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March Spotlight: Kelsey, Clinical Manager/PT

Through our Monthly Spotlight Series, we are taking the time to highlight the staff at KidsCare Home Health. Whether you’re an aspiring therapist or current therapist looking for your next big move, we hope you gain inspiration and valuable advice from these successful individuals and their stories.

This month we were excited to interview, Kelsey, Clinical Manager/Physical Therapist at KidsCare Home Health.

Where did you grow-up and what is special about your hometown?
I grew up in a small, small town right outside Joplin, Missouri. Joplin is known for a few things: spaghetti red, Route 66, and tornadoes.

Where did you go to school for college?
I attended Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri where I played 4 years of varsity tennis and got a B.S. in Biology. I attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska for my Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Why did you decide to become a physical therapist?
I decided to become a physical therapist after almost solely observing a pediatric physical therapist (with a little forced ortho and acute observations.) I discovered pediatric PT while working in a hospital lab. The lab was right down the hall from the peds gym and I would see the PT working with kids on tricycle riding in the hallway. I started observing her every hour I wasn’t working and applied to PT school that fall.

What is your favorite thing about working in pediatric physical therapy?
The kids are my favorite part of my job. Every day is new and challenging for different reasons, and this keeps me on my toes and constantly engaged. The kids motivate me to be a better physical therapist– to research and learn when new challenges/situations arise. Sure…there are some days that are hard, but the first time a kiddo walks or jumps and they light up makes all the hard days worth it.

When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?
In my not-working time, I really enjoy hiking, biking, and camping in the mountains.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement has honestly been preparing PT students for their future careers. All of my hard work in undergrad and grad school combined with all my years of experience in the field are all used for preparing the next generation of clinicians. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a former student is now a successful clinician.

What is the best advice you’ve received for your career?
The best advice anyone every told me about pediatric physical therapy is: “Every day will be wildly different than the day before.” And I think that’s so true with kids. You have to always be on your game to figure out what will work from day to day. It is dynamic and every-changing which is why I love it and find it engaging day after day and week after week.

How do you make pediatric physical therapy fun?
I strive to make sessions as fun as possible because the things we work on are physically tough for kids. I am always as silly as possible. If you are having fun, chances are the kids are having a good time as well. The hard part is finding out what motivates each individual kid.

What advice would you share with someone looking to become a physical therapist?
I would highly encourage anyone thinking about a physical therapy career to SHADOW and OBSERVE as much as possible. There are so many areas and niches to PT that I didn’t even know about before sitting in PT school. Really check out all the areas and find what fits best for you!

What is the best part of working at KidsCare?
I picked KidsCare specifically because of how ethical and moralistic KidsCare as a company is. Those values were key for me to feel comfortable enough to stay long-term. I care deeply for each of my kids and their families, and I love that I can trust my managers to always do the right thing for me as a clinician and for any family I work with, not just what is best for the bottom line.

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