A guest blog post by Janice Paredes- Alvarez, PT, 2018 LE&RN/Lymph Notes Therapist Scholarship Award Winner
What made you choose a career in therapy?
Participating in medical missions when I was growing up in my home country inspired me to pursue a profession of helping. I chose to be in the medical field and a meaningful career in Physical Therapy because of being able to work with patients every step of the way to help improve their functional abilities.
Why have you chosen to make lymphedema therapy a focus in your work?
My interest in becoming a certified lymphedema therapist started when I took a continuing education course on cancer rehabilitation. The speaker’s experience being a cancer rehab specialist treating patients afflicted with the disease was very inspiring and worth emulating. The desire to be of help to these warriors even became more compelling when two of my loved ones died from breast cancer and also knowing that a few of my friends are battling the disease and its debilitating effects. It inspired me to pursue a physical therapy specialization and have a unique role in making a positive difference in their life.
How will this LE&RN scholarship help you to help your patients?
Being given funds to pursue this specialization in physical therapy means being able to serve my patients with a much better skill set to effectively manage their condition and make an impact on improving their outcomes. This scholarship has given me the chance to be a qualified skilled therapist and be of value to the underserved population who have this health condition.
What are your hopes for the future, for yourself, your patients, and for the field of lymphedema and lymphatic disease treatment?
As a professional providing care, my hope for the future is to further my learning and growth in this field so I may provide the best possible care that my patients deserve. For the patients afflicted with lymphedema, I hope they are not discouraged by their condition and instead know that it can be managed by qualified therapists trained in this specialization. My hopes for the field of lymphedema is that it could someday be put in the spotlight so that there will be a heightened awareness of this condition. And by doing so, there will be early identification and management, better funding for research and treatment, and better government health funds allocation for this patient population.