Alumna Profile: Allison Petzel


Allison is in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at The College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, and will be graduating in May, 2015.

WHAT YOU DO • • • I am in my last year of a 3 year doctorate program. The third year of the program is set up so I spend the year completing clinical internships. Instead of sitting in the classroom, I get to apply everything I learned in the first two years of the program and instead, actually work with patients every day. As a student physical therapist, you are paired up with clinical instructor who is also a physical therapist. This individual is there to mentor and guide you through your time spent at their facility. I have completed 3 out of 4 clinical internships and am currently in my fourth rotation. A wide variety of internships is required, I have completed rotations in an outpatient orthopedic setting, a hospital, a skilled nursing home, and am currently completing an outpatient orthopedic/athletic rotation. The variety of settings allows you to learn and apply different aspects of physical therapy and also help you determine which setting you would like to work in.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • I was injured as a freshman in high school and went to physical therapy as a patient. I knew after the experience I had with multiple different physical therapists that I had found the career I wanted to pursue. I did a little job shadowing in high school and knew that physical therapy was the right choice for me. Once I started at Bethany, Professor Kuster was a big help to me in passing on contact information for physical therapy clinics around Mankato to complete the observation hours that were required for graduate programs. He was also there to give his recommendations and his experiences from his time completing his DPT degree.

HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • • • Once I graduate, I hope to get a job in an outpatient-ortho setting. This setting will allow me to work with a variety of patients with all types of diagnoses. Since I first experienced PT as an athlete, I hope to find a niche in working with athletes. Specifically, I want to put together injury prevention programs that work on exercises geared towards individual sports that athletes can complete in the offseason. I hope these programs will decrease the number of athletic injuries throughout a season. Since so many kids are starting competitive sports at a young age, they will learn proper mechanics right from the start, which will help them stay injury free later on.

HOW BETHANY HAS PREPARED YOU • • • The benefit of going to a small school is the opportunity to get involved in a lot of activities. I was involved in many different activities, from the Scroll and photojournalism to a RA to science club. I not only was involved in these activities, I also held leadership roles in those activities. If I attended a large university, I would never have pursued leadership opportunities such as the ones I had. I was able to use all of my extra-curricular involvement and leadership positions within those activities on my graduate school applications. I also had an internship opportunity during my last semester at BLC to become a certified personal trainer and teach fitness classes at the Lake Crystal Rec Center. Taking the exercise science classes helped me pass the certification. I was able to continue to teach classes at St. Scholastica as a work study student to help me earn a little income on the side.

WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST • • • One thing I miss the most about Bethany is the opportunity to attend chapel services daily. I attended ELS/WELS schools from kindergarten to 18. Transitioning from Bethany to a school where not everyone shared my faith was something I definitely missed. For as much time as I spent studying, it is the things that happened while studying... or while not studying that I remember the most. From late night Perkins/Taco Bell/Shamrock shakes/anything involving food while studying with Kelly and Sara to stealing Toppers from Cori and Mo to catching bats with the RAs, and sledding escapades with Jake and Rachael. Not only was I blessed to meet many of my closest friends while at Bethany, but I also met my husband there.

ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS • • • Get involved in a lot of activities, they will help you grow and expand your knowledge. Even if you don't think you are interested in something, try it out anyways. Make sure you study hard, but also take the time to put the books away and make memories. Use your professors. They are your greatest resource and are always willing to help when they are able.