Kent Keyser’s Visit

Physical therapy school teaches us basic skills with the intent that we will seek mentorship and learning opportunities throughout our career to advance our techniques. Whether you have been working for 2 months or 20 years, there is always more to learn! One of the things physical therapists love about the profession is that the opportunities for professional growth are endless, whether taking a weekend continuing education class, joining a residency program, studying recent research, instructing a student, or seeking mentorship from a more experienced colleague.

Kent Keyser is one of the most skilled physical therapists in our profession, so of course all of the physical therapists at Body Gears were excited to be mentored by one of the best. There were several points I took away from treating patients alongside Kent. What set his treatment apart was that he used both basic and advanced assessments, then adjusted the treatment to specifically address the exact cause of the dysfunction. He taught how to treat the exact point of scar tissue constricting a lumbar nerve root, the exact spinal segment that was unstable when moving into rotation with slight side bending, or the specific point of a rib that was compressed and causing the patient’s pain. Kent also had the amazing ability to share his knowledge with both patients and physical therapists, and to explain it in a way that it was logical and reproducible. I learned a tremendous amount of information and techniques during Kent’s visit. By the end of the day, my perception of the breath and depth of the physical therapy profession had grown from the size of a shoebox to the size of a galaxy.

Physical therapists who pursue learning opportunities also improve the perception of the profession. Continued learning hones our skills so that patients recover better and faster. After learning a new skill, there are two essential actions that we must take. The first action is that we must practice the skill over and over again so that we can master the technique and apply it to various patient populations. The second action is that we must talk about what we have learned – to patients, colleagues, physicians, referral sources, friends, neighbors – so that we change the perception that a physical therapist only receives 2 to 3 years of professional education to that physical therapists belong to a profession that seeks lifelong learning.

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