows that you did not put a lot of effort in your work. Your work then looks messy and unprofessional. Your title is grammatically incorrect as well. Your videos used are good. Try to add additional images that links to your topic.

    Overall, your piece was good and I enjoyed to read this seeing that I am very interested in this topic.


  2. Hi Kevin

    I currently have a patient who is in a similar situation as your patient. Before this patient, previous patients who were unmotivated for treatment frustrated me. With the understanding that patients hospitalisation can be as a result of trauma and many other factors, that affect the patient in more than just a physical way, I no longer become frustrated.

    There are also times when the patient continuously refused treatment because they are they are emotinally affected by hospitalisation, where we as students get questioned by clinicians as if we were too lenient to the patient not wanting treatment. Yes there are times where you really need to be hard on a patient to participate in treatement, but this is why decerning a patients attitude and behaivour is very important as well as gaining a good subjective history of the patient.

    Just like your other post, I enjoyed reading it. You used images relevant to the topic in this post, which is good.


  3. Hi Kevin
    Thanks for sharing your post, I myself have experienced a similar situation and it is easy to get carried away in these situations and act like the psychologist. In saying that, it is good that you identified the opportunity to refer the patient.
    Here are some areas that you can improve:

    Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure: Overall it was a well written piece. There were a few grammatical errors throughout your piece which resulted in some sentences not making sense. Also be careful of repeating yourself, there is an entire paragraph that is repeated

    Content: The content was sufficient and relevant to the topic. However it would have been nice to see you try and link the literature to your personal experiences.

    References: The references are in APA style and correspond to the in-text references

    Multimedia: I really enjoyed your use of videos it enhanced and gave your blog post a lot more depth and content.

    Thank you for your post I hope my comments are helpful


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