• Last modified 3399 days ago (March 31, 2010)


Physical therapy assistant loves to help

Staff writer

Helping people return to functioning normally after an injury or surgery is physical therapy assistant Bobbi Dodge’s mission.

“I enjoy helping people get back to doing the things they like, whether that’s golfing, gardening, or playing with grandkids,” she said.

Dodge began March 1 working at St. Luke Hospital in Marion. She has about nine years of experience as a physical therapy assistant in hospitals and nursing homes. She worked in Parsons before arriving at St. Luke.

She works with patients with a variety of joint and muscle issues. Whether for a knee, shoulder, back, ankle, or hamstring, therapy is about helping the patient return to normal.

There are three broad categories of treatments, she said. The first is exercise targeted for the patient’s problem. For instance, strengthening the muscles around the ankle will help a patient rebound from a broken or sprained ankle sooner.

Another category includes ultrasound and electrical stimulation, which can help manage pain, swelling, and spasms, Dodge said. The final category is manual work: massaging a knotted muscle or realigning a joint.

“It is great to see someone take even three steps if they haven’t been able to in a long time,” Dodge said. It is an accomplishment for her and the patient.

St. Luke Hospital has one full-time physical therapist and two full-time assistants. The hospital also has one part-time physical therapist and one part-time assistant.

Last modified March 31, 2010