Describe to us your most memorable physical therapy moment.
“I feel so thankful and blessed to be in the field of physical therapy.
We truly are in a rewarding profession that allows us to bring hope and healing to people that are suffering.
As I look back over the more than 20 years that I have been involved with physical therapy, there have been so many wonderful and memorable moments. It was so hard to choose just one! After some deep thought (and searching some rusty memory brain cells), I recalled one of the most significant experiences in my life. It happened very early on in my career as a physical therapy student.
The class was given a project to visit a support group and write a paper about the experience.
The group I chose was called AboutFace. It is a support group for people and families with facial deformities. I didn’t really expect to gain much out of the experience because it didn’t seem to be related to the field of physical therapy, but boy was I wrong.
The group talked about the experiences they were going through, described how they were treated and how it made them feel. One person talked about a doctor allowing her son to touch an instrument and talking about it before before using it to examine him. Another talked about a nurse who asked what kind of music he liked so she could play it for him during surgery. Another had a doctor that took time to explain an upcoming surgery and listened to concerns about the procedure to ease their fear. They actually began to get emotional when describing their experiences. These things may not seem like much to some, but it meant the world to these folks who were going through such a difficult time. These little gestures made a huge impact in their lives. It gave them hope and eased some pain in their time of need. I was given insight to what mattered most to these individuals and families: People taking the time to listen and to care.
This experience allowed me to realize the difference between a healthcare provider and someone who truly brings healing.
I realized I could make a difference in people’s lives, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. It’s that 42% that James talks about. It’s not about what we do, it’s about how we make people feel that unlocks their healing potential.
Although I was not looking forward to taking the time and effort involved in writing this paper, I am truly grateful for the experience. It has renewed my commitment and conviction to why I became a physical therapist so many years ago: To care for people, to heal people, and to bring hope into their lives.
Going into private practice has been an amazing adventure with both challenges and victories.
There is so much involved in running a practice that it can become overwhelming and easy to lose focus on God’s calling in my life.
I will admit, the desire to become successful and comfortable financially has many times become the focus in my life. But as I strive to be successful, I must remember that my primary purpose in life is to shine light into this world. To our patients, to our staff, to our community. I must remember that success is not the destination but it is enjoying the amazing journey that God is taking me on.
I pray that all of you would find joy in your journey and use all the gifts that God has given you to bring joy to others that you encounter along the way.
Thank you James for this opportunity to reflect on my most memorable moments. It is something I think we all should do from time to time to remember what truly brings us joy and what is truly important in our lives.
God’s blessings to you all!”