Helping People Live Their Life to The Fullest Through Physical Therapy
Lucky, rewarding, impactful…these words were used by our physical therapy team members to describe how they felt about their career path. As we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month, we’re highlighting a few of our clinicians to find out why they chose to become a physical therapist, and what they love about their job. While the personal stories were heartwarming, and all very different, an underlying theme remained – to help people live their life to the fullest, to regain a life they once had, and to live without pain. Physical therapy can help do all those things, but in the end, it’s not just the patient who benefits – it’s the therapist. Knowing that they have helped someone else feel, move, and live in a way they could not before is a pretty amazing thing.
A typical day for a physical therapist can involve working with people of all ages and stages. They might start out by helping a student athlete overcome a torn ACL, then treat an adult whose life was altered in a serious car crash injury, and round out the day by helping an older adult manage arthritis chronic pain. In each of these cases, simply walking across the room might be a challenge for the patient, but by the time they’re discharged, life will be looking very different than it did when they first stepped foot into the clinic.
We’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of our hard working physical therapists in honor of National Physical Therapy Month. This is our chance to allow you to get to know our physical therapy team, and the passion behind what drew them to the physical therapy profession.
Regain the ability to live again
“My father broke his back and was paralyzed, I watched him work with a physical therapist to regain not only his ability to walk, but regain the ability to live again. We can’t be happy if we aren’t healthy. I’m lucky to help people be happy and healthy again. I’m reminded of this everyday when I go home and play with my 1-year old daughter – I’m lucky enough to help other fathers, mothers, and grandparents regain the ability to do the same.” Jeffrey Vaisberg, Ivy Rehab, Claymont, DE
I’ve always loved problem solving
“I have always loved puzzles and problem solving, and being a PT gives me the skill set to do this on an hourly basis with the added benefit of the opportunity and satisfaction of improving someone’s quality of life. I specifically enjoy working in Ionia because we see a variety of different types of patients, allowing me to treat a 4 month old baby one hour and a 100 year old woman the next, both of which have very different goals and are rewarding in different ways.” Kristin Weller, Ivy Rehab Grand River Physical Therapy, Ionia, MI
Your greatest impact on others is how you make them feel
“The thing I love most about being a PT has so much more to do with what happens outside of the clinic, as opposed to inside. The example we set for our families and friends, and the impact we have on our patients and their lives is what really means the most. Your greatest impact on others is how you make them feel – not just physically but emotionally. I want my patients to know that I physically want them to be at optimal levels but I want them to emotionally and psychologically be even better than that. I love hearing the thank you’s once they can do what they have been longing to do. Impacting a whole community through your dedication and passion makes my life a success.” Stephen G. Linton, PTW Blue Bell, PA
Patients today want to be heard
“I initially fell in love with being a physical therapist because I found fulfillment and joy in seeing patients get better and stronger than they were before. The more years I have spent as a PT, the more I have realized my love for the field has become even more layered. I realized I could truly be a blessing in someone’s life. Patients today want to be heard and feel invested in.” Tanya Sotillo – Pennix, Ivy Rehab, Charlotte, NC
I make a difference
“I love being a physical therapist for 3 reasons – you meet new people daily, working with the human body is amazing, and I make a difference in the patient’s lives. I decided to become a PT after I had several hip surgeries as a young boy. I needed PT, and my experience was so great it encouraged me to become a therapist.” John Finneran, Peak Performance/Ivy Rehab, Island Park, NY
Extremely rewarding to see a patient smile
“I love being a physical therapist because of the deep bonds and relationships we establish with our patients. It’s extremely rewarding to see a smiling face on a patient when they meet their goals!” Martine S. Barre, Ivy Rehab Network/Spectrum Physical Therapy Ruckersville VA
It’s rewarding to help children meet their goals
“It’s very rewarding to help children meet their goals, that’s why I love being a physical therapist. Seeing a child crawl or walk for the first time is a moment we get to share with families. I chose this career path because we get to develop long term relationships with patients and families. I love working with patients of all ages with a variety of diagnoses, and choosing a career in physical therapy has allowed me to do that.” Nichole Coomer, Ivy Rehab for Kids, Kokomo, IN
A glorifying feeling
“I love to listen to the patient’s needs, finding the impairments, and putting together an individualized program geared towards reaching the functional goals. I enjoy the patient-therapist relationship developed over time en route to increasing their quality of life. As a physical therapist I’ve had the opportunity to witness a level of perseverance from multiple patients over the years and it’s a glorifying feeling we both receive in the process. One of the best parts is the amazing staff I’ve been connected to throughout my professional career, they help make all these accomplishments possible for the patient.” Maricel Briones Ivy Rehab, Virginia Beach, VA
The therapist had such an impact
“I love being able to see changes in patients — the process of teaching the patient about their body, about their healing process and how to move on to a more functional life and participate in the activities that make them happy and feel empowered. I love teaching the patients, teaching other therapists and learning from them all. Physical therapy has so many different areas in which we can work and I have been fortunate enough to work in many of them – acute care, inpatient rehab, pediatrics, and orthopedics to name a few. It’s a field that’s always changing and gaining knowledge on ways to be able to help our patients.
When I was in high school, I had a friend who was in a car accident and had a severe brain injury. I was so interested in how the therapist had such an impact on his care. I’d already decided that I wanted to do something in healthcare, but had not been exposed to PT until then. That incident helped guide me to my path in PT.” Amy M. Holcombe, Ivy Rehab, Kings Mountain, NC
Conditions that can be treated with Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are experts in movement and many practice a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem, not just mask the symptoms. We treat a variety of conditions, including the following:
- ACL and Sports Rehab
- Back, Shoulder, and Neck Pain
- Balance & Fall Prevention, Vestibular, and Vertigo
- Bladder Health & Incontinence, and Pelvic Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Concussion Management
- Pre and Post Surgical Treatment
- Torticollis / Flathead Syndrome
- Pediatric Developmental Delays
- Neuromuscular Conditions
How do you get started?
Physical therapy is an essential treatment for certain conditions and getting started is easy. Through direct access, you can visit a physical therapist with, or without, a referral from your physician. Because we have patients with a variety of different needs and preferences, we’re now offering more options than ever for receiving therapy.
- Telehealth visits connect patients to their licensed therapists through a secure, HIPAA-compliant, fully encrypted, two-way video-call system. Patients can do therapy from the comfort of their home through a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, iPad or tablet. Learn more about Telehealth here.
- Therapy at home allows both new and existing patients to receive in-person therapy services. This includes one-on-one evaluations and treatment sessions in the comfort and safety of their home. Learn more about an in-home therapy session.
- Therapy in our clinic: We are here to serve you. Schedule an appointment today.