Timothy Turner is a high-level performer in the classroom and has classmates who believe he will push the PT profession forward within the clinic as well as advocating for the future of our profession. He excels in leadership positions such as being his class president and attending the federal advocacy forum. He will be a great asset to the PT field and will lead to make the profession even better! Check out the KPTA SSIG Facebook page to view this Spotlight, and for notifications when additional Spotlights are featured!
"Like many physical therapy students/physical therapist assistant students, I was exposed to the field as a high school student when I sustained repeat shoulder injuries while playing football. This lead to a surgical procedure and a road of therapy that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I originally had aspirations to become a history teacher and a coach, but discovered that physical therapy was a career where I could teach and coach (patients, other students, the general public), but in a different manner than in the traditional classroom. Short aside, I think all PT's and PTA's are teachers in the fact that they help people learn about their bodies and how to move them as efficiently as possible, and that is something I strive for as a clinician in training.
While in college I completed my bachelors degree in Athletic Training, which exposed me to many opportunities. During this time, I had doubts about going to PT school, due to the rigor, the burden of student loans and other factors so I tried to explore as many opportunities with Athletic Training as I could. I was fortunate enough to intern for the Chicago Bears Football Club for two training camps, and what a fantastic experience that was! After finishing those two camp experiences, I knew I wanted more from a rehab and therapeutic exercise knowledge standpoint than I had in undergrad, so PT school was the route for me.
Physical Therapy school is where I really hit my stride as a student and servant leader. I was elected class president and had the opportunity to understand the needs of 58 other student physical therapists. They have entrusted me to convey their requests to our faculty and vice versa. I have attended the Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. as well as a couple of National Advocacy Dinners, both of which have been completely eye-opening for advocacy and how hard we must work as a profession to have our voice heard on Capitol Hill in Topeka and Washington.
I plan to impact my community by becoming a private practice physical therapist. I currently work for a company in the Workers Compensation industry and have been inspired by the leadership there to go beyond the normal, day-to-day duties of a physical therapist. I have aspirations to open my own clinic some day, but there are many challenges associated with that type of venture. I would also like to serve in some type of leadership role in the APTA, whether that be a chief delegate for the KPTA Chapter, or a leader within a section, I think I can make a difference in more avenues than just my patients lives." - Timothy Turner, SPT
Becca is passionate about advocating for our profession, and shows this through her deep involvement with our school's Student Governing Council, and represents PT students through this involvement. - DPT student at KUMC
As a DPT student, Becca has proven to be a leader within her school and program. In addition to being involved in her community, she has impacted her school through involvement within KU’s Governing Council. She will be a great asset to the PT field and will lead to make the profession even better! Check out the KPTA SSIG Facebook page to view this Spotlight, and for notifications when additional Spotlights are featured!
“During my freshman year of college, in pursuit of a minor in Leadership Studies at Washburn University, I read a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. As a typical freshman, I assumed this would be yet another boring, required reading. Unbeknownst to me, a theory from this book would forever guide my life. The “Hedgehog Concept” consists of a Venn diagram with three circles overlapping; the first being “What are you deeply passionate about?”, the second “What can you be the best in the world at?” and the third “What can generate the most revenue?/What drives your economic engine?” The center of the diagram, where all three circles overlap, is the zone we should all strive to attain to be the most successful. I realized then that physical therapy was my true calling for which I was deeply passionate and felt I would be naturally good at. For the past six years I have been working hard to develop my physical therapy skills, in addition to leadership and interprofessional skills, through involvement with student organizations and as an in-home aid to a wonderful person with Multiple Sclerosis.
At Washburn I enjoyed being involved in a wide array of organizations. This passion carried over when I arrived at KUMC. The past two years I have been a senator in the Student Governing Council (SGC) and Interprofessional Committee co-chair. The focus of my time as co-chair was the creation of a Unified Honor Code for all of KUMC. My committee members and I agreed that all health professions, medical and nursing students, should be held to the same ethical expectations. However, there was not a document that embodied this belief. Together we created this Unified Honor Code through collaboration of all student leaders from each school at KUMC. We believe this document displays the interprofessionalism and team work that is a core tenet of our education at KUMC. It also builds a framework that we can continue to follow after graduation to produce patient-centered care, together. My involvement with student government and attendance of KPTA’s Day on the Hill the past two years sparked an interest in advocating for physical therapy on the local and national legislative levels. I hope to be involved with the Legislative Committee of KPTA during this third year of school, and after graduation. In the future, I’d like to have a seat on APTA’s House of Delegates to create national changes that will allow physical therapists to provide the high-quality care the profession is capable of.
I encourage you all to reflect on the “Hedgehog Concept” and its applicability to your future PT careers. Join APTA, and advocate for our profession in your own way. I am eager to see how our generation of physical therapists will propel the profession forward with our focused intensity and passion for what we do. If you have any questions or comments, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.” – Becca Ferguson
From being placed in unique clinical locations to having impressive involvement in her program, Melanie is finishing her program with a handful of great experiences. She has proven herself as a leader in her program, by being her class president, and outside of the classroom, through all the organizations she is involved with. Check out below why Melanie was nominated as a SPT Spotlight, and be sure to follow our Facebook page for notifications when another Spotlight is featured!
“From the beginning of PT school, I have been involved in a recently developed program at our school called "GoBabyGo." This is a program that Physical Therapy students and Engineering students have teamed up to modify power wheel cars for kids with disabilities. Within this last year, I have been given the role as the PT Liaison to recruit new members into the program. It has been a great opportunity to get involved with hands-on experience with kids with disabilities as well as learning how to partner with engineering students to find ways to adapt the cars based on the needs of the child. Another program that I have been highly involved in throughout PT school, is an Adaptive Swim Class through our local YMCA. This program is for kids with disabilities, 18 and under, to learn basic swim skills or receive aquatic therapy. We have worked with kids with a wide variety of diagnosis such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina bifida, autism, down syndrome and athetoid CP. Both of these programs have made my love for the pediatric population grow immensely and have allowed me to get out of the classroom and gain hands on experience. I highly suggest anyone who has the opportunity to volunteer for programs like these, to take a break from studying and gain some hands on experience!
Being a native of Vancouver, BC Canada, the mountains and ocean hold a special place in my heart, which is not something that Kansas has to offer. I have had the opportunity to travel a little bit throughout my clinicals. My first 8 week summer rotation, I went to a small town just outside of Salt Lake City, UT. This summer, I completed my 10 week rotation in a small town in northern New Mexico called Farmington, NM. My fall 10 week clinical will be in a small town just outside of Denver, CO. This summer while in New Mexico, I have been given the opportunity to continue my passion of fitness and softball to help coach private softball lessons, run fitness training classes and private sessions, as well as help run a softball/baseball program for kids with special needs.
Although PT school alone is a very stressful time, I have found that taking time away from your books helps the mind not burn out. By volunteering with these programs, helping coach softball, travel, and do CrossFit daily, I have had a fantastic last few years. My advice for PT students is to step away from the classroom, get out and volunteer, do whatever you can to get hands on experience, and most importantly continue to do the things you love.” -Melanie Rowson, SPT
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