History has often overlooked many of the instrumental contributions of black women as professionals, healthcare providers, and thought leaders in a myriad of industries. During Black History Month, it is an honor to highlight some of Athletico’s own black women that have been exemplars in our profession and have driven our team toward excellence at every level.
As Physical and Occupational therapists, helping others is central to what we do. Since Athletico’s founding in 1991, our team has been committed to giving back in the communities where we live and work. Even in the difficult year of 2020, our teams found ways to participate in various charitable giving efforts to fulfill this mission.
Black History Month is important to me because it provides an opportunity to recognize, remember, and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals with African and African American descent that have pushed boundaries, broken down barriers and influenced the development of our nation. Often overlooked in American history are the integral contributions from Black Americans that have evolved healthcare, including the field of physical therapy.
Falls in older adults are a significant concern in all of healthcare. Fall death rates have increased 30 percent from 2007 to 2016.1 Every year, 3 million older adults are treated in the emergency department for fall related injuries.2 Patients who experience falls can become trapped in a cycle where they are afraid of falling and limit their activity leading to greater deconditioning and increase their risk for subsequent falls. Medicare mandates that patients who are over the age of 65 should be screened annually for falls by a healthcare provider. In states with direct access laws, physical therapists may be the only medical contact that the patient has in a calendar year. We can be the first to find out if patients are at a risk for falls and proactively address their deficits.
Four years ago I moved to Chicago as an eager newly graduated physical therapist (PT) who was drawn to Athletico for its strong presence in the performing arts community. As a dancer myself, I felt providing physical therapy to dancers was the absolute perfect way to marry my two passions. Little did I know that Athletico would develop me beyond this in ways I never imagined, such as providing training for me to execute Video Gait Analysis and return-to-sport testing for ACL reconstructions, as well as giving me the opportunity to manage a clinic! I felt pushed to optimize patient outcomes and provide the best customer service in the clinic, but I also felt a strong encouragement to continue learning and improving myself. One of the most defining ways that Athletico demonstrated its investment in my long term growth was through the Evidence in Motion orthopaedic residency.
Here we are again, that time of year during which all new PT grads are cramming, studying and anxiously awaiting the upcoming National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). Whether you’ve chosen to spend the time between graduation and the big test at work (and finally getting a paycheck) or taking a well-deserved break following three years of enigmatic and exhaustive education, the time has come to buckle down and get over one last hurdle. While it may seem at times an impossible task, know that there have been many before you that have gone through the trouble of learning what to do and what not to do in order to ensure success on the upcoming NPTE.
Making the transition from student to certified athletic trainer (AT) is an exciting time, as you finally get to begin the journey of a new career. However, just like any other industry, it can be overwhelming to taking in all the details that come with the start of a new position.