Thursday, May 24, 2012

Student Spotlight Cait Hayes

Since the last Student Spotlight, Lauren Zwikelmaier, was received so well we have decided to post previous student spotlights so that you can see them all!

Read this 10 Question & Answer Interview with Caitlin Hayes to learn about her background, clinical experience, and more!

1. Where are you from? What do you love best about that place where would you like to be in 2 years? Where would you like to travel?
I am from Homer Glen, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago. My town is about 40 minutes from the city, so I am able to experience both the exciting city life and quiet suburban life. I love that there is always something new and exciting to experience there. I hope to be back in Chicago in after graduation, with an amazing job downtown, yet still close to my family. If I could travel any place in the world, it would be France. I would like to see Paris, but I would love to travel in the French countryside and see all of the castles in the Loire Valley.

2. What is your family like? If you have siblings can you describe them?My family is wonderful. I have a younger brother, Jeff, who is currently a sophomore at St Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He plays on the D3 soccer team, is an accounting major, and is (unfortunately) turning into a Packers fan! My parents are amazing, loving, dedicated people. They have always worked extremely hard in order for my brother and I to receive Catholic educations and to go to the colleges of our choice. Their hard work has shown me to never give anything any less than my best.

3. When did you first become interested in physical therapy?Within a two-year period, my brother had three knee surgeries and an ankle fracture, so he was in physical therapy for a long time. I was the one responsible for taking him to every therapy session after school, so I would stay and watch what he would do. It amazed me to see how well he recovered and I was intrigued to learn more.

4. How do you manage the work load as a physical therapy student?It is so important to have time management skills and a planner to help keep you organized. I feel so much more relaxed when I don’t procrastinate, and I like to work on assignments as soon as they are assigned rather than at the last minute. Paying attention in class and taking lots of notes also makes the workload a little easier and less time is needed to study. But I couldn’t get through the program without my friends. Having something to look forward to always helps me to push to get things done.

5. Can you describe an experience in a lab that deeply impacted you? Do you have a clinical experience that has had a deep impact on you?I really enjoyed a lab where we met and worked with patients with spinal cord injuries. I learned so much; it is amazing how working with patients takes all of the knowledge we have learned in the classroom and makes it real. I had a similar experience on my first clinical rotation. One of my patients had an incomplete spinal cord injury and we helped him walk for the first time in two years. He and his mother started crying and taking pictures.  It is such an amazing feeling to know that we are able to impact someone’s life so significantly as physical therapists.

6. What were you involved in during your undergraduate education?As an undergrad, I was involved in Campus Kitchen, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, and the Alpha Eta Honor Society. I was a peer instructor for DPT 108, a teaching assistant for Gross Anatomy, and I am currently a Basic Anatomy and Exercise Physiology tutor. Junior year, I had a SLU Geriatrics Medicine Internship through the pre-med program, in which students interacted with physicians, physical therapists and patients at Beauvais Manor, a skilled nursing facility and rehab center on South Grand.

7. Do you know what you would like to specialize in?I am not sure yet, but I am so interested to learn more about pediatrics. But, I am also extremely interested in working with athletes and in the home health setting. I enjoy almost everything we have learned in school so far, and it is hard to narrow down what interests me most. I think I have some deciding to do!

8. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would choose to be able to go back in time. I have always been curious to see what my parents or grandparents were like at my age. Plus, I could find out some juicy information to tease them about!

9. If money were no object, what would you do?Travel. I did not have the opportunity to study abroad in undergrad, but I have heard about so many great experiences from friends who did go abroad. It would be fascinating to immerse myself in foreign cultures to see how others around the world live.

 10. Can you list some favorites?

What is your favorite movie: Billy Madison and Love Actually
What is your favorite book:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
Favorite Artist:
Duran Duran
Place to eat in St Louis:
Pi and The Cup
Sport and team:
Basketball, Chicago Bulls
Dessert: Molten Chocolate Cake from Chili’s


"My grandmother is my best friend and inspires me everyday. She is 90 years old, blind and suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, but she is the strongest person I know by far. Ever since I can remember, she has always put 100% into everything she does. Even now, when every day is a struggle, she wakes up and makes the most of what she can do that day. She reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for, and that every day is a new day and a new beginning. In the summer of 2009, I lived with her as her full-time caregiver, and I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend with her."

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