Advanced Practice PT September 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019 | 406-770-3171


If you’ve been to our office, this is probably the second time you’ve “met” me. As the secretary, I’m the first face our patients see, and I love getting to be their first hello on each visit. If I remember your name and a little bit about you, it’s a mission accomplished. If not, don’t hesitate to fill me in. I like to make everyone feel welcome, and sometimes, learning about you means sharing a little bit about myself, too. My life here in Great Falls isn’t the one I once imagined, but, I’ve got to say, I’m happy with the way things turned out. When I was in college, I wanted to major in journalism, but the classes didn’t hold my interest. I left with an associate’s and no real direction. Then I got a job making service awards at a factory in Utah and never looked back. If you think the jump from a jewelry factory to PT office secretary is a big one, you’re right. To make things even more complicated, between those two jobs, I worked as a stay-at-home mom and in a plasma donation center, scheduling patients, and drawing blood. I like to say that what I do at Advanced Practice PT is pretty much what I did at my last job — without all of the bodily fluids. My job at the ring factory, which makes all of the athletes' rings for the Olympics, was one of the most

interesting I’ve had, even though I didn’t love it at the time. It was dirty and messy, but it was pretty cool to see a chunk of metal turn into something beautiful. I stuck it out for 14 years until I met a Montana boy who swept me off my feet and into Big Sky Country. When my now-husband, Clint, was trying to convince me to move to Montana in 2000, he showed me all the good stuff. It was summertime, so the weather was warm, and he took me to a beautiful river and Sluice Boxes State Park. It didn’t take much to convince me, and I was happy to make the move, until that first winter rolled around. I was stunned to see the Missouri River freeze over, and I told Clint, “I hate you!” Somehow, I got through it, and these days I consider Montana home. After spending a few years as a stay- at-home mom to my daughter, Hallie, I went back to work in 2004, this time at the plasma donation center. During my seven years there, I worked my way up from answering phone calls to supervising the medical history department. One day, the company decided to clean house and got rid of every manager, assistant manager, and supervisor in one fell swoop. I’m not a person who gets fired, and I was totally devastated by the news. But in the end,

what happened was a good thing; it led me to Advanced Practice PT.

Within hours of losing my job, Clint mentioned to the woman whose house he was building that I was looking for work. It turned out she was one of the owners of Advanced Practice PT, which was getting ready to open. I sent in a resume and got the position in just 10 days. It was a quick turnaround from totally devastated to totally lucky, and I’ve been here ever since. I handle insurance and scheduling, but really, my job, like all the others I’ve had in one way or another, begins and ends with customer service. I try to make every patient feel welcome. I ask them about their latest vacations, and they ask me when I’ll be putting Halloween’s on the way!) Sometimes, I get to know them so well that when they’re discharged, I feel like I’m losing a friend. That’s when I know I’ve done something right. up the latest upcycled holiday decorations. (Don’t panic, guys.

–Leslie Larsen

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