/ "As a therapist" - essay for physical therapy acceptance at postgrad level.
I could use a critique on this essay. Thank you for any assistance and comments.
(4500 characters needed currently 4076 w/o spaces 4885 w/ spaces)
I still need to add in some anacdotal items.
Prompt: "What personal characteristics and motivating factors have led you to pursue the profession of physical therapy?"
Each time I am asked, "Why do you want to be a physical therapist", I respond, "...Because I get it."
Since middle school I have felt a pull towards physical therapy. It is my belief that this vocation allows the professional and patient to work together to achieve goals for improving the patient's life. To walk this journey with the patient, assisting and guiding them, some through insurmountable challenges, challenges me as a person and a professional. There was no single "magic moment" when I came to this realization that this was for me. It just fits who I am. I believe that if a dream or goal is desired strongly enough the "forces of the universe will conspire in our favor." (The Alchemist; Paulo Coelho)
"I get" that the muscle-skeleton system works together to heal or improve a condition. The therapy is provided in a relaxed, fun, environment that allows the patient and therapist to interact, connect in a personal manner, and build the trust needed for a successful result. (((INSERT AN EXAMPLE HERE))
Through my coursework as an undergraduate student of Kinesiology and volunteering with the physical therapists I see myself working in one or all of the following three areas of the profession; working developmentally disabled children, aquatic therapy, and geriatrics.
First, I believe I have the perceptive and patience which is needed to enable me to relate to the disabled person in meeting their therapeutic challenges. After many years of struggling in school with writing, spelling and attention skills, I was finally diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. At last I understood why some aspects of school were difficult and was now better able to conquer the challenges that stood in the way of achieving my dreams. During high school I successfully completed honors classes and forty college level credits, and ranked in the top 5% of my class. In my freshman year I basically began at a sophomore ranking. The hard work paid off with several college scholarships; Provost Merit Scholarship, Glendale High School Booster Club , Sybil B. Harrington, Kroger Scholars Award and Andrew Brown Scholarship from Arizona State University Disabilities Resource Center. Each success built more confidence in my abilities. With the belief that the more knowledge a patient has about their condition and goals for improvement the more they will work to meet their individual challenges, and through encouragement and confidence building the patient will achieve their optimal performance.
Second, as a lifeguard-water safety instructor since the age of sixteen, I was able to observe a connection to the benefits of water therapy. I have instructed some students diagnosed with special needs (i.e. autism, developmentally delayed). (INSERT EXAMPLE HERE) Because of my instruction in Kinesiology I appreciate the significance of how our body works and the benefits of the gentle resistance of water exercises and its strengthening and toning effects. This is especially helpful for fragile patients or those suffering from pain and range of motion issues, as in the elderly.
Third, the field of geriatrics interests me simply because I like older people. I have been lucky enough to know all four of my grandparents and have watched their battle against time. I see the frustration they experience as they feel beaten down by pain and the inability to function as they did in their youth. While observing the therapy sessions, I have seen how a person can rebuild their confidence as well as their body, thus improving their quality and outlook on life. Their lives have much value still and there is much to learn from them.
Finally, in holding leadership positions throughout school band, dance, swim and community involvement throughout my life (i.e. Girl Scouts, Church functions, City of Glendale Mayor's Advisory Commission, Knights of Columbus), I have learned the importance of doing for others, taking the initiative to get things accomplished and the skills needed to motivate people. In many situations I know what needs to be done and step up to take the initiative in accomplishing the task. Friends, family and employers have told me that I am a loving and empathic person.
As a therapist I believe I can be instrumental in improving the abilities and lives of my patients by providing enthusiastic and encouraging therapeutic sessions, and using my knowledge and experiences to develop goal oriented objectives. I truly do care about the people with whom I come in contact. I am very excited about how much I have already achieved in my life and look forward to the next stage. A vocation as a physical therapist will not just define my profession; it will define who I am!
"Because I get it"