Jessica-IAMS1. How long have you been a physical therapist?

“I have been practicing physical therapy for nearly 15 years.

 

2. Was there a specific moment that made you realize you wanted to be a PT? What inspired you to become a physical therapist?

“From the age of 16 I knew I wanted to pursue a career in physical therapy. I believed it would allow me to blend my love of sports with my commitment to community service.”

 

3. Do you need any special kind of training/education to become a physical therapist? What licenses/certifications are physical therapists required to have?

“To become a physical therapist, you must graduate from an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and be licensed in the state(s) in which you practice. A list of accredited programs can be found by visiting the American Physical Therapy Association website at www.apta.org. Each program first requires completion of a Bachelor’s Degree and certain coursework. All licensed PTs must complete continuing education to renew their license, and additionally there are board certified specialties that signify expertise in specialized areas of practice, including Orthopedics and Geriatrics.”

 

4. If you could clear up any misconceptions people have about physical therapy, what would they be?

“Many people I encounter believe they must be referred for physical therapy. By law in the State of Ohio, anyone can make an appointment with a physical therapist without a referral from a physician. Just like any doctor, the physical therapist will evaluate the condition(s) and develop a plan for treatment. Physical therapists are one of the few types of healthcare providers who treat the whole person and involve the patient in the care plan.”

 

5. Physical therapists are passionate about what they do — what is it that makes you so passionate about being a PT?

“I love interacting with my patients, getting to know their interests and helping them achieve their goals. I believe this profession allows a unique opportunity to discover underlying problems that impact people’s lives and, through education and intervention, facilitate life-changing improvements. Because I take the time to listen to my patients, I often uncover what other professionals have missed due to their time constraints and focus on one area of the body. It is very rewarding to be part of so many success stories.”

 

6. Anything else to add?

“Many people have a family physician and family dentist. Particularly as we age, everyone should have a family physical therapist that they can trust to see them for injuries, as well as prevention.”