Here is my story…..

Natalia Frazee - New Career: Physical TherapyI am a PTA here at Total Health Systems. I graduated from Macomb Community College. I have been happily married for almost 15 years to a wonderful man and have 3 cats. Like many people of today, I was not sure what career path to choose. I like math and like to work with numbers. I was working in accounting doing accounts payable for most of my life. But I did not have a degree and work was hard to find in this economy. I struggled for 10 years going from job to job and not finding any fulfillment or satisfaction with what I was doing or a feeling that I made a difference.

Then the last place I worked at in accounting everyone lost their jobs because the work was sent overseas. Well that was kind of a hard time in my life because I could not find any job and we ended up losing everything and basically had to start over. I decided to make the best of things and try to turn my life around and start a new career. Both my mom, and my husband have always been very supportive of me and they said that maybe I should go back to school and get my degree. But what should I choose?  They felt that probably something in the medical field would be best, my mom mentioned going into nursing, but that did not really appeal to me.  But I started exploring different medical career options to see if there was one that caught my interest.

Well about 4 years ago my husband was injured at work. He works in a warehouse in shipping and receiving loading semi trucks with heavy appliances and furniture. He slipped and tore his ACL in his knee. He had to have surgery and I had to take care of him and drive him to his physical therapy appointments. So I went with him and was very interested in his care plan.  The therapists he worked with were so very nice and friendly and just made you feel so comfortable and relaxed and answered all of our questions. I told my husband that everyone there just seemed so “happy” at their job and really enjoyed what they were doing.

Around the same time, my friend Karen graduated from the PTA program at Macomb and she really liked it and was very excited about her new career. She knew of our difficult situation and told me that maybe I should look into going into physical therapy.

So I thought about it and decided that I wanted to make a difference and help people in their time of need. I have always considered myself to be a caring and compassionate person. So I looked into the PTA program at Macomb. At first I was kind of apprehensive about beginning a new career because it was so different from what I was used to. I had doubts about myself wondering if I would be able to pass. I have been out of school for 20 years and it would be so hard going back.

But I decided that it was the right thing for me to do and just jumped right on board. At times it was very difficult, but that just made me work even harder. I like challenge and tried to see the bigger picture of things. When I first started the program I did not know anything about anatomy or muscles so it was a great learning experience for me.

It was very hard trying to juggle everything around my schooling and trying to find time to study. But my husband was very supportive and helped me with my studies. I also made some friends at school and formed some study groups.

I had a few problems at first because I am a very shy person, so it was very hard for me to break out of my shell and actually work on people but I was very excited whenever I would learn something new. I could not wait to come home and tell my husband what I learned.

The last year of the program was the hardest. That is when we had our clinical rotations. But it was interesting to see how what we learned in school works out in the real world. I had a wide variety of rotations including working with geriatric population, orthopedics, and some vestibular problems too.

As you work with the patients you tend to bond with them and form a relationship with them. But the greatest feeling in the world is seeing how you have helped them and what a difference you made in their life. When they come to you, they are desperate and in pain and may be unable to function with daily activities. But by working with them and seeing the progress you helped them get through, and seeing them smile again it just makes it all worth it.

This is my first job of employment as a PTA after graduation. But I really like the patient approach that they have here at Total Health Systems. They put the patient first and that is very important to me. I look forward to learning and growing with this company.