There are some people that are specially concocted to care for and help others. After just a short conversation with our February Physical Therapist (PT) of the Month, Layne Cooper, it’s clear that she’s one of them.
Layne grew up here, in the heart of the Phoenix Valley. Not unlike many of physical therapists, the journey that led her to this field came from a personal experience. “My dad has MS. It’s usually yourself or a family member that brings you into it [physical therapy]. My mom thought physical therapy was something that my brother should do because he’s big and strong, while I’m not as athletic,” Layne says.
Still, Layne didn’t start to pursue physical therapy until she was found herself in an unfulfilling career. “Before [physical therapy] I did title and escrow. It wasn’t very rewarding and it was very stressful,” Layne says. With that final shove, Layne took an intern position with us in 2010. She quickly moved into a tech role. In 2015 she completed her schooling at NAU’s downtown location and transferred to our Surprise location with her new role: physical therapist. She’s been here ever since.
“I love the people interaction. I’m coming to work with all my friends every day,” says Layne. “I never feel like I’m coming to work. I never have a bad day.”
It’s safe to say her patients and co-workers feel the same about her. Her fellow co-worker, who nominated her for PT of the Month, says, “her smile and laugh are infectious and her schedule is always packed because so many patients request to see her.” They also touch on her special connection with elderly patients, “she has a passion for the geriatric population and truly makes a difference in our patient’s lives.”
Layne speaks on one such client during our conversation. “I have this one patient that has been a client of mine since 2015. She spends around three to four hours a week with me. My boyfriend and I went over to her house to assemble a workout bike. I took her to lunch over the holidays because I know she doesn’t have any family here. I have hung out with her a couple times and have made buddies with her,” Layne says.
While it’s clear she has the heart and interpersonal skills to perform as a phenomenal physical therapist, she also has an ethic of hard work and an appetite to learn. Currently, she is going through an emerging leaders program to learn the business side of physical therapy. She also has plans to individualize her treatments and be more hands-on and specialized. Not to mention, Layne is quirky and endearing. Her co-worker says her “vibrant personality matches her colorful hair.”
“I’m constantly dying my hair weird colors. It’s purple right now, it’s been blues,” Layne says. Her feel-good song is Modest Mouse’s Float On — which we may or may not have listened to a few times while typing this article out — and her favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean. Her favorite restaurant is “anywhere that serves hamburgers and cold beers.”
However, it’s her heart that seems to steer her life. It’s clear, after discussing work that she’s in physical therapy to make an impact in others’ lives. This priority transcends into her personal life.
Layne has four dogs and two cats, all of which have been acquired from either adopting or being given to her by others. When asked, “what person alive or dead you would most want to have dinner with?” her answer was sentimental: her late Grandma Bobby.
By the end of our discussion, it’s evident why Layne is a beloved physical therapist for clients and was nominated for PT of the Month by her coworkers. When I ask her if there’s anything else she would like to add she simply says, “I’m just trying to find out what my patients need most and do it. I’m loving it so far.”
If you’re looking for a physical therapist that works hard for her patients and has a heart the size of Arizona, schedule an appointment with our February PT of the Month, Layne. When you do, ask her the story behind her late grandmother’s name.
Of course, we also have other locations filled with caring physical therapists like Layne if the Surprise location isn’t convenient.
If you’re thinking about going into physical therapy, Layne has some sage advice, “Just go for it. It is a really rewarding job. Making the little bit of change in someone’s life can really, really impact them.”