Where do you practice?
I am faculty at the Gannon University DPT program, Ruskin campus, where I teach geriatric PT, cardiopulmonary management, foundational PT skills, and professionalism. I also work as a Hospice PT, which I find very rewarding.
Tell us about your practice.
I did not know much about hospice physical therapy and was amazed at the impact physical therapists can make on the quality of life at the end. The patients drive hospice care. Knowing that you are helping keep someone safe and comfortable is gratifying. There is also such a peaceful, spiritual component to it. Teaching helps me connect and inspire future therapists not to conform or become complacent; keep pushing for health equality.
What led you to become a physical therapist?
I was enrolled in an Master of Social Work program while working as a nanny for a child with special needs. I had already decided I wanted to take a different role in healthcare, but wasn't sure how. One of the physical therapists to whom I took the child noticed I was asking appropriate questions and followed through on the Home Exercise Program (HEP). She asked me if I had ever considered PT since I seemed to enjoy my limited exposure to it. From then on, I was able to shadow hippotherapy, pediatric PT, and adult PT, and was captivated.
What’s your favorite thing about being a PT?
I am a Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, so of course this is my favorite population to treat. I love that it incorporates almost all topics of physical therapy. Most importantly, I enjoy helping patients with things we may take for granted, such as walking to the living room, getting in and out of the car to visit friends, and dynamic balance in order to play with grandchildren.