Snyder Physical Therapy - February 2020






This month, I’m so excited to turn the focus to my amazing teammate and the other physical therapist at Snyder PT, Jessica Lentz. After getting her undergraduate degree in sports medicine and working as an athletic trainer, Jessica returned to school and earned her doctorate in physical therapy. Her exceptional clinical skills, combined with the care and compassion she shows each patient, made her an excellent fit for our team. Here’s more in Jessica’s words about her journey to becoming a PT and what she loves about her role. –Brandon Snyder Being a physical therapist is the perfect job for me. It’s amazing to get to treat people and see their journey. I get to work with patients from 1 year old to 97 years old, and seeing each person advance through the stages of recovery is incredible. I tell patients all the time, “You don’t realize what you can do until you can’t do it.” For a lot of the aging population, and anyone for that matter, not being able to do simple activities — like driving or walking up and down stairs — can be life-changing. My first job out of college was working as an athletic trainer. I was at a Division I school, and I saw a lot of great athletic talent. I also got to see athletes go from getting injured, through the stages of recovery, and back to playing their sport. One athlete tore her ACL during volleyball practice. I witnessed

her journey from that day at practice all the way to the operating room, through surgery, and to the following year when she played at the national championships. Being part of that journey is what drives me as a physical therapist. I get to know people , not just their injury or pain. I have a lot more one-on-one time with patients, so I get to build a relationship with them. Originally, I was interested in orthopedics, and I studied sports medicine. As an undergrad, I was an intern for Penn State’s ortho clinic and worked under one of the lead physical therapists there. So not only did I see athletes in the athletic training room but in the physical therapy clinic, too. It wasn’t until my grandfather suffered a fall and fractured his hip that I saw the full scope of physical therapy. His injury really limited him — he couldn’t drive or even walk anymore. He and my grandma had been avid walkers before that. To see what he went through and the challenges both my grandparents faced as they got older made me really think about what I wanted to do in my career. After observing my grandfather’s experience, I became interested in getting people back to doing what they love. Although I loved sports medicine, I realized I didn’t want to limit myself; I wanted to work with different populations. Over the next

three years, I went back to school for physical therapy, working during the week and doing my doctorate program on the weekends. I knew Brandon while working as an athletic trainer, and he’s always been supportive and encouraging of my career. When the opportunity came up to work with such a fun, caring, compassionate, and extremely wonderful group of professionals, I couldn't pass it up. We make a great team. I’m from Schuylkill County, so it’s also great to be closer to home and treat local patients. Growing up, I was always involved in sports, including gymnastics and basketball. I ran the Philly marathon, though these days, most of my energy is spent chasing around my 2-year-old. I just love being active, so it’s a joy for me to help others find the motivation to do the same. Being a physical therapist is the perfect fit for me.

–Jessica Lentz

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