As we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month, we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know our therapists here at THRIVE.
For our last installment this month, we sit down with Dawn Muller, Thrive’s lead therapist and owner. Dawn has been practicing Physical Therapy for 30 years, is certified in Dry Needling therapy and specializes in Pelvic Health. She lives in Thomasville with her husband, and is very proud of their two grown sons.
Why did you become a PT?
I remember vividly when I decided to make PT my career path. I was an avid reader as a kid. When I was a sophomore in high school, I read two books where the main characters in the books had to go through extensive physical therapy to return to their previous life. I was so inspired by these true stories. It just clicked for me and I really felt like it was God-inspired.
What were some of the jobs you had before you started your physical therapy career?
My first job was babysitting and I did a LOT of that! I also worked as a cashier in a grocery store, a sub shop, a sewing store and as a waitress. I am a firm believer in teenagers having jobs. Each of those positions taught me about serving others and customer service. Also, attention to detail is a great skill to learn early!
What is your favorite part about being a PT?
I like everything but the paperwork! If I have to choose, I would say my favorite part is when a client becomes inspired to make changes that have long-term impact. I get super excited if someone is motivated to lose weight, stop smoking take up regular exercise, or compete in athletic events. Those kinds of changes shift how people view themselves and reduce their risks of nearly every other kind of chronic illnesses. It can mean the difference in whether someone chooses to travel to take that new job, or try a new sport.
What are some of the job’s biggest challenges?
Being a good therapist takes a lot of physical and emotional energy, but giving that extra energy, giving of yourself is – to me – also one of the most gratifying parts of the job. I am a big believer in serving others as a way to give significance to your life. As with most things in life, you get out of it what you put in.
How do you make certain that you are kept up-to-date on new research for PT practices?
I have been practicing for 30 years. Healthcare has changed so much, so you have to be an adult learner. Also, I want to be at the top of my game, so I place a high priority on reading, learning and perfecting my skills. I try to read at least one new research article a week, I listen to podcasts and read professional journals. It is so much easier to do this now with Google Scholar and technology than it was 10 years ago.
What were/are some of your favorite continuing education courses?
I loved Jeff Skorput and Vicki Sims’ course on Lumbopelvic Pain. It is the only course I have ever taken more than once. I also really enjoyed all of my manual therapy courses needed for my manual therapy certification.
What is one interesting fact most of our readers/patients may not know about you?
Favorite Color: green
Favorite Drink: water first, coffee second
Favorite Food: raspberries
Favorite Exercise/Activity: Boot Camp
Favorite Vacation Spot: Any place with a beach
Favorite Time Of Year: Fll
Morning Person or Night Owl? Morning
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” (Pretty appropriate, don’t you think?)