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6 Reasons Why PTs and PTAs Should Advocate

by Jenna Kantor

Let’s start with a quick introduction. Who am I? My name is Jenna Kantor, I am a 3rd year DPT student about to graduate in May 2018, the former NYPTA Public Policy Student Liaison, a member of the NYPTA Legislative Task Force, and the NYPTA SSIG Advocacy Chair. Regardless of involvement, I consider myself a true grassroots advocator for the PT/PTA profession and am proud of that identification. Why? I LOVE being inventive and finding new ways to fight for progress. I especially enjoy how that creativity can light a spark or even in a flame in others to get more involved. THIS is an opportunity to get others to take action by advocating for PT/PTA and the profession, resulting in improved healthcare for our patients.

Initially, diving into writing this list was a challenge when I cannot understand why a person would not advocate for this profession. Then I realized, people may not fully comprehend the true value of taking action. Hopefully, this list will ignite a flame that will spark a desire within to get involved.

1. You will be making a difference

By simply taking action, you will be making a difference. Even if changes are not made as soon you get involved, you will be adding to the masses requesting attention to a particular item that will ultimately be for the betterment of many, many others. The additional voice is an influential nudge helps get a legislator’s attention. Utilizing the PT Action App is an easy and free way to take action.

2. You will learn how to listen

Advocating for PT is not about you. Isn’t that great! The best way to live is by getting out of a selfish mindset and giving to others. I don’t know about you, but I never find myself fully satisfied when I’m making my own dreams come true. To make sure you are advocating properly, you must listen, request feedback, and be open to other opinions. That way you will know you are truly serving beyond yourself and living a more fulfilling life.

3. You will become a positive influence

This is huge, especially because you, like everyone else, are an average Joe who is suddenly deciding to make a difference. There are going to be many people in your life who relate and connect with you. They identify with you. Seeing you take action helps them realize they could do so as well. Don’t be surprised when they ask you for advice on how to get involved or how to join you.

4. You will increase your network of Power PTs

This is a fact. Advocates in the PT profession are major doers. They are people who set goals, achieve them, and then set higher goals. We are talking about a huge opportunity to become close with the right people. In general, your network will expand ten fold when you advocate on a regular basis. Check out the APTA's resources on advocacy to attend regular advocacy events where you can meet such influential people.

5. You will become a Power PT

Advocating for PT takes you off the couch and makes you a person who takes action via advocacy. You become a winner. It is that simple. You will become fearless when setting a goal and going for it. Others will see it, and you will inevitably become more respected. Get started now by attending a town hall meeting and speak up for your profession.

6. You will enjoy life more

People who are not advocating for the PT profession have plenty of complaints. As a professional PT/PTA, you spend the majority of your life in the clinic . . . and you are likely complaining. What if your complaints were addressed and fixed? According to one NGPT article, direct access can significantly impact the quality healthcare your patients receive. You have power to make that happen in advocacy. Decreased reasons to complain sounds like a happier life to me.

So, what is stopping you from advocating? Fear? Fear of other opinions? Fear of being criticized via social media or gossip? Fear of not knowing everything? Fear of making a mistake? Fear of taking the wrong action?

Don’t let fear rule you. There is always going to be a bumpy road. That is life.

You have to ask yourself what life sounds better to you. You have two choices:

  1. Sit on your couch and complain/criticize others on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  2. Take action

For me, taking action trumps any fear. I can’t prevent things I fear from happening, but I can change my outlook by interpreting life’s obstacles differently. I embrace making mistakes and I embrace being critiqued along the way. It gives me an opportunity to reflect and improve.

Regardless, when it comes to advocacy, it is NOT ABOUT ME. My actions are meant to help human beings receive the quality healthcare they each deserve. Now that win trumps any hardships experienced in the journey.

If you are interested in getting involved, connect with me on Facebook. If not me, there are plenty of resources to help you get started!


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