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SHS junior interns at Valir Physical Therapy

Elisabeth Slay
Shawnee High School junior Hallie Wilson observing a session during her internship at Valir Physical Therapy.

Editor's Note: This story is part of a series focusing on Shawnee High School students who are preparing for future careers through internships as part of Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP).

Before school each day, Shawnee High School junior Hallie Wilson spends her morning helping people with their physical therapy needs as an intern at Valir Physical Therapy.

According to the 17-year-old, during her time at the clinic, she assists with whatever she is told to help with and while she can't work on clients, she can observe and participate in a few ways.

"If a patient comes in I usually help them with their exercises. I 'll do an ultrasound on them...I can't really work on a patient," Wilson said. "I just pretty much help out and do whatever they ask me to do."

In addition to school and her internship, Wilson said she's involved with basketball, softball and track which have exposed her to physical therapy.

"I've always just really loved physical therapy. I'm always injured (and) I've always been fascinated with it so I thought 'might as well,"' Wilson said.

For Wilson, the best aspect of her internship is being able to help people find relief and get better from an injury.

"I really like helping people and the bonds with the patients you have," Wilson said.

The high school student explained the most important skill she's learned from her internship is the ability to speak with patients and the other therapists.

"I've learned to be more outgoing here and not so shy to myself," Wilson said.

While she juggles school, her internship and her extracurriculars, Wilson said because working at the clinic is the first stop in her day, she is able to maintain everything pretty well.

"There's not really a challenge for me. It just seems normal like a day-today basis for me," Wilson said.

According to Clinic Manager and Wilson's mentor Scott Howard, this internship benefits Wilson greatly because it shows her what it takes to be a physical therapist.

Howard said if Wilson pursues this as a career she will make a great physical therapist as long as she maintains her academics and develops the necessary skills.

"Overall you've got to have good time management skills, good people skills, good knowledge of problems (and) a good orthopedic background," Howard said. "(Wilson) is learning well and she's doing fine."

Wilson said after she graduates she plans to attend Seminole State College.

"I just hope to some day become a physical therapist myself and to someday run my own clinic," Wilson said.