Jeff Hurm is a Physical Therapy Assistant student here at WSPT. He has been working with Lillibeth Gonzalez for the last month, and has already greatly benefited from her years of experience.
Jeff originally attended Ithaca College and received a degree in TV and Radio Communications. He worked in video production and post-production for 13 years. After deciding his heart was not in that type of work, Jeff enrolled at LaGuardia Community College to obtain a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant.
Having received physical therapy after going through an ACL reconstruction, his interest in PT as a career began to grow. His friend, a chiropractor, confirmed that this was a good path, and recommended Jeff get a degree as a PTA.
WSPT is Jeff’s second of three clinical requirements. His first clinical requirement was fulfilled at an outpatient facility, Miccass Physical Therapy, in Manhattan. At WSPT, Jeff will be completing his clinical specialty, and the track he intends to pursue, Sports Medicine.
Jeff appreciates that Lillibeth allows him to have a generous degree of free license while working with patients. Jeff points out that what you learn in the classroom as a student can only be the framework; real learning takes place when the student is allowed to be hands on, and to participate in the actual treatment of patients.
One of the most valuable insights into practicing physical therapy that Jeff has been privy to is the realization that no two patients are alike. Every patient will have his or her own personality, medical history, anatomy and will. Understanding and appreciating that a patient’s perception of their own pain is a heavy factor in the plan of care will help make Jeff a more intuitive and effective PTA.
This spring, WSPT was fortunate to have a dedicated team of student interns working in our office. Our goal was to provide them with real-world experience, and we asked them to work on various projects surrounding our annual Arthritis Walk. We sought to educate them on the disease, on the treatments, and on the ways WSPT works to help patients with arthritis in and out of our office.
Omwattie Sukhraj, 17, was surprised to learn about the scope of arthritis. “While working on the project, I learned that absolutely anybody can be affected with arthritis,” she said. “The most surprising piece of information I found out was that many young adults and infants are diagnosed with the disease.”
Omwattie currently attends the High School of Medical Science and hopes to one day be a pediatrician. Her experience at WSPT has taught her a lot about “the joints, the human body and the way healthy lifestyles are made.”
Another intern, Babita Buddy, 16, also felt her internship helped her gain experience in a professional atmosphere and in the medical field. “My plan for the future is to work in the medical field helping patients in the hospital. My experience at WSPT influenced my plans even more because it exposed to an environment similar to a hospital, where there are patients,” she said.
Sonia Seeteram worked with Babita and Omwattie, and tried to make the most of her time here. “Working in the office gave me insight into both the business world and the medical world as well,” Sonia explained. “This project taught me how to work with other students, how to be a leader, and gain support from my community.”
For more information on becoming a WSPT intern...