Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Celebrating October as National Physical Therapy Month

Help celebrate National Physical Therapy Month by picking up a free pin,
sticker or card in the Program in Physical Therapy Office.

SLU DPT Student Jamie Brew Shares Reasons Why We #ChoosePT
by Saint Louis University DPT Student Jamie Brew (Class of 2020)

Every year, we celebrate October as National Physical Therapy Month. When I say “we”, I include physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, students in both PT and PTA programs as well as those who have or are currently benefitting from physical therapy. The American Physical Therapy Association uses this time to broadcast our campaign, “Choose PT”. We urge those who are experiencing chronic pain to choose PT over pain medications and opioids. We encourage those who are susceptible to injury to choose PT to prevent those injuries from occurring. At the same time, I use this campaign to continue choosing the profession of PT for my future. I too am reminded to “Choose PT”.

As an ambassador for our SLU Physical Therapy Program, I provide tours to prospective students and their families. One of my favorite yet most challenging questions during this time is “why did you choose physical therapy?” While there are a multitude of reasons that I chose to attend school for physical therapy, I often answer that I am still choosing physical therapy. It’s not the time I spent as a patient after a knee injury in high school or even the fact that my grandmother was a Physical Therapist that keeps me pursuing this profession. It is every experience I have had since committing to SLU that inspires me to Choose PT.

I have spent some time volunteering in the rehabilitation department at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in Saint Louis over the last couple of years. I get the opportunity to observe physical therapists in a combination of an outpatient and inpatient setting. While I learn a lot though these observations, it is not the techniques that I see, or the new tools used that get me excited about a profession in physical therapy. It is the way a young girl smiles in disbelief at her father when the physical therapist teaches her something new that promotes her independence in walking. Or the face of determination when a young boy can’t quite coordinate his movements enough to make a basketball shot. These interactions encourage me to Choose PT.

I also spent a year as a representative and a year as the Vice Chair for the Missouri Student Special Interest Group. As a representative, I acted as a liaison between the group and SLU. As the Vice Chair, I collaborated with students from different universities in Missouri to advocate for the profession of Physical Therapy. In February, I attended Lobby Day in Jefferson City with some of the members of MSSIG to discuss with State Representatives the importance of Direct Access in allowing individuals to continue to Choose PT. In order to do so, I had to reflect on why I wanted to Choose PT in order to encourage others to do so. Interacting with the community of students and therapists fighting for our profession gave me just another reason to Choose PT.

So while October is spent promoting the profession of Physical Therapy to other healthcare professionals and future patients, I encourage those students and therapists reading this to find moments that give you a reason to also #ChoosePT.

by Saint Louis University DPT Student Jamie Brew (Class of 2020)