Ep. 183 – Saying Yes Even When It Scares You: Pediatric Lymphedema

Episode graphic: Ep. 183: Saying yes Even When It Scares You with special guest Dr. Tori Crook, PT.  TheOncoPT Podcast.  Headshot of Tori Crook, PT.  Background image of brown-haired woman with white mug in hands, sitting behind silver microphone.

Today, on TheOncoPT podcast, I’m interviewing Dr. Tori Crook, PT. We met via email while Tori was doing her clinical rotation. Come to find out, we both live in Fort Worth, TX! We’ve become fast friends & she’s coming to Camp Watchme for the first time this week!

Tori opens up about how, while she was trying to figure out what her specialty would be in physical therapy, she would pray about it and felt like God was saying “there’s something bigger”. She talked about the fact that she’s had seven total family members fighting cancer – three currently. When Tori was researching a little bit more about Oncology PT, even though she felt like it would be too hard, she felt God say “that’s big enough”. She quickly realized this is her calling. 

We talked about the fact that even though we live in Fort Worth, and have a major medical hospital district, people still have to drive and hour and a half one-way to get to a pediatric lymphedema therapist.

While Tori has put pediatrics on the back burner for now, she has said yes to Camp Watchme, which is the first and only summer camp in the US for children with lymphedema. There was a brilliant question she asked during the lymphedema SIG meeting at CSM 2022:

“We go to CLT school, we learn the gold standard, we learn textbook, and then we get back out to our clinics or facilities and we start treating patients, but it’s not textbook. How do I, as a new grad, adapt best practice to my patients without losing the quality of care that I’m providing?”

Dr. Tori Crook, PT

I think that Camp Watchme is going to be the answer to this question. Camp Watchme is one of the coolest ways that we can actually take “textbook-standard,” adapt it with input and feedback from other therapists who may not even have pediatric experience, and then actually apply it to our specific patