From the age that we could talk and understand what people were actually asking, we have been asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. When we were young it was always the typical firemen, cop, ballerina, astronaut, doctor, or veterinarian. Some stick with their original plan but most people change their minds as they grow up, and let’s face it not everyone can’t be doctors or ballerinas. When I was younger my dream was to be a veterinarian but as I grew up I realized that | couldn’t be the person who had to put down someone’s best friend.
I want to help people, not be the cause of their pain because I couldn’t help their pets. So I looked into what | enjoyed and one thing kept sticking out in my mind. I have always loved athletics and knew I would never want to give it up but know one day I will have to. So I did my research, looked through hundreds of options, and decided on a career that will help people and help them get back to the sport they love as fast as possible, and also keep me involved with what I love and came up with physical therapy focusing on athletes.
As I looked deeper into what exactly a physical therapist does and with more personal experience with injuries that needed physical therapy from my teammates and their completely different recoveries, I fell more in love with my choice and knew it was right for me. The road to becoming a physical therapist will be hard but I’m determined to do it. There can be many reasons why someone chooses to become a physical therapist whether it’s the family business, they want to help but can’t handle the hospitals or it just seemed like something they could see themselves doing and enjoying.
The reason I chose physical therapy is because throughout my entire life I have always been in sports. Sports have been a big part of my life for a long time and there’s no way I could ever be away from that lifestyle. I wanted to pick a career that I know I will enjoy and where I’ll still be around the athletic lifestyle that I love. As a physical therapist I’ll be able to focus on helping athletes get back to what they love to do and I don’t see anything that can be more rewarding than that.
Seeing athletes recover and getting back to their normals selves and being able to play again is one of the greatest things I have ever seen and seeing how happy they are to be back is absolutely amazing and if I’m able to help them to get back to their happiness, I think would be the mmos rewarding job in the world. As seniors in high school we are xpected to make decisions that determine the rest of our lives. This is hard for us because half the time we don’t even know what homework we have let alone what we want to do with our lives.
Some have no idea what so ever, some have everything figured out to a tee and others are in the middle which is where I land. Becoming a physical therapist will be a tough challenge that will have many ups and downs along the way. First thing I’ll have to do is finish high school with high grades to get into the good college that will help me achieve my goal. This will require me to put in the work and do everything I can to keep my grades up to where they are supposed to be.
I am already taking courses that will help me in pursuing my dream. These classes are: anatomy and physiology, medical terminology courses during my junior years and sports medicine one and two. At the end of thls year we now have the option to take the Personal Trainer certification exam which I plan on doing so that I can get a good job during college. Currently I’m interested in Northern Arizona University and Eastern Washington University.
I am hoping to get into a college that also has the school of physical therapy so that when is comes time to apply I won’t have to worry about transferring my credits. Of course I will apply to other physical therapy schools but I hope that being from the same college will give me a step up on the competition. Getting into physical therapy school will be tough as many schools only have so many spots available. The process will be long and difficult to manage. Some additional requirements are: minimum grade point average, GRE (graduate record examination), references, physical therapy volunteer experience, interviews, state residency requirements, criminal background checks, technical standards and essential functions and course prerequisites” (www. apta. org). The process of course will vary depending on the school but overall it’s relatively the same. You’ll turn in the application, hear back if they’ve looked over it, and if they like you, you’ll get an interview and then you’ll hear if you got accepted or put on the waiting list.
It will be a long process but it will all be worth it when I’m hopefully accepted and able to learn about all the different jobs a physical therapist can do to help people. A physical therapist can focus on many different things during their career. They an also specialize in a certain area of physical therapy and can target a certain type of people. In my recent interview with Dr. Daranee Berg who works at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation she told me about all the different things a physical therapist can do.
We work with sports injuries, [post surgical after someone’s in a motor vehicle accident, there’s a tier that would go into people’s homes, it’s called home health and work with people in their own home setting to make sure they are safe, do things like get themselves dressed, to the need hand rails, safety rails, toilet seat riser, that stuff to get out of bed or a hospital bed maybe and get them set so that they themselves can be independent in their homes or that their caregiver can help them to do everything to keep them in a home setting versus going to a nursing home.
