MOTIVATING FACTORS THAT INFLUENCED MY PURSUIT OF A PT CAREER
BY LEAH SKINNER
From a young age, I have been fascinated by the anatomy of the human body. The way that each structure and muscle worked together to create a movement seemed to me a feat that not even engineers could replicate. I would spend hours trying to figure out what the purpose of each structure was and how everything fit together. My interest in anatomy persisted and in high school: I jumped at the chance to complete a co-operative educational placement with a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist I worked with not only inspired me, but also made me realize that I had a desire to pursue such a career. Further, she opened my eyes to the broad role a physiotherapist can play in helping people. She also expanded my understanding of anatomy and led me to begin to understand that problems would ensue when an anatomical structure became misaligned. It was at this time I also began to understand that part of a physiotherapist’s role was to determine the root of these problems and provide solutions to solve and ameliorate the cause. The problem solving and investigative competencies required in the profession coupled with the need for strong anatomical knowledge was the first reason I desired to become a physiotherapist.
The second reason why I have chosen to become a physiotherapist is the ability to help people. When a patient comes to you in pain and discomfort, they are placing an unrelenting trust in your ability to help dissipate the problem. The fact that these patients have such a strong trust in you is empowering, but the notion that you hold the solution to their problem is a greater reward. To me, the ability to help individuals conquer their pain by providing manual techniques that are neither invasive nor pharmacological is another key reason for choosing physiotherapy.
The third reason I choose physiotherapy as a career is that we can not only offer care to individuals who have a varying continuum of illness and disability but can also promote healthy and active lifestyles that prevent disease from occurring in the first place and thus help to reduce the strain on Canada’s health care system. The promotion of healthy lifestyles and preventative strategies that physiotherapists have within the healthcare field is yet another reason why I have chosen a career in physiotherapy.
Lastly, to have the capacity to help individuals become stronger and independent not only revitalizes and improves a person’s quality of life, but also fosters within me a sense of purpose. By using the skills I have gained while training as a physiotherapist I can help people to improve their strength and thus enable someone to have another chance at living the life they had dreamed of living. I am truly privileged to have the skills to make a small but significant difference in someone’s life.