I use my PT training to help my community

By Chelsea Barron, Student, Department of Physical Therapy

Chelsea Web

Movement is freedom: That’s a truth I have encountered many times in life.

It was true when a back injury sidelined me from my high school soccer team and I watched in agony as my teammates competed without me.

It was true when a woman in the fitness class I taught transformed her sedentary lifestyle into a healthy, active one and become a fitness instructor herself.

And it was true when an elderly woman I met through a fall prevention program felt confident enough in her balance to take a morning walk again.

Experiences like these motivate me – and my classmates – as we study physical therapy at UNT Health Science Center. Our goal is to one day use our skills and knowledge to help people recapture and maintain their freedom to move.

Actually, we already do this in our community, though many people don’t realize it.

UNTHSC physical therapy students participate in A Matter of Balance, an award-winning program in Tarrant County that teaches people over 60 exercises that increase strength, flexibility and balance and reduce their fear of falling.

Some of us perform fall risk screenings tests on older people at the Senior Synergy Expo. Our tests allow us to determine who is at statistical risk of falling – even if they haven’t fallen yet – and discuss the results and share prevention tips.

Some of us teach yoga to children at Como Elementary School and assemble healthy food kits at Tarrant Area Food Bank. Many of us volunteer at Joe’s Run, the race that benefits Samaritan House. PT students do health screenings at the Cowtown Expo and help families impacted by domestic violence at Safe Haven of Tarrant County.

Often we don’t appreciate the freedom of movement until we lose it to injury or illness. Sometimes the loss of movement is slow. We just move less and less until suddenly we can move no more.

What does it mean to regain that movement? It means a high school soccer player is free to run back onto the field. It means a previously unhealthy woman is free to teach a fitness class. It means an elderly woman is free to take a walk on a sunny morning.

My classmates and I are committed to keeping you free.

***

Chelsea Barron is a 2nd-year physical therapy student and former UNTHSC Assistant Director of Health Promotion.

Recent News

Dr. John Licciardone
  • Our People
|Nov 30, 2022

Key study results from HSC’s PRECISION Pain Research Registry published in JAMA Network Open

The Journal of the American Medical Association – Network Open has published findings from a recent HSC study about chronic lower back pain, race and the patient-physician relationship. The study revealed that Black patients reported worse outcomes for low back pain intensity and back-related d...
Ram flyer
  • Community
|Nov 23, 2022

Free pop-up medical, vision and dental clinic is just a week away

  The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Remote Area Medical – RAM® — a nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics that delivers free quality dental, vision and medical care to those in need — are bringing the free health care clinic to Dallas on Dec. 3 and 4....
Mathis, Borjas, Luna Smith Hsc Teaching Chair
  • Community
|Nov 18, 2022

HSC partners with Fort Worth ISD to honor outstanding science teacher 

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is committed to supporting science and health education for students at all levels of their academic journeys.  Since last year, HSC has sponsored Fort Worth Independent School District’s Chair for Teaching Excellence in Seconda...
Dr. Sid O'Bryant
  • Research
|Nov 14, 2022

Key study results from HSC’s Institute for Translational Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

Findings from a recent study by the team at the Institute for Translational Research led by Dr. Sid O’Bryant at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth have been published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The article, “Characterization of Mild Cognitive Impairme...