physical therapy and catholic social teaching By: Christian Zagibaylo

Hello, my name is Christian Zagibaylo and I’m an exercise science major who plans on perusing physical therapy after my four years of undergrad. I enjoy engaging in physical activity in ways such as sport and weight lifting because it allows me to learn more about how my body functions. I also like learning about science and have a curiosity with the processes behind how things work.

The two words that make up the name of my major each have a significant impact on everything within my curriculum. Exercise provides specifics regarding how changes in the body occur when exposed to different stimuli, satisfying my interest involving the effects of physical activity. Science describes the process behind how things in the universe function and is already something I enjoy learning about.

Many exercise science majors pursue a degree in physical therapy after undergrad and this is what I plan on doing too. Caring for patients and helping them better their lives through the removal of aches and pains has been a dream of mine for a long time.

For my entire life, I have watched my father perform back breaking manual labor in order to get me to the position I’m in today and I would like to return the favor for when the physical pain begins to pay a toll on his body. I respect him for being the type of person he is and for instilling many of his positive qualities in me such as dedication, perseverance, and thoughtfulness.

I would like to consider myself to have a natural tendency of putting others in front of myself and this occupation would allow me to do so in a monumental way. I believe everyone I would help as a physical therapist deserves the care I would provide them with because everyone possesses value. Every human being on the face of the Earth deserves the fair and honest treatment they would expect others to give them.

Solidarity is described as valuing our fellow human beings and respecting them for who they are as individuals.

When I visualize solidarity in relation to my future occupation, I think about valuing the patients I would help. All patients should be treated humanely and not like a piece of meat a physical therapist just handles in order to get through their exercises. Instead, they should spend time to get to know the patient’s comfort and ability levels so patients don’t get tested in a way they are not prepared for. They should not be treated like objects but instead as dignified human beings.

Physical therapists need to learn information about a patient’s lifestyle in order to properly treat them. Through this process, they will naturally get to know information about each patient that shapes who they are. As a result, physical therapists will accept these patient’s backgrounds and won’t treat them differently based on their unique characteristics. Patients should not be discriminated based on the way they are if the purpose of the physical therapist is to get them to a position where they can pursue the goals and interests that their bodies have previously hindered them from being able to do.

The common good is the sum of those conditions of social life which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment. This mainly includes respect for the human person but also involves the overall welfare of society and social peace.

The common good is portrayed through physical therapy by respecting the patient, contributing to the overall welfare of society through the impact physical therapists have on it, and creating social peace through security for the patients.

There is a natural patient to therapist respect when it comes to physical therapy in that the doctor respects the body of the patient and manages them in a professional and respectful manor.

In regards to the overall welfare of society, the job of a physical therapist is to heal the bodies of those with physical detriments. By doing so, they are active members of society when it comes to assisting in the overall welfare of its people.

One way Social Peace is ensured within physical therapy is through the implementation of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It is the United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This allows patients to feel safe that their information will not get into the wrong hands.

Justice is defined as expressing morally right or fair behavior and treatment. Solidarity and the common good cannot be fulfilled without justice.

Future generations are experiencing solidarity through an act of justice by those who come before them.

Intergenerational solidarity has been demonstrated within the field of physical therapy by healthcare insurance companies. This makes the treatment of patients with all sorts of financial situations possible. These companies are enabling treatment for everyone regardless of how much money their clients have.

The HIPAA laws also portray justice through intergenerational solidarity with a nation-wide system that allows patients to feel safe that their medical information is not being shared with anyone they don’t want it to be shared with.

Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude. ) In addition to human beings, creation includes the environment which has just as much influence on human beings as we have on it.

The environment influences the way we think, feel and act. In our rooms, our homes, our workplaces and neighborhoods, we use our environment as a way of expressing our identity.

The environment produces physical obstacles an individual may find difficult to maneuver as well as psychological components affecting a patient’s emotion level.

A patient who suffered a broken leg will find walking much more difficult than before, causing any physical obstacle created by the environment to be more strenuous when performing everyday tasks. An environment that includes physical aids for a patient, such as elevators or wheelchairs, will positively affect the individual’s body in addition to their emotional state.

An example of a psychological component the environment alters is the weather. Seasonal effective disorder influences a person emotionally by how nice the weather is. Decreased levels of energy and happiness caused by the environment affect a patient’s mood, leading to decreased confidence and ability of their body to function.

The largest long-term impact humans have on the environment and vice versa is global warming, a well-known effect causing destruction to the ozone layer by increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Humans burning fossil fuels through actions such as driving a car cause this.

One way physical therapists are capable of directly impacting global warming is by decreasing the number of people driving, decreasing emissions released into the atmosphere. Physical therapy functions to improve a person’s physical configuration and encourage them to maintain physical health, preventing further injury. If a person decides to walk compared to drive, they would contribute less to the greenhouse effect.

Another way physical therapists are capable of helping the environment is through decreasing replacement of their equipment. Facilities attempt to obtain the newest equipment possible and dispose of usable machines when given the opportunity. Instead of throwing them out, these facilities should donate this equipment to a gym, patient, or anyone they see fit. Also, whenever equipment becomes worn, therapists usually trash it instead of attempting to fix the machine.

When looking forward to see what else can be done to better the treatment of patients, there is room for some improvements but not much to do that hasn’t already been done. Previous generations have contributed a lot in helping people receive the treatment they deserve.

If physical therapists express solidarity, justice, and follow the common good, patients will receive the treatment they truly deserve. I will do everything in my power to be the best physical therapist possible and will choose to incorporate these qualities into my work.

Created By
christian zagibaylo


Created with images by zinkevych - "Modern rehabilitation physiotherapy" • Anatomy Insider - "Human anatomy exploded view, deconstructed showing separate parts, muscles, organs, bones. Creative color palettes and designer detail." • Lanie - "woman in physical therapy" • Daylight Photo - "la blessure au dos" • Stasique - "Businessman shaking hand of his business partner in agreement" • ibreakstock - "Solidarity word cloud" • rawpixel - "woman person desktop" • ilovetattoos - "tattoo hand man" • Zac Durant - "Sunshine bath" • Rob - "Physical Therapy" • Geo Martinez - "karate boy bowing" • vege - "network community" • ioannis kounadeas - "3d human at a stop pose" • lucadp - "concept of law and justice" • Barabas Attila - "Three Generations Portrait" • anyaberkut - "insurance concept" • zimmytws - "HIPAA Regulations" • Gajus - "Hand Covering Flowers at the Garden with Sunlight" • Iriana Shiyan - "Awesome water view with hot tub at dusk in summer evening." • Photocreo Bednarek - "Solve the problem, think about solution, challenge concept." • Mat Hayward - "patient lying in hospital bed with broken leg bone wrapped in ca" • Kwest - "desperate" • Alexander - "Polar Bear and global warming" • Anton Balazh - "The metaphor of the green eco-friendly car" • zhu difeng - "apparatus and equipment in modern gym" • Marek - "what is next?" • everythingpossible - "Doctor with a stethoscope in the hands and office background"

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