Have things in your life ever panned out so perfectly that you vigorously pinch your arm just to make sure it isn’t a dream? Well for me, that’s been life lately. I am full of excitement for my future, and my present day-to-day. Check in with me in a few months, I might have dark under circles and actually start drinking coffee… actually no, I will most likely never break my 25-year streak of no coffee but who knows.
If you remember, in March I received an offer letter—which I eagerly accepted, to the pediatric physical therapy residency program with University of Miami and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. This alone was a dream come true! I have always wanted to work in pediatrics, and a few years back I fell in love with the idea of working in the hospital setting. That’s when I discovered Nicklaus Children’s, I instantly bumped it up to my #1 dream job position.
Since then, there were ups and downs including the NPTE, financial woes, and adjusting to becoming a real adult. Fast forward to August…finally time to begin my residency!
This week began with a two-day orientation which really solidified it. This isn’t a dream. This is a dream come true. It really hit when I set up my direct deposit and chose my benefits. Benefits?! I’ve never had those ever…or a salary. There are some perks to the path of adulthood I suppose. Today, (it’s Wednesday night as I type away on my laptop) I began day one of training in the hospital setting. If anything still didn’t feel real, it set it when I blinked and found myself treating my first patient, without a clinical instructor! Or again, when I signed my first note with the official signature “Alyssa Dickens, PT.”
I am so excited to begin this journey, but also a bit terrified. A residency program is a lot of work and going above and beyond just treating patients. In some ways, I’ll still be a student. Part of the program includes weekly lectures, assignments, a research project, and exams. In other ways, I’ll be a mentee. One of the most appealing aspects of a pediatric residency is the one-on-one mentorship I will receive from some incredible PTs! And I’ll also be a PT, for the first time ever I will be treating my own case load with no supervision.
I am mentally prepared for long hours, emotional patient stories, reading articles until my eyes bleed, and working every weekend for the next year. On the other hand, I am prepared for learning from the best of the best, putting smiles on kid’s faces, putting comfort in family’s hearts, learning how to teach the next generation of PTs, and becoming the best pediatric PT I can be.
This next year will be quite the ride, I’m glad all of my blog supporters will be by my side! Buckle up, we are about to ride “The Dream You Never Wake Up From.”