The Monday Memo
January 20, 2014 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Beep. Beep. Beep. My alarm goes off. It’s 6:30 AM. Still pitch black outside. I make small movements to wake my body up. I get out of bed, eat breakfast, get dressed, and pack my lunch. You would think I’m getting ready for a long day of classes, but instead I’m getting ready for a full day of skiing. It’s Saturday morning.
The Three Rivers Adaptive Sports (TRAS) skiing program is well underway for this season. Each weekend, on either Saturday or Sunday, a few of my classmates and I volunteer to help the adaptive skiers at Hidden Valley or Seven Springs. There are a wide range of skiers-from children to middle-aged adults. Some have never skied before while others have been at the sport for 18 years. Diagnoses include spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy to name a few.
My classmates and I enjoy this fun activity outside of our studies, but this program is very relevant to physical therapy. As volunteers with other local physical therapy and occupational therapy students as well as Doctors of Physical Therapy, we transfer the skier from wheelchair to ski-device (bi-unique or monoski usually) and from ski-device to wheelchair. When we strap in the skier, we need to keep in mind the location of catheters, colostomy bags, etc. We demonstrate proper body mechanics when we lift the skier onto the lift chair, with the help of the ski instructor. We have fun on the slopes all while watching other skiers and snowboarders to make sure they steer clear of the adaptive skier. I love when I get to the bottom of the hill and can admire the big smile on the skier’s face.
As physical therapists, we will serve the people of our community to help them return to sports and their prior level of functioning. Volunteering with the TRAS skiing program has opened the doors for me and my classmates to help the people in the community while we’re still students of physical therapy. After two weeks of volunteering with the program, I’m confident the skills we are learning will carry over into our professional careers in the future.
When 6 PM rolls around on Saturday evening, I’m sitting on my comfy couch, legs propped up, reflecting on the rewarding, exciting, and calorie-burning day. I won’t be able to stay awake for much longer, so I check my phone: no alarms are set for tomorrow morning.
Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events
Social Media Updates
- PT Pub Night – Join us Thursday, January 23 for Pittsburgh’s first PT Pub Night at Fat Heads Saloon in the South Side!
- #DPTstudent – WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST! Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
- Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
- Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
- #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)