How I Found My Professional Passion

In high school, we were all faced with the task of choosing an occupation for the rest of our professional careers. This, for most, is very challenging and stressful. From my interests in high school classes, I knew that I wanted to study something in the science field where I would be interacting with others. The anatomy and physiology of the human body was always fascinating to me, but I knew that I could not be stuck in a cubical or dark room by myself. I enjoyed speaking to others and getting to know their stories, while creating a positive impact in lives.

Fast forward to today, I am a junior in college and am studying kinesiology in the physical therapy track. A requirement to enter physical therapy graduate school is submitting observation and shadowing hours that are to be performed at various physical therapy settings. This is required so that you can get a feel for where you may want to focus or concentrate your studies. I have had the opportunity to spend time at an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy facility and at an outpatient pediatric physical therapy wing in a children’s hospital. In the near future, I will be at an inpatient geriatric and stroke physical therapy facility. From the experience that I have accumulated, I know that I am in the right profession for me. I get to geek out on human anatomy knowledge, while never having to question how I would be helping and impacting the lives of others. 

Specifically, my passion is with the pediatric field. The time I was able to spend with children that ranged form 6 months to 15 years old with neurological and physical disorders was humbling and mind opening. The physical therapists were performing stretching, strengthening, and corrective tasks in creative and playful ways to make the work less clinical for the patient. The positive and loving attitudes possessed by the therapists were aspirational. Although some of the children had simplistic goals that were often a challenge to meet, any progress was highly celebrated, and the feeling reciprocated by the parents or guardians was like no other. In another perspective, each day allowed me to feel grateful for my abilities and opportunities. I am lucky to have a healthy mind and body that allows me to pursue my passions and goals. Also, who wouldn’t want to be paid to play with cute babies and little kids all day?