Hometown:

St. Louis, MO

Major:

Physical Therapy

nikkeiaWhy did you want to be a PT?
I like to believe that I did not choose PT but PT chose me. I always wanted to be a doctor, even as a young child. However, when I chose not to attend medical school following my undergraduate education, I thought that I would never achieve that goal. When I got a job as a PT tech at a privately owned outpatient clinic in St. Louis, I fell in love with the profession. I enjoyed every aspect of this career from the quality care that is provided, the relationships and trust therapists must build with each patient, and the knowledge that is constantly being acquired while practicing as a physical therapist.

Why did you choose Mizzou PT?
There were three things that I was looking for while deciding what school to attend for PT:

  • The school needed to be close to home (St. Louis) so that I could be available to my parents if they were to ever need me, or just to have a good home-cooked meal whenever I needed to get away.
  • Affordable: Secondary education is not a cheap expense. I was fortunate enough to have made it through undergrad with the help of my family and scholarships. As a graduate student, I knew that all of those expenses would fall on me. I wanted to make sure that I went somewhere that offered a phenomenal education but would not leave me drowning in debt by the time I crossed that stage at graduation.
  • I wanted to attend an institution that felt like home away from home; where your professors and classmates where like your family; where it wasn’t enough just to see you make it to graduation day three years later but for everyone to genuinely want to see you thrive in this profession and make a difference in people’s lives.

Mizzou exceeded all of my expectations. I had heard great things about the program before I applied, but my moment of absolute certainty that this was the school for me came the day I showed up for my interview. I instantly felt welcomed when walked through those doors. The professors conducting the interviews made me feel relaxed and comfortable. It was apparent during my conversations with some of students that they absolutely love this program, and I wanted to be a part of that… I had to be a part of that.

 What has been your favorite class?

Gross anatomy. I believe that the human body is amazing in all of its complexity. I am so grateful to those who donate their bodies so that students like me are able to learn from them. I loved it so much that I later became a teacher’s assistant (TA) for the course for the new first-year students.

What was your favorite clinical experience and why?
Every moment I get to have with a patient is a great one. It is during that time I am able to apply what I have learned throughout the semester to an actual patient and also learn from each individual person what a text book can’t provide. I enjoyed my acute and outpatient clinicals tremendously. The clinical instructors to whom I was assigned did a fantastic job of helping perfect my clinical skills and teaching me as much as possible in the short timeframe allowed to work with them.

What are your career goals?
I plan to practice in St. Louis Mo. and provide great care as a physical therapist to every patient. My dreams are to be happy and to continue to love what I do.

How will Mizzou PT help you meet those goals?
Mizzou PT will provide all the necessary tools I need to be a great therapist such as how to demonstrate professionalism, show compassion towards my patients and their families, demonstrate excellence in all that I do, and be accountable for my actions and decisions.

I also have had the pleasure of working with PhysZou Physical Therapy as one of the directors and as a student therapist. Our clinic provides PT services to underserved populations. Students get to work closely with their professors and other practicing clinicians to treat people in the community and give back to those in need. It has been nothing short of a blessing that we have been able to grow what started off as a dream of several previous PT students into what it is now. I am just overjoyed that I have had the opportunity to be a part of it.