How Katie Kalchman went from Student to Clinician
Katie Kalchman, Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics‘ very own clinician, shares how she started out in the industry – from student to professional. We hope her story inspires those looking or interested in taking part in this diverse industry, take a look at how Katie got to where she is today:
“As a university student it can be very intimidating, and at times scary knowing that you will be entering the “adult” world of work and a career. So, when that fourth and final year comes around, many students panic at the question: “What are you going to do next year?” Some people know the answer and are pursuing higher education or post graduate programs, some choose to work in their field of study (or in a field completely different). I was one of those people who was inbetween continuing education and working. I thought about pursing a graduate program, but there was no program that really interested me, so I decided to try and find a job in the Kinesiology field.
Like any job nowadays, a job as a Kinesiologist can be very hard to come by, especially as a new graduate with little experience working in the field. When applying for jobs, your exams and course grades that at one time thought was a matter of life or lost countless hours of sleep over, didn’t matter. It ultimately comes down to practical experience that you had while in university and the connections and networks that you’ve formed. I took courses and got involved with extra-curricular activities that allowed me to have hands-on experience in rehabilitation clinics, with varsity teams as a student athletic therapist, and in research labs. By exposing myself to a wide variety of experiences, it taught me professional skill sets such as: communicating with patients, colleagues and other interdisciplinary professionals.
I quickly grew an interest in athletic injuries, orthopedics and biomechanics. When the position with Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics opened up, I knew that it was an opportunity I could not turn down, as it was everything that I had been looking for. I wasn’t nervous when it came to starting as a clinician with NPO, I was excited to be a part of a company that gives so much back to the Niagara community and makes a significant impact in individuals lives. I was excited and so fortunate to be able to start my career in a field that I am passionate about, but also alongside a team of individuals who will encourage me to learn from them and grow personally and professionally.”