PT student finds inspiration in education thanks to his mother’s accident – The NAU Review
Trevor Irion sitting in his physiotherapy classes, taking notes, working in the lab and training with his classmates.
Then he returned home and reused all his knowledge, helping the most important patient he will work with: his mother.
Irion, who will be graduating this month from NAU’s physiotherapy doctorate program, was only one month before completing her bachelor’s degree in 2017 and has split between going to college in Colorado or s ‘Enroll in the Denver Fire Academy. Then he got a call that changed everything: His mother, Shari, a marathoner, was out for a regular morning run when a truck hit her at an intersection.
After five months, she came out of a coma and, within 11 months, passed through five long-term care and rehabilitation centers. Irion moved from Colorado to Gilbert and he and his sisters took care of their mother, who had to relearn to walk and talk. During the rehabilitation, Irion worked with two exceptional providers: one was a graduate of the NAU PT program and the other was currently in the DPT program.
“Not only were they very smart and capable people, but they had that confidence in their own knowledge and abilities that really drove me to deepen the NAU PT program,” he said.
Knowing this, Irion took the job he had done to apply for other graduate programs and applied to the NAU. While caring for his mother, he started classes at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. His classes, especially neurology classes, were “a complete eye-opener for me,” he said.
“I was taking care of my mom and doing physiotherapy at home with her for almost a year when I started physiotherapy school, and all of a sudden when I started these classes I was had so many new techniques in manual and neuro-specific therapy. exercises that I could bring to my mom’s rehab and help her fill her residual deficits, ”he said. “Not only was I able to practice these manual techniques and do dosing, progression, and regression exercises, but all of these treatments were things my mom wasn’t able to do once COVID started because she couldn’t go to her regular physiotherapy sessions. . It was a great feeling to be able to bring what I was learning to school and apply it right away with my mom and also to see the benefits right away.
Irion and her three sisters have teamed up to be their mother’s primary caregivers; two are in the medical field and Régan, the youngest, graduated in psychology from NAU and is now the primary caregiver. Kimberly, who is number 3, said they all saw him grow in confidence and ability as he continued his education and put what he learned into practice.
“From the start, Trevor was very involved in his care and always wanted to observe his physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions and ask the professionals questions to make sure he was doing everything he could to help our mother,” she declared. “We have all now seen him come closer and closer to the professional capable of answering such questions. “
Older sister Kelly, who is an occupational therapist, agreed.
“I think Trevor’s experience as a therapist and caregiver has given him a unique perspective that makes him a strong advocate for patients. and an incredibly supportive practitioner, ”she said. “He has a great way of seeing the potential of his patients and finding unique and purposeful ways to motivate them to reach that potential.”
In class, Irion has experienced the same low as all the other graduates this year. The pandemic sent his class to virtual learning, which drastically changed the way he interacted with his classmates and teachers and reduced the time spent in the lab. He appreciated how open his teachers were to comments, he said; it was clear that they wanted to make sure that the students were not missing anything and that they were doing whatever they could to meet the various needs. Looking back, he said, the people in the class with him made such a difference in his education.
“Most of the highlights of my time at NAU were about the classmates around me and the culture the teachers created in the classroom and in the lab,” he said. “It was a great feeling that the first year in a large lab room with trained professionals teaching you the basics as well as giving clinical gems from their years of experience. I can’t speak highly enough of all the teachers I interacted with at NAU – they were amazing. “
Pam Bosch, an associate professor in the Department of Physiotherapy and Athletic Training, taught Irion and saw him bring his inherent empathy and positivity to the patient.with whom he worked and his willingness to share his knowledge with his classmates.
“When we discussed the pathological conditionstions and his mother had experienced them, Trevor would contribute to the discussions by giving his personal perspective, ”she said. “In the labs, when we were discussing various types of rehabilitation equipment or transfer strategies, Trevor was able to provide information on the implications for the patient or their family. His ideas were measured and concrete and really contributed to the group discussions. “
She is thrilled that Irion is entering the industry, Bosch said; his knowledge and love of the job will benefit all of his patients.
Irion takes the board exam in January;
he doesn’t yet know where he’s going from there. He is interested in both acute inpatient care and outpatient rehabilitation. He therefore plans to conduct interviews in several places and in different care settings and determine which one is best for him at this time.
And his first patient? Shari continues to improve. Despite residual impairments from traumatic temporal lobe brain injury and bilateral strokes, she is able to communicate and is able to walk again.
Heidi Toth | AUA Communications
(928) 523-8737 | [email protected]