Having A LOT of trouble writing this essay. I have a ton of reasons why I want to be a PT and a character limit. I tried to be completely honest for this essay, but it seems a little dry to me at the moment. I appreciate any comments and help!!
becoming a Physical Therapist
Every advisor I have talked to has told me not to write the typical application essay about being an athlete, getting hurt, going to physical therapy and then wanting to be a physical therapist because of that injury. I rewrote this essay about five times before finally coming to the conclusion that I want to tell my story for what it is. My end goal should be patients that trust me; therefore, I should start from the very beginning with complete honesty. So, this might sound like your usual injured athlete turns into physical therapist story, but I'm hoping you're able to stick with my story long enough to understand why becoming a Physical Therapist means so much to me.
From my own career-ending injuries to working with amazing physical therapists both as a patient and intern, there is one specific moment that really made me want to pursue this career. After coming to the realization that I would never be able to safely compete at the collegiate level, I took a job as a gymnastics coach to stay involved with the sport. Before taking this position I had never considered myself a confident person, and coaching pushed me far out of my comfort zone. I started to doubt my career choice; if I was scared to talk in front of small groups of children, how was I going to be confident enough to work with patients?
That question was answered the first night I coached a class on my own. I was working with a young gymnast who, like me, lacked confidence in her abilities. We had formed a close bond and I had finally convinced her that she was capable of doing a skill on her own. She started her back handspring with perfect form, but when her hands made contact with the mat, I heard the unmistakable sound of breaking bone. Before she had time to realize what had happened, I had sat her down in my lap, turned her head to the side, and supported her arm in mine. I managed to get the other eight kids in my class to walk calmly to the other side of the gym for a water break before they knew what was going on. Even though I had minimal first aid training and had never seen a displaced forearm fracture, I was surprisingly calm and in control. Something just clicked and I knew I had to put my insecurities aside to care for this young athlete. Thinking fast, I asked the other coaches around me to get me a sling, an ace bandage, a foam panel, and a magazine. I was able to splint the child's arm, cover it, and place it in the sling before she was able to see the damage. My mind and body went into autopilot, and I had no doubt in mind that I couldn't help this child.
My own injuries and experiences with physical therapy sparked my interest in the field, but this event made realize how rewarding it is to help someone in need. I now understand that confidence is something that can be grown, and that you don't need to be the most outspoken person in the room. The compassion and desire to care for others comes first. I was lucky enough to also be interning at the clinic where she did her rehab and therefore was able to work with her from the night of the injury to her last day in physical therapy. I will never forget this athlete's journey and will forever be grateful for how I was able to help her regain her confidence while she helped me gain my own. My hope is that I will continue to grow in a DPT program and become a physical therapist that can help athletes, weekend warriors, elders, and all walks of life regain their confidence to continue doing what makes them happy.