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Mike: If you find, you know, you
love the sciences and you love sports,
physical therapy is a great combination of both.
Janette: In the beginning of the day, we come in, get our patient lists
and go throughout the hospital and we see a large variety of patients and do anything from getting them walking again, getting them in and out of bed, getting them into a chair,
doing exercises with them. We want to have the patient be as functional as possible before they go home. Mike: A typical day in the office for me is actually really fun.
I don't have to sit at a computer all day. I actually
get to work with my patients, almost doing, like, fitness with them, just to
get them better. I have the honor and the privilege of working with these wounded warriors
and they come in with different injuries. A lot of them come in with amputations
to their legs or to their arms. So my job is to help them
learn how to walk again; learn how to do activities
that they used to do on a normal daily basis that they can't do right now. For example,
walking or running.
So to challenge their balance a little bit, we put them on foam pads and have them
walk on uneven surfaces. And that's just gonna help them
walk better on a harder surface.
Cedric: I can see, but I can't feel. So now that's kinda like the trade off I have now.
I can see it, but it does me no good because I can't really feel, I can't make those adjustments.
Mike: And then the last exercise we did was a seated balance football toss. It's for
them to get again, a core workout, working on their abdominal
but it's also to add some fun.
Barri: GAIT is
basically you're walking pattern.
What we do here primarily is evaluate people's walking patterns. We have a
that sees reflective markers. The reflective markers are placed
essentially from head to toe on the patient.
What that does is it creates a stick figure on our computer monitor.
That gives us our raw data.
We review the data with the patient
and the information we get
is all about the time distance aspects of their walking
So how fast they walk,
how wide apart their feet are, how long their steps are.
Some people have likened it to a Wii on steroids. It's a virtual environment,
where the patient can either drive a scene,
meaning, or interact with a scene.
The problem is we make it difficult. We can add waves and motion to the platform. So
it makes it challenging on your balance
and it's really kind of a fun way
to get to do your rehab.
Mike: I'd like to say I have the best job in the world, to be honest with you.
To come in everyday and play
and to see the smiles on these guys faces. To see where they started and to see where
they end up,
it's just so exciting.
Narrator: For more information about Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,
Learn more about going to a physical therapist at KidsHealth.org/kid
And to see more videos about other jobs, visit Kids.gov