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The intensive care unit  is a rare and rewarding environment to encounter physical therapy.

I have seen firsthand how our presence in this setting is absolutely necessary.

I recently completed a clinical rotation in the ICU, and I learned about the inner workings of the hospital and the teams of professionals that it takes to provide care.

I grew a lot as a student of physical therapy during this unique opportunity in the ICU, and I am proud of the impact our profession has on our patients so early on in the continuum of care. Many days were filled with small steps toward progress and strong demonstration of courage among extreme measures of lifesaving supports, palliative care, and hospice care.

However, I encountered a few situations over the course of my clinical experience that deeply saddened me and challenged my clinical reasoning: circumstances that can be difficult to imagine unless you have come face-to-face with the various extremes of lifesaving measures that exist, and experience the sadness when those measures fail.

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