Get to Know Our Therapists: Aaron Bright, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Meet Aaron: A Luna therapist based in Torrance, California who loves to travel the world
By Lily Beltran
How did you get interested in physical therapy?
I originally attended USC intending to become a history teacher. Early in my education, I took a course called, "The Science of Human Performance" and found it fascinating. The class took a deep dive into what made athletes superhuman. My interest in physiology and how the human body worked stemmed from that. I then dove into athletic training at USC and shifted my educational and career goals towards physical therapy. It was perfect because it combined my interests in physiology, teaching, and helping people get well.
What is most rewarding about being a physical therapist?
There's a lot of detective work that goes into helping people hit seemingly insurmountable goals, like walking independently and eating without help. I enjoy uncovering the barriers that prevent patients from making progress and then coming up with creative ways to overcome those obstacles. Being a physical therapist puts me in a position to help bring meaning back into my patient's lives, and seeing positive results from our combined efforts brings me a lot of joy.
What is most challenging in your career as a physical therapist?
When it comes to pain, acute and subacute are not the whole story. Proper treatment of chronic pain can sometimes be challenging. I'm constantly educating myself on the subject, as there are many nuances for this type of pain management. If dealt with correctly, some chronic conditions can be moderated. A podcast called Pain Reframed offers timely and enlightening information that I think other physical therapists would find interesting.
What other helpful advice would you share with fellow physical therapists?
There are two main things that I feel we struggle with -- burnout and dealing with difficult patients. In regards to burnout, we have to remember that it's not our responsibility to fix patients, it's their responsibility. It's essential to empower patients with the knowledge they need to get better. It reminds me of a famous quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Focusing on the teaching part helps to boost success. Also, avoid the burden of carrying your patient's stress. Recognize when you're getting tense, then take a moment to reset. Breathe deeply and utilize meditation. Even if it's just for a few seconds, every little bit helps. And when it comes to dealing with difficult patients, I recommend a change in mindset. Become your patient's number one supporter. All they want is for someone to take the time to understand them. Be an active listener and align your agenda with theirs. If they dispute your methodologies, figure out alternatives. After all, the best exercise is the one that the patient actually does.
What inspired you to start working with Luna?
Working with Luna has been amazing in several respects. I love the flexibility I have with my schedule. It's quite different from other part-time jobs where an entire day or weekend is sacrificed for work. With Luna, I get to choose the hours that fit my schedule best, which is perfect since I already have a full-time job. Another aspect of Luna that I love is the Auto-Charting. It's a game-changer! Dictating, rather than typing my patient documentation and navigating a complex EMR at the same time, saves me a tremendous amount of valuable time. Lastly, working with Luna provides me with a very worthwhile, additional stream of income. All combined, being a part of the "Lunaverse" has given me the unique ability to enjoy my work while pursuing the things I like to do for fun.
...and what do you like to do for fun?
Travel! Just yesterday, I returned from a fantastic trip to Japan and Thailand. I'm grateful that I got to celebrate my brother's graduation while I was out there. I've also been able to experience Hawaii, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Bali, all of which I've visited just this year. In July I'm headed to Cabo to celebrate my birthday. And if I'm not working or traveling, you'll typically find me outside, enjoying the sunshine, and playing beach volleyball with friends at Hermosa Beach.
If you’re a fun-loving, hard-working physical therapist like Aaron, you owe it to yourself to join the Luna team today.