Admissions, Physical Therapy

Knocking out Prerequisites for PT School

Those micro failures were SUPER SUPER important.
– Gary Vaynerchuck

Fall 2016 Final Grades:
Chem 2……………………………………………………B
Chem 2 Lab…………………………………………….A
Physics 1…………………………………………………B
Physics 1 Lab………………………………………….A
Human Growth & Development…………..A

This semester was the hardest semester EVER. In the past, I have taken Chem 2, but I was immature, and had no ultimate goal in life. I ended up failing Chem 2 (among other classes) & so when I realized how much I wanted to be a physical therapist (AKA the first day I shadowed one), I looked up all the requirements & found out that Chemistry, my arch nemesis, my Voldemort, my Regina George, was on the list… And I was totally fine with it because that’s how excited I was about PT!

[HESITANT STUDENTS:] Even if it has been years since you’ve taken Chem 1, go ahead & take Chem 2. It CAN be done! I took Chem 1 six years ago & made it happen. I had to relearn a lot of basics (including things as simple as scientific notation & basic algebra!), but YouTube and Khan Academy got me through. Seriously, jump right in & you won’t regret it.


Hermione: I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed – or worse, expelled.
Ron: She needs to sort out her priorities.
– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Besides classes, I did observation hours one full day every week. Those were always fun days :)) I wanted to do more than one day, but my main priority this semester was getting good grades, so I resisted.

Another priority this semester was my family, especially because I knew I would be moving clear across the country in mid-December (Ahhh so soon!!). So I made sure to frequently visit with my mom, sister, dad, and friends in the area. They are all within 3 hours of where I live so it took a lot of time & travel, but was worth it.

Observation Hours Update:

Since September, I’ve observed in an inpatient setting at the hospital. I’ve seen a whole new side of physical therapy – and I now understand why most schools require you to do some inpatient hours. It’s a completely different world – a completely different job! Every day is literally a life-or-death situation for some patients. Talk about responsibility. Talk about a reason to pay attention in class. I have seen a lot of post-surgery knee & hip replacement patients, & will see more of these on my last day before my move next week.

[FUN FACT] PT’s and PTA’s who work in the hospital not only know about muscles & biomechanics & mobility, but also details like oxygen levels, blood pressure, and risks of blood clots. They’re constantly running all over the hospital to work with patients at certain times depending on when the patient took their pain medicine. I was surprised just how active the job is!

This is a big week. I’ve got observation hours, family, babysitting, my sister’s college graduation, & tying up loose ends before I leave. It’s weird to be in this moment & realize how big of a transition I’m going through. What I’m feeling is: READY. I feel capable & ready to take on the next step in becoming a top contender for PT school :))

I’m off to do like my 5th face mask since finals & settle in with a hot cup of ginger tea on this lazy, blissful night.

P.S. Plank Challenge coming SO soon!

I’m curious how you guys are going to transition into the new year!
In these 19 final days of December, do you feel ready for 2017?
How do you prepare for the new year?
What are you working on before it gets here?
Lmk in the comments :))

I play all day on Snap & Twitter!
Come say hi :))

TWITTER: @ptcontender
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76 thoughts on “Knocking out Prerequisites for PT School

  1. It’s really great that you have a goal that motivates you, and you like the job you are aiming for! When it comes to life and death, we also have physio’s doing chest physio on people at risk of pneumonia, either post op or due to underlying lung disease. It can make this difference between someone needing intensive care or not (and in the UK ICU beds are scarce – elective surgery often gets cancelled because we don’t have an ICU bed for someone). Enjoy your Christmas break and rest up ready for a renewed effort next term! And congratulations On your grades!

    1. Woah! I don’t know a lot about how healthcare works here, and have never really thought about the scarcity of hospital beds before. That’s definitely a huge deal & makes me want to learn more about how it all works here in the US and also the UK. Thank you for giving me something to think about, for reading, for your kind words :)) I am taking your advice on the resting up!

    2. Awesome mindset and good advice to other students!

      As for how I’m getting ready for 2017, I think my wife and I may be doing another Whole30, but that hasn’t been fully planned out yet. She wants to, and I sort of almost kind of want to… I don’t feel like I’m out of control or needing to readjust anything, but if she wants to do it, I’ll support her by doing it with her. Otherwise, I’m motivated to continue with my running and adding more strength training into my regiment. Professionally, I am looking to learn a whole new content management system to be better at my job. As for personally, I continue to work on making more contact with distant family. I feel like time slips away too much and I don’t talk to them enough. Then again, phones and email work both ways…

      1. Thanks for reading, EJ! Lol I found out your name through your wife’s awesome paleo blog :))
        Glad to hear you would do the whole30 with her if she wanted to! It would probably make it more difficult for her to stick to if you werent on board. Made me laugh when you said ‘sort of almost kind of want to’ :))

        And it’s so cool that you have professional goals too! I don’t hear a lot about people who are constantly learning for work. Also, distant family is really hard to keep in touch with — especially the ones who dont text. I talk to the ones who text about 10 times more!

