I have learned over the years that the feeling of fear and discomfort before walking into the treatment room never really goes away.
I had hoped with years of study, extra training, and certifications that I would no longer have this feeling, but it didn't work. The feeling is still there.
Instead, I have learned to lean on my training and use critical thinking to get me through each evaluation, despite the initial discomfort. With experience I have learned to embrace it because it is in that place that I am pushed to become a better physical therapist.
If facing my fears makes me a better therapist, how can I teach this to my students? How can they learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable? It turns out that internships in the emergency department may be one way to do just that.