The American Physical Therapy Association declares the vision of the physical therapy profession as “transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” The movement system is complex and includes various conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and integumentary systems and their complex interaction that allows kids and teens to experience their environment and actively participate in the activities they enjoy.
How do physical therapists play into this at CHOC? You may see them addressing a wound care plan, educating a family on developmental play activities after an open- heart surgery, teaching a patient how to use crutches after surgery, helping a child balance and coordinate a multi-step task after brain surgery, or progressing the endurance and strength of a child on chemotherapy. Most of all, you will see them educating CHOC families on self-empowerment and independence.
From working with neonates who are learning to self-regulate, to high school athletes hoping to return to their sports after injuries, CHOC’s physical therapists are involved in improving quality of life for our patients and families.
Meet Amanda Traylor, a pediatric physical therapist at CHOC.
Q: What aspect of pediatric physical therapy are you most passionate about?
A: I love working with kids, and we get to work with a diverse age range. I also enjoy the multi-disciplinary collaboration of the rehabilitation department, which includes not only physical therapy, but also occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and developmental therapy.
Q: What inspires you most about the care being delivered at CHOC?
A: I am inspired by the constant striving of the care team to provide the best evidenced-based practice for our patients and families. Our staff is so involved in our community with different events, education opportunities, and training of future professionals; we really make an impact on Orange County.
Q: What have you learned from your patients?
A: My patients have taught me to focus on what is important and meaningful. Being a part of the medical field, we often establish a plan of care and goals based off the impairments we see, but ultimately it always comes down to what is meaningful for the patient and their family.
Q: What, if anything, surprised you when you became a pediatric physical therapist?
A: We don’t just treat the child; we treat the whole family. The families are truly our backbones for patient care.