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Passion for patients offers motivation by Katie Staats ’09, MBA ’11

The demand for physical therapists is

While working at Lake Health, O’Connor

expected to grow in 2012 due in part to the

learned the different variations of certain

increasing elderly population that requires

exercises that will still work the same

therapeutic services. Physical therapists (PT)

muscles, since one way may work for one

promote the best possible physical health

person but not work for another. “It takes a

for patients through treatments such as

very passionate and focused person to work

movement exercises, stretching, strength

in this career and I learned this through my

training and mobility. Whether it’s helping

mentors,” O’Connor said.

a stroke victim learn to walk again or an athlete finish out the season, a PT becomes

Motivating yourself is one thing, but

the main ingredient in a full recovery.

motivating patients as a PT can be a challenge. “I wanted to leave this

Senior Krista O’Connor learned what it

experience knowing that I chose the right

takes to become a physical therapist in this

field of work. These expectations were met,

demanding economy. As a requirement

and I look forward to moving on with this as

for graduate school, O’Connor fulfilled her

a profession,” she said.

two-credit hour clinical observation course at the College. She began volunteering at

O’Connor also shadowed at the Cleveland

Lake Health Physical Therapy in December

Clinic sport and orthopedic outpatient

2010 and completed 50 observation hours.

clinic for 75 hours (also part of her clinical observation credits at Lake Erie College)

“I applied as a volunteer on the Lake Health

and the Metro Health Senior Health and

website. As I thought about it, I knew that

Wellness Center for 50 hours. Metro Health

I had to mentally prepare for the daily

is an inpatient, sub-acute care facility that

challenges. Without the mental and physical

focuses mainly on increasing strength in the

focus, I would have not been able to


dedicate my full capabilities to the patients I assisted,” O’Connor said.

At Lake Erie College, O’Connor is captain of the volleyball team, member of


During her shadowing experience,

Students Making a Difference, secretary

O’Connor would tend to patients’ small, but

and community service representative for

vital, needs in the steps towards recovery,

the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

such as changing and folding linens and

and president of Mortar Board. She will

providing icepacks and other necessary

graduate in May 2012 with a Bachelor of

items. The reality of this career can be intim-

Science degree in biology with a concen-

idating; however, the benefits outweigh any

tration in pre-physical therapy and a minor

struggles that physical therapists might face.

in psychology.


| FA L L ‘ 1 1

Gus Armbruster (left)

Fall 2011 Magazine  

Lake Erie College Magazine, Fall 2011 issue