  2. Nice job on the grades!! I worked in a hospital for years very closely with PT and they def have a busy job coordinating pain med schedules and discharge schedules. We would always call down to say I just gave so and so pain meds we’ll be ready for you in 30 mins and hope the scheduling worked out 🙂

    1. Thank you!! Oh, its cool to hear about another perspective from you at the hospital :)) They are constantly being called over the intercom & one thing that really surprised me is that there’s usuallySo only one PT and 2 PTAs — so not a big team for the entire hospital. Loving your snap stories btw :))

      1. Yea you definitely get an appreciation for how much of a team has to come together in a hospital and yea there was never more than 1 or 2 PTs on at a time. Crazy busy i bet! Hahaha thanks, all 20 a day :-p yours are pretty awesome as well!! 🙂

  3. Well done Jess!! You have had such a busy time but looks like it has been worth it! Loved reading your update and good luck on your move 🙂 we can’t quite believe how quickly this year has gone and how is it already Christmas next weeek 🙊December isn’t long enough! We feel ready for 2017 we have written a list of goals to achieve in 2017 and have hidden them away until next December! 😊

    1. You guys are always so sweet! Thank you for reading & all the encouraging words :)) & I know — 2016 FLEW by! Oh, and I’m sure you’ll meet your goals bc you two love what you do & aren’t afraid to put yourselves out there 😉💕

  4. Uhm, I will be the negative nancy and say.. I wish you would just stick with exercise science.. like me .. and then we could talk about it always 😀
    but since you are not, nothing positive.. nothing positive.. lol.

      1. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. One big happy family we are. Pft. lol.
        I still much rather discuss exercise science 😀 – because I am bias (even if I was a PT student) that is the past! I need more exercise science friends in the blog world, I am starting to feel like I am the only one.. >.< everyone is moving on to bigger things in the field of health. BOOOOOO!

  5. ah i remember taking all those courses back in the day….but I most certainly DO NOT MISS IT one bit lol Labs were my worst enemy but I did love experiments, it was the after math of reporting them that drove me up the wall. Guess we all need to get through it though for that diploma at the end 🙂

    xo, JJ

        1. Oh Wow, that is awesome advice…I have not done that yet, but now it is definitely my plan! Soon I am moving near University of North Dakota, so I will make every effort to get to know professors in the PT dept. Thank you so much for your help! If there is anything I can ever do to help you out somehow, please lmk!

    1. Hey, Judy, thank you! I agree – moving is a lot of little things that you have to do before you do the actual moving! Not a fun process, but I’m pretty excited about living somewhere completely different from the South where I grew up :))
      Also, glad we both got out of physics alive lol

  6. Congrats on not giving up in chemistry! 🙂 I didn’t realize that the PT life was so active. I somehow always just imagined a slow paced day. You learn something new everyday. 🙂 Where are you moving to? 🙂

  7. Hi Jess!

    Wow that was a strenuous academic schedule you had! Great job on getting such great grades. I admire you for facing your arch nemesis and succeeding!!! It is amazing how being purposeful can provide the right amount of motivation necessary to overcome the obstacles that get in the way.

    I bet it would be really interesting and exciting to work in a hospital setting. A couple years ago I helped my friends mother recover from a double knee replacement. That is such a demanding surgery! I could tell that her rehab facility was essential to her healing. Her physical therapist worked with her 3 times a day. It was challenging and painful, but she did it and was able to recover well and also within months. She had a friend who had the same surgery, but got assigned to a facility that did not do as much pt and a year later she was still struggling with healing.

    You are training to make such a beautiful difference in so many peoples lives!!! Xoxoxo.

    <3 Alana

    1. Awww Alana, you’re so Awesome! Thank you for all the support all the time :)) youre so right — having a purpose & focusing on it has made all the difference!
      It’s crazy how different patients heal differently and how big of a deal it can be if they skip out on prescribed exercises! Glad to hear that her mom recovered well :)) she must have done all her homework/prescribed exercises. It’s still amazing to me that a prescription from a PT is exercise.
      Have a good weekend! ❤

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