In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with newly certified practitioner Vicki Lukert PT, PRPC
Describe your clinical practice:
I work at the University of Florida Health Rehab Centers at Magnolia Parke and Medical Plaza, an outpatient clinic which is part of the large teaching hospital in Gainesville, FL. I head up the Pelvic Health team which consists of seven therapists. We treat pelvic and abdominal conditions in females, males and children. It is very exciting to be a part of such an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative team. Due to the fact we are a teaching hospital we get to see some of the most complex patients imaginable which come from all over.
How did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?
At a time in my life when I was returning to the full time work force I was offered a position if I would “help” with the Pelvic Health program. When I found myself in charge of the program I realized just how little I knew and started taking additional courses. As I gained experience and started making a difference in the lives of patients who thought there wasn’t any hope for them, I became very passionate about this incredible field of physical therapy.
If you could get a message out to physical therapists about pelvic rehabilitation what would it be?
Pelvic Health is NOT a taboo area. It is just another area of the body which needs to be treated. It is nothing more than bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, organs and fascia. It is like any other area of the body; to be able to treat the area effectively you have to know the anatomy, function and dysfunction. I think of pelvic rehabilitation as being the stranger at the party who is sitting watching everyone, who no one wants to talk to because they appear different … and then they find out it was actually Johnny Depp. (who I personally find to be a fascinating man).
For all therapists the pelvic floor can play an important role in the full rehabilitation in a lot of their patients including those with persistent back, sacral and hip problems. All therapists should feel comfortable in asking questions of their patients that would lead to an appropriate consultation with a pelvic health therapist.
For the Pelvic Health practitioner, my message would be to not stop learning. A lot of the practitioners focus on the women’s health and I would encourage everyone to be open to treating all genders and possibly all ages. Even if you see something you have not treated before remember to trust your intuition in addition to the tools you have already.
One of my most favorite mentors told me once, “If you try something and it doesn’t work it is called evaluation. If you try something and it does work it is called treatment.”
What has been your favorite Herman & Wallace Course and why?
Pelvic Floor Level 3 with Holly Herman. It was a smaller group and we got to spend 4 days with the charming, funny, intelligent, insightful and charismatic Holly Herman.
What motivated you to earn PRPC?
Due to the fact that I am the leader of the Pelvic Health team I felt it was important for me to be a role model and inspiration for the rest of the team. I have been waiting for a long time for the certification to become available so am very happy to finally have that as an accomplishment.
What makes you the most proud to have earned PRPC?
I am so very proud to have earned the PRPC. I felt as a very seasoned and experienced therapist I knew a lot. It wasn’t until I started studying that I realized how many details I had forgotten. It took a lot of studying for this older brain to retain the information but I still found the exam to be very difficult. It was with much trepidation that I opened the email letting me know whether I had passed or not, and I was very relieved and excited to see I had passed.
What advice would you give to physical therapists interested in earning PRPC?
Because the PRPC concentrates on “pelvic health” as opposed to “women’s health” I feel as a pelvic health practitioner it is an important certification to get because it covers the pelvis in both genders. My advice is to study, study, and then study some more.
What is in store for you in the future?
Education of fellow providers, educating up-and-coming practitioners within PT schools, and education to the public and physicians to broaden the awareness of pelvic health interventions. Education within all associations to broaden the scope of what “Pelvic Health” means. I intend to continue to learn and provide excellent care to all patients.
Learn more about Vicki Lukert PT, PRPC at her Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner bio page. You can also learn more about the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification at www.hermanwallace.com/certification.