Therapydia Denver physical therapist Jessica Dietz, PT, DPT, takes some time to talk about her own experience with a torn ACL, the importance of regular physical activity, and sriracha.
When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?
Since freshman year of high school after I tore my ACL. I had wonderful rehab/therapists, enjoyed the activeness of the job, and overall interacting with patients. It wasn’t until a personal experience in college when I helped my dad rehab after an unexpected stroke that I became more interested in neurorehab.
What surprised you the most about the physical therapy profession?
The reality of holistic care. I strongly believe that in order to be a great therapist you need to understand, treat, and respect all aspects of your patient.
How do you like to stay active?
Anything outdoors! I love trail running, hiking, skiing, playing tennis, gardening, etc.
What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?
Changes in healthcare that are primarily dictated by insurance companies. Especially the limitations towards shorter plans of care and fewer numbers of visits.
What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?
“Feel Good” by Neon Trees. It’s a song and band with an 80s vibe. You can’t help but dance when you hear it!
Are you currently pursuing any further education or certifications?
I just recently took my certification exam for becoming a neurologic specialist. Next up, I am hoping to pursue further training in NDT (a specific manual facilitation technique) and LSVT BIG/PWRI for Parkinson’s Disease.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Open-face egg sandwich with sriracha. Sriracha is a condiment that goes on anything! 🙂
What do you wish everyone knew about PT?
To be successful with physical therapy, it is a collaboration between both the therapist and the patient. There will be skills, techniques, and education that will learn during therapy sessions but doing things like your home exercise program and performing regular physical activity is equally as important. Also, the power of regular bouts of therapy throughout a lifetime is best for prevention and identifying things before they become a problem.
In your opinion, what is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?
Good communication and being compassionate.
What do you do to de-stress/unwind?
Running, doing art projects, and cuddling with my three dogs (lab, rescue mutt, and English bulldog).
Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…
Trail running, hiking with my dogs, or sleeping in.
What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?
Wellness is a life-long commitment where physical activity is an important piece of the puzzle. Staying active is linked to improved mood, mental health, cognition, and overall quality of life as well as reducing risk factors for serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke.