WHY PHYSIOTHERAPY IS RIGHT FOR ME
BY NICOLE WILSON, MSC PT CANDIDATE 2010
Since the moment I was introduced to physiotherapy, I knew it was everything I was looking for in a career. One of the obvious benefits is being able to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Whether it is decreasing pain, recovering from an injury, improving range of motion or restoring function, I have seen first-hand the remarkable impact physical therapy can have on a person’s life.
While working as a physiotherapist assistant, I was able to connect with patients and assist them during their recovery process. However, I desired the challenge of assessing a patient and developing a treatment plan. As a physiotherapist, you must be creative, intelligent, and adaptable. Furthermore, you must take an active responsibility to continue educating yourself, to stay on top of current research. I have thoroughly enjoyed conducting research as a student and look forward to the opportunities available as a practicing physiotherapist.
Another fascinating attribute of physiotherapy is how much the profession is evolving. Physiotherapists’ skills are being recognized, which is expanding our scope of practice. Studies have been conducted that prove physical therapy intervention is not only effective, but more effective and less costly than other interventions. Physiotherapy is a growing, evolving profession and it is an exciting field to be entering.
The field of physical therapy is remarkably diverse. From pediatrics to sports injuries, women’s health, and geriatrics, the profession provides opportunities to practice in many different settings. I love how it is possible to travel to a developing country, equipped solely with my knowledge and my two hands and be able to provide effective interventions. With all these opportunities, I look forward to a career that offers such endless possibilities.
To me, helping patients become stronger means empowering them with the knowledge and confidence to take control of their injury or disease and, ultimately, their life. My role is to provide people with the information and the inspiration to realize their full potential.
I will use an example from my life to demonstrate this philosophy. A couple of years ago, I decided to start my family and friends on an exercise program. The goal was to educate the participants on how physical fitness affects health and the aging process, and to inspire the participants to exercise regularly. The group has progressed from a sedentary life style to a routine of exercising multiple times per week, and boasts accomplishments such as taking part in 5km and 10km races.
Although it may appear obvious that the group was becoming stronger, it became more clearly evident when two participants received unfortunate diagnoses: osteoporosis and cancer. I strongly believe that the participants’ physical fitness successes gave them the confidence to face their diagnoses with courage. Both were able to take confidence from these past accomplishments to put towards confronting their upcoming challenges – challenges they did face with fearless determination and immeasurable strength. Physiotherapy is a challenging career, but helping people become stronger is privilege and reward enough.