November 9, 2011

What Next?: Physical Therapy

Have you got what it takes to get people on the road to recovery?

Adriana: I am outside seventeen-year-old Keyana Ford’s house because she says she wants to be a physical therapist when she graduates from school. So, we are actually going to take her to a physical therapists office so she can see what the field is really like. Let’s go meet her.

Ok. So, we are right outside Keyana’s door. Hi! Are you Keyana?

Keyana Ford: Yes.

Adriana: I am Adriana from Channel One News and we are here to sweep you away to a physical therapists office because we heard up want to be a PT.

Keyana: Oh my gosh!

Adriana: Do you want to go?

Keyana: Of course I want to go. Thank you!

Adriana: Here we go! We are headed to a physical therapist’s office in Queens, New York.

Joann: Hi! I’m Joann.

Adriana: I am Adriana.

Keyana: I’m Keyana.

Joann: Pleasure to meet you.

Adrianna: We brought Keyana here because she has always dreamed of being a PT and we wanted her to see what it is actually like.

Joann: Good! Welcome. And you’re going to get to see it today because this is Keren. And Keren is a patient here in my practice. Keren, come over here. We’re going to do some physical therapy on Keren. And, Keren, why do you come here?

Keren: When I was a baby, my foot was turned around.

Joann: Do you know what that’s called?

Keren: A club foot.

Joann: And what do we do in physical therapy?

Keren: We stretch it and turn my foot around straight.

Joann: And make it strong so you can run and jump and dance and do all the fun stuff, right? So, how about if we show them what PT is all about.

Adriana: Straightening a club foot takes years of work but Joann tries to make it seem like play. So, the first thing Keren does? Put on a tiara!

But Keren hasn’t always been able to smile about it.

Keren: I couldn’t do stuff the other kids can do, like I couldn’t go outside when they were playing in the playground.

Adriana: To combat the problem, Keren and Joann hit the dance floor to excerise her foot.

Joann: Toes up and shake. Heels up and dance.

What you do as the physical therapist is you try to find what motivates them and work it into your session. Keren likes dancing.

Adriana: Keren says physical therapy has changed her life.

Keren: Now I can do what the other kids can do. I just think it’s great to have a new life since my foot has changed.

Adriana: Keren isn’t the only one who has made great strides. As a baby, Matthew Santagato got an infection in his leg that prevents it from growing. He has had four surgeries, and after each one he could barely move his leg.

Joann: So when he started, he was about here. That’s as much as he could bend. And now all the way up.

Matthew Santagato: I’ve seen, like, how many people have come in here and how many people haven’t been able to walk and eventually they are able to walk. Even with me, I thought that it would never get better. But then with the help of physical therapy, I can do everything now.

Adriana: Matt hopes to move up to playing baseball competatively.

Helping people like Matt make their dreams come true is something Keyana is interested in.

Keyana: What are the different areas in physical therapy?

Johann: There are so many areas: pediatrics, women’s health, you can do burns, fitness…

Adriana: So, what is next for Keyana? High school students who are interested in becoming physical therapists should study biology, chemistry and physics.

Physical therapists need a doctor of physical therapy graduate degree in order to be able to practice. That takes three years of study after college. Most physical therapists earn between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.

Before leaving, we wanted to get some hands-on experience ourselves.

Joann: Foot forward, point up, circles, shake. Shake it for fun!

Adriana: Ta da!

That was so much fun! So, Keyana, now that you know what it is like to be an actual physical therapist, what do you think?

Keyana: I’m definitely going to be a physical therapist. Without a doubt, that is the field for me.

Adriana: So, that is what is next! Let’s go home so you can do that bio and prepare yourself for a career in physical therapy.

Keyana: Let’s go!


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