Meet the faces of our staff PTs who dedicate their lives to treating CORA patients right every day. These are their stories!
Each week we’ll feature a few of our Faces of CORA right here on our blog. So many individuals have been sharing their personal stories, we simply can’t tell them all! To read the entire collection head on over to our dedicated Faces of CORA landing page, a place for sharing and a space for making community connections. New stories are being added every day!
If you haven’t already heard it, the CORA story is unique. If you haven’t already experienced it, the CORA experience is different. Each employee, at every level of the organization, has an important role to play in upholding our core values.
Every October we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month, an annual opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of physical therapy; but, rarely do we showcase the personalities of those responsible for keeping our patients healthy. Those faces responsible for keeping our wheels in motion. And those voices responsible for telling the CORA story with a certain authenticity and conviction in everything they do, every single day.
The Faces of CORA you will meet throughout this month have dedicated their careers to helping others through physical therapy. Of course, we know what they do, but their “why” tells the full story and is what helps write ours!
Meet Brittney Sube from Greenville, South Carolina
Why Did You Become a PT or PTA? What/Who Inspired You?
Picture it: The year is 2012, my first day of PT school. I’m sitting amongst 49 other grad students, the energy in the room a collection of excitement and anxiety over what the next three years would bring. Unfortunately, there’s no photo evidence of my first day of school, like the kind we see explode on our Facebook timelines every August. (You know the kind, with adorable kiddos and chalkboard signs?) But hey, it would’ve been hard to measure up, anyway.
Our first class gathering, energy level turned up to ten, our professor had us go around the room individually answering, “Why do you want to become a PT?” If you’re anything like me the pressure is on. You don’t want to be first; you don’t want to be last, and you want to come up with something meaningful that hasn’t already been said 30 times. To be honest, I don’t even remember what came out of my mouth, but I now realize, I had utterly no concept of why I wanted to be a PT at the time. The same five words were repeated, to the point it all became a blur of eye rolling. Any guesses what the overused low effort response was?
“I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE.”
So generic and boring. What a cop out, right? At least that’s what I was thinking at the time.
Boy, let me tell you how wrong I was….
To take you on this journey of self-discovery, let’s go back in time again. The place is Erie, Pennsylvania, a little further along in PT school, smack dab in the middle of a pediatric clinical rotation. Meet Jeremy, the 20-year-old, reserved, lanky kid who sits in a wheelchair in the back of the life skills classroom and has one of the most contagious laughs you’ve ever heard. My clinical instructor and I have been encouraging him to use his stander one class per day with goals of transitioning to a walker soon. Let me tell you, he’s absolutely crushing it. With it being his senior year, his main goal was to be able to walk across the stage (with assistance) at graduation. Just pull my heart strings already. To add a little spice to this novella, Jeremy’s newfound six foot vertical position, not only increased his confidence, but is also attracting some attention from the ladies in the classroom. Ahh, young love, am I right? This put Jeremy on the fast track to yet another dream. After these ladies saw Jeremy upright, motivated, smiling ear to ear, he earned himself a “prom-posal.” Now he wants to be able to walk across the stage at graduation AND dance at prom. Challenge accepted.
My clinical instructor and I were lucky enough to spend 30 minutes with Jeremy one time a week in the school setting. I’ll be darned if we didn’t spend those sessions learning to stand with the walker, picking out his favorite dance tunes, and developing a shuffling slow dance of sorts with the walker between us to help prep for his prom debut. Weeks passed by progress was made, but doubts crept in through a series of safety concerns. We pressed on with awkward stumbling, belly laughs, and shared frustration at times, but he never lost sight of that dance floor. We discussed the reality of his goals and the logistical details which always seemed to center back around what he would wear to prom, and not the physical limitations we were concerned about. White tux, red pocket square, and a black bow tie. He had it all planned out for months. Jeremy stayed motivated, we stayed focused, and that dedication to his dream, combined with physical therapy allowed him to have the prom night he envisioned, dancing with his classmate, and paying no mind to the walker between them helping him to stand.
It was then, after sharing his prom pictures, seeing his chest swell with pride, and a smile so big I thought his face would split in two, I realized the impact this profession can have on an individual’s life experience, not just the physical one. I celebrated the smaller victories along the way relating to strength, balance, and range of motion but nothing compares to the big picture, these defining moments in life. I may have taught Jeremy how to ‘dance’, but he taught me so much more. Physical Therapists have a unique opportunity to become invested in so many personal journeys and play a supporting role in patients accomplishing their goals and dreams, no matter how big or how small.
I’m blessed to say I have many more stories like Jeremy’s and I’m so grateful to be a part of them. So put me back in that classroom and ask me again. I promise I have a better understanding, and I swear not to roll my eyes. Because the truth is, five words can pack a punch when you have experiences like this to support them. I’m a physical therapist because I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE. Help them dance at prom, help them cross the finish line, help them play with their grandkids, make memories, and live life to the fullest. Help yourself and those around you live more life, in the life you’ve been given, in whatever capacity that may be to you and yours!
Physical Therapy: It’s not just physical, it’s personal.
Last stop in our time travel: present day. What better time than PT Month, to be grateful for the opportunity we must enrich the lives of those around us? (Whether you’re a therapist or not!!)
Happy PT Month!! You ALL make a difference.
Who’s Next? More Faces of CORA Physical Therapy Coming Soon!
Thank you for following along with our blog as we share insights, personal narratives, pictures, and inspirational anecdotes about why CORA teammates pursued the PT profession.
Are you a patient that has your own personal experience to share? We’d love to hear how Faces of CORA across different regions have positively impacted your life, how our PTs have helped write your story. And the PT or staff personnel responsible for treating your aches and pains would love to hear it too!