Also there’s branch of physical therapy where you get somebody out of bed for the first time after having a stroke, teach them how to use their hands again or their leg again and walking after a surgery” (Berg). Personally I want to focus on sports injuries and to work with athletes. Dr. Berg also told me that during physical therapy you also get to work with many different types of people. “I’m really fortunate that I work with a lot of different patients. “One of the areas that I’m particularly interested in is women’s services.
So that service line encpmasses pregant women, women that have just had babies, women through the age spectrum of osteoporosis because we’re seeing that now in relatively young people, late 20s early 30s even so I have a big big interest in that not only working with elderly people with osteoporosis but now working with younger people to prevent osteoporosis” (Berg). Physical therapists have the opportunity to work with whoever they want and the ability to focus on certain aspects of the field which is great option for me because I want to be able to focus on athletes and getting them back to their sports as fast as possible.
There are many different athletes can suffer that that would require physical therapy and with my training I will be able to help with. “The five most common sports injuries that require physical therapy are torn ligaments and tendon which could need surgery to fix then physical therapy, broken bones, sprains depending on severity, dislocations and arthritis” (austinpug. org). The one injury we all hear about is tearing your ACL. There are many different treatments for an ACL that depends on the person’s personal needs for rehabilitation. Whether your treatment involves surgery or not, rehabilitation plays a vital role in getting you back to your daily activities. A physical therapy program will help you regain knee strength and motion. If you have surgery, physical therapy first focuses on returning motion to the joint and surrounding muscles.
This is followed by a strengthening program designed to protect the new ligament. This strengthening gradually increases the stress across the ligament. The final phase of rehabilitation is aimed at a functional return tailored for the athlete’s sport. (orthoinfo. aaos. org). I want to be able to focus mostly on this type of injury and work towards developing new rehab methods that will speed up the treatment period. To accomplish this goal I will have to work hard and work with many athletes to develop the new methods but also I will have to be a positive influence for these athletes to want to become better which I think is a good characteristic a physical therapist should have. Every job requires different characteristics to be able to perform the job efficiently and physical therapy is no different.
Dr. Berg and I discussed these possible characteristics in our interview. She said, “Be positive for sure because that’s a part of what we do is we are motivating people to get better and they have to bring their own piece of motivation but there are days where somebody may have hit a little bit of a plateau and they’re just discouraged and you say hey look where you were two weeks ago and now where you are. You may have flattened out for a little bit but now we’re going to do another burst.
So we’re definitely motivating and we try making a fun atmosphere for people to work in” (Berg). Being motivating is a big characteristic needed to be a physical therapy because you’ll need to create a positive atmosphere so your patient will want to work to get better and that they don’t become discouraged because of their progress. I am unsure whether I want to work in a hospital or in a private clinic but with my internships required for my schooling I’ll be able to see which I enjoy more.
Depending on where I work will depend on my salary but it’s relatively the same. ” As of May 2015 the median salary is about $84,000 and the top 10% is about $120,000 per year” (bls. org). This isn’t the most important part of a job though and it doesn’t matter to me. I want to help people not worry about how much money I make. The question is always the same. What do you want to be when you grow up? And it’s never the same answer. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian but as I got older | changed my mind to physical therapy.
I think this will be an amazing career for me and the most fulfilling one for me. Dr. Berg agrees with me and absolutely loves her job. She told me about her ideas of how fulfilling a career in physical therapy was. “It is very fulfilling. You’re working with people everyday that mos typically want to get better so it’s a very happy environment where positive things are happening, you do see people get better so that is a great feeling. When somebody goes from being really debilitated to fully functional, what a great feeling.
There’s not very many careers where that can happen so it’s awesome. I love that. I love my job, I love what | do” (Berg). I believe that physical therapy will be a great career for me and although it will be a challenge and a long process but I’m determined to do it. Being a senior is hard and making these big decisions is even harder and scary. Obviously my plans may be changed as life occurs but I’m almost positive that I’m making the right ones for me and amd excited for what my future holds.