HomepageAlumniLessons in the Ursinus Classroom Yield Successful Mindset While Working With COVID-19 Patients

Lessons in the Ursinus Classroom Yield Successful Mindset While Working With COVID-19 Patients

Jess Hill ’16

During my years of playing lacrosse, from the third grade up through college, I developed a passion for exercise, movement, and the human body. This led me to the career of physical therapy and, a few months after graduating from Ursinus, I entered a doctorate program at Drexel University. My degree in health and exercise physiology, minor in human performance assessment, and research experience in the HEART Lab had me well prepared to handle graduate-level coursework.

The academic rigor of Ursinus provided a great foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills that proved to be integral to my success in physical therapy school. Furthermore, being a student-athlete refined my leadership ability and taught me perseverance, key assets that I use day in and day out.

Fast forward a few years and I am now an acute care physical therapist at Lankenau Medical Center. I treat and mobilize patients with a variety of diagnoses and varying levels of medical complexity, from the general medical/surgical floors, up to the trauma, cardiac, and intensive care units. Each day I am granted the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the physical function and quality of life for my patients. I love what I do and I am fortunate to work in an environment that fosters ongoing learning and development.

It is the curious, yet flexible and reflective mindset that was cultivated during my time at Ursinus that allows me to adjust to ongoing changes and embrace the daily challenges that arise in the hospital setting; the most notable being the COVID-19 pandemic. I have worked with patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from the start and have adapted and re-adapted as evidence emerged and treatment strategies changed. It has been humbling to see first-hand the effects of the virus on patients and on health systems, and I look forward to a future where fewer people are suffering behind closed hospital doors.

jess hill '16

In closing, I would not be the person or the physical therapist I am today without Ursinus. I am forever grateful for the many lessons learned in the classroom and on the field that pushed me to the limit and allowed me to grow. Ursinus has also given me life-long friendships and a network of support, which is valuable beyond measure.

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