This week we are proud to feature Christy Ciesla, PT, DPT, PRPC! She just earned her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification, and was kind enough to share some of her thoughts with the Pelvic Rehab Report. You can read the interview below. Congratulations to Christy and all the other PRPC practitioners!
Tell us about your clinical practice:
I am currently coordinating a Women and Men’s Health program at the Miriam Hospital (The Men’s Health Center and The Women’s Medicine Collaborative) in Rhode Island. We are fortunate to be a team of 5 skilled pelvic therapists and to work with the some of the best physicians and surgeons in New England. We work with so many different patients. I am currently most excited about our involvement in a tremendous Cancer Survivorship Program offered here at the Women’s Medicine Collaborative.
How did you get involved in Pelvic Rehab?
I have always been actively involved in women’s issues, even as a college student, helping with programming for the Women’s Resource Center on campus. After I had my first son in 2003, I became very interested in working with pregnant and postpartum women, and the pelvic rehab involvement took off from there. I was sent my first male patient in 2008, and found that I enjoyed working with men just as much as working with women in this area.
What/who inspired you to become involved in pelvic rehabilitation?
I went to Elizabeth Noble’s OB/Gyn and Prenatal Exercise Courses in 2004. During the course, we talked quite a bit about birth and the pelvic floor. I left there fascinated with the field, and took my first pelvic floor course a couple of years later.
What patient population do you find most rewarding in treating and why?
I love treating all of my patients, but perhaps the most rewarding feeling is when I can help a cancer survivor SURVIVE their cancer. All too often, when the treatment ends, the patient is left to feel alone with all of the effects of chemo, radiation and surgical trauma. They have incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction, and feel lost. Being able to offer a light in the darkness to these people is the greatest gift that pelvic rehabilitation has given me.
If you could get a message out to physical therapists about pelvic rehabilitation what would it be?
You will never have more of a rewarding experience than you will when you help your patients pee, poop and have sex without dysfunction. I mean, really….what else is there to life?!
What has been your favorite Herman & Wallace Course and why?
PF 1 has still got to be my favorite. It was the most packed with great info, Holly was my instructor, and I was first introduced to the magical world of pelvic rehabilitation. I will never forget that experience.
What lesson have you learned from a Herman & Wallace instructor that has stayed with you?
One of the things that has been consistently conveyed in all of my courses with H&W is the importance of caring for, respecting, and honoring our patients for having the bravery to address these sensitive issues, and to share them with us. The coursework prepared me with the knowledge I needed to help my patients, but the amazing instructors also helped me be a better provider in other ways.
What motivated you to earn PRPC?
So far, I have taken 7 Herman and Wallace courses (8 including the PF 1 course that Holly did privately for my facility and I was able to assist with). It just seemed right to be certified through this wonderful institute. It is what I do every day, all day, and I felt that I needed these credentials to go further with my career in this field.