October is National Physical Therapy Month. To celebrate, we are sharing the stories of our physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Today’s entry comes from an amazing Director of Rehab and Physical Therapist Assistant — Denise Crosier.
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to work in the healthcare field. Science and medicine intrigued me. My path did not immediately lead me to physical therapy but once I had discovered it, I knew that this was where I was meant to be.
At the age of 12 my mother injured her back on the job leading her down the road to 7 back surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. As soon as I was able to drive, I took on the responsibility of transporting my mother to her appointments. I was always intrigued by her PT sessions and in awe of the relief they provided her and how they were able to help her regain her independence time after time.
I started attending community college after high school but a year in I was married and my education took the back burner. My marriage ended and I was a single parent trying to find a way to make ends meet without a college degree when I stumbled into the opportunity to become a Pharmacy Technician. I worked in the pharmacy for 3 years while taking night classes to get myself back on track for a degree. I then transitioned to working for an Institutional Review Board that reviewed medical research. While I achieved great success in my 3 years at the IRB, I could not see or feel my impact. I missed engaging with individuals that were affected by my work.
Shortly after leaving the IRB I was explaining my situation to a neighbor who told me she had just the job for me. I started working as a rehab tech in a local nursing home. I watched patients roll into the facility on a gurney only to later walk out. My position grew to include helping at two other neighboring facilities as well as an outpatient clinic and the local hospital. I looked on in admiration as these patient’s lives improved almost daily with the help of their therapists. It was then that I realized that this was my calling. I sought out programs in the area and found one that allowed me to work while attending school. I had the unique opportunity to watch many of the skills I was learning being performed by my coworkers. I had mentors and supporters surrounding me through my journey.
When I finally had the chance to put my education into action it was better than I had imagined it would be. I had the privilege of helping people regain their mobility and independence becoming active participants in their lives. My greatest moments of pride come when my patients come back to visit expressing their appreciation for all that the therapists have done for them and that they couldn’t have recovered without their help.
In my three years practicing I have had the privilege to facilitate the recovery of patients with amputations, stroke, fractures, joint replacements, and countless other diagnoses. My greatest pride in my career as a Physical Therapist Assistant comes in the success of those patients with the poorest prognosis but with the greatest will to recover walking out of the facility through persistence and perseverance with Physical Therapy.
Denise Crosier, PTA
Director of Rehabilitation