Debilitating Injury Leads to Rewarding Career at St. John

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

While others are too often sidelined after a serious work-related injury, Tim Reamer took a different route to get back on the field: he started a new career in physical therapy.

Reamer is a physical therapy assistant in GCS/Rehab Services, delivering inpatient physical therapy to St. John Specialty Care Center residents. He entered the medical field after 30 years in the construction industry.

For more than 20 years, Reamer worked for Pioneer Service and Supply in Mars, PA as a heating and cooling supervisor until an injury to his left side resulted in four knee surgeries as well as hip surgery.

“I spent a year relearning how to walk,” he said. “While spending two years in physical therapy three times a week for two hours a day, I also did computer research on my injuries and my own therapy and healing.”

When Reamer could finally spend six hours on his feet, he started to volunteer at Butler Memorial Hospital, putting in more than 400 hours of service in the physical therapy department, assisting the therapists there. After volunteering, he was hired as an ancillary assistant in their Rehabilitation Department, working one weekend a month while attending Butler Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in physical therapy.

Reamer had completed a nine-week clinical rotation at St. John Specialty Care Center prior to his college graduation in May 2013, so when he received his license in July, he applied for a full-time position at St. John and was hired in August.

“I can relate to the residents because of the time I spent in therapy,” he said. “It works both ways.”

“I’m very lucky to get this job,” he added with a smile. “I feel extremely blessed to be working with the staff and residents here.”

Reamer is a member of the APTA, American Physical Therapy Association, and also involved in a geriatric interest group.

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