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World Physical Therapy Day

I was fortunate to be born and raised in a little beach town in Southern California where I took every advantage of being outside and running my body into the ground with activities and sports. I moved to Colorado a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic and love calling this state my home. I have a two-year-old Australian Shepherd named Kobe (so together we make Kobe Bryant 😊) who pushes me to stay active and explore new mountain towns/hikes.

Before I arrived at Colorado Access, I was a physical therapist (PT) that worked in outpatient orthopedic clinics, and I’m excited to share my story and experience as a PT for World Physical Therapy Day on September 8, 2023. My vision of becoming a PT started in high school where I had an amazing teacher for anatomy and sports medicine classes; I quickly became astounded by how amazing our bodies are and how they function.

My reckless abandon with sports and activities also led to injuries and visits to the PT office. During my time in rehab, I observed how wonderful my PT was and how he truly cared about me as a person as well as returning to sport; my first PT ended up being a college professor of mine and mentor before/during/after PT school. My experiences in rehab solidified my vision of pursuing PT as a profession. I finished college with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and obtained my doctorate in physical therapy at Fresno State University (go Bulldogs!).

Similar to other health care professional schools, PT school comprehensively covers the human anatomy and physiology, with an emphasis on the neuromuscular system. As a result there are a multitude of routes a PT can go specialize and work in such as the hospital, hospital rehab clinics, and private outpatient clinics in the community.

More often than not and depending on the setting, PTs have the great fortune of being able to spend more direct time with a client that leads to not only a closer relationship but also allows a more thorough conversation about the client (their current situation and past medical history) to help better diagnose the root cause(s). Additionally, PTs have a unique ability to translate medical jargon in a way that helps a client’s mindset from catastrophizing. Another aspect of PT that I always appreciated was the interdisciplinary collaboration because more communication between professionals can lead to better results.

PT is considered a more “conservative” approach to certain conditions, and I love that because there are many instances where a client’s condition improves by going to PT and/or other “conservative” professionals, resulting in reduced costs and additional treatments. However, sometimes that is not the case, and PTs do a wonderful job of referring out to the appropriate personnel.

Although I’m no longer in clinical care, I enjoyed my time as a PT and will always hold onto the relationships/memories that were made. There were so many aspects of the profession that I loved. I felt I was fortunate to be in a career where I got to spend lots of quality time with others and not only be their PT but also their friend/someone they can trust in. I will always cherish the endless personalities/life stories I conversed with and being on someone’s journey to achieve whatever goal(s) they may have. My clients’ determination kept me motivated to keep learning, adapting, and becoming the best PT I could be for them.

The PT clinic I worked at the longest saw primarily Medicaid members and those clients were some of my favorites because of their relentless work ethic in the clinic despite being limited with whatever barriers were occurring in their lives. I’m excited to be a part of Colorado Access, where I can still make an impact for these members!

Aches and pains will always come up (and sometimes when we least expect it). However, please don’t let that stop you from doing things you love. The human body is amazing and when you combine that with a grinding mindset, anything is possible!