Table of Contents
- Personal Journey in Physical Therapy
- Reasons Why I Chose Physical Therapy
- My Experience as a Volunteer at Physical Therapy Clinic
- Future of Physical Therapy
Personal Journey in Physical Therapy
When I was a sophomore in high school, my dad came home one day injured from playing pick-up soccer, his bicep had shifted out of place. My mom and I urged him to go to the doctor, but he refused. Flash forward over six years later and my dad is still dealing with the effects of his injury. I consistently tell him that he should seek physical therapy, but he continues to refuse. I witness my father struggle to do simple tasks because of the muscle damage his injury has caused. He grew up believing that physical therapy did not work, but hopefully I can change his mind about that in the future. Now I finally have the opportunity to attend physical therapy school and learn how to help people who experienced injury but never went through rehabilitation.
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Reasons Why I Chose Physical Therapy
I want to be a physical therapist because it is a profession that combines exercise and helping others. I have been consistently lifting weights for over four years now and have learned a lot about the human body and the muscular system. I also enjoy helping others and giving back. I have been a volunteer at many different settings, ranging from Senior living communities to farms around Michigan. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the University of Michigan. I was a volunteer at MedSport where I worked alongside a PT assistant to wipe down tables, assist patients with ice bags, and any other task to assist the therapists. Then, I returned as an observer to get a more in depth look at how physical therapists handled patients’ injuries and discussed questions and treatment progression with PT’s. Not only has my undergraduate education given me professional opportunities, but it has also allowed me to improve my interpersonal skills. The diversity and culture at U of M, in and out of the classroom, has given me a chance to understand more about other people and how although we may act or think differently, we are all the same. I have taken numerous humanities and psychology courses to learn more about people’s behaviors. These interpersonal skills would work great in physical therapy because PT is not only limited to a single demographic.
I chose physical therapy because it is a way to truly heal people and see them progress through treatment. At first, I entered college wanting to go to medical school, but switched my decision sophomore year. Unlike surgeons who do a single surgery on a patient and send them on their way, a physical therapist gets to know their patient more and actually see the results of all their hard work. It is also a profession that always presents with new challenges to keep you on your toes. Every single patient is different. Even though they may have the same injury, every person has their own unique set of symptoms, pain levels, and medical restrictions.
My Experience as a Volunteer at Physical Therapy Clinic
I spent a lot of time shadowing and volunteering at various physical therapy clinics and through this have been able to narrow down more precisely what my true passion is. Many older adults come for therapy complaining about pain that they have had ever since they were in their 20’s. At every location I observed at this was a common characteristic that I saw with patients. I want to be able to treat these people with chronic injuries and help them feel what it is like to live pain free again. Physical therapy school will allow me the opportunity to learn how to treat injuries. However, there is more to PT than treating symptoms that walk through the door. I aim to also spread awareness about how exercise and certain lifestyle changes can drastically improve one’s quality of life. I have started a social media page on Instagram, the perfect platform to target teenagers and young adults. I believe that this demographic has a high tendency to think they are indestructible. Then, once injured, they refuse to do anything about it because they believe their body will just fix itself. On this page, I post stretches, exercises, and information about common musculoskeletal injuries to help others learn about simple things they can do to prevent an injury and keep them from physical therapy in the future.
Future of Physical Therapy
I intend to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree along with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in hopes of one day opening up my own clinic and treating all who seek help, and maybe my father if he one day accepts therapy. I have always enjoyed making people smile and live a happy healthy lifestyle. I will, with the help of my family, friends, and life experiences push further into this profession than anyone has before. I am determined to succeed every day in a career that I am passionate about and have fun in, and I believe that I have found the one.