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Listening Time — 12:10

Every patient is a one in a million.

The first experience I had as a physical therapist with the death of a patient wasn't in an adult hospital wing. I wasn't surrounded by patients in their eighth or ninth decades of life saying quiet, tearful, yet entirely expected farewells to family. It wasn't as a student, either. As a third-year PT student honing my clinical skills on the adult gastrointestinal surgery and colorectal cancer unit in a large prominent hospital, I was quietly ushered away from such cases when patients began these slippery and sometimes rapid declines. I was moved to a different unit or a different patient for the day. "You don't have to deal with that," they'd say dismissively.

No, I was in a children's hospital.

Access the APTA Magazine Defining Moment article.

Your Author

Kathleen Wild PT, DPT.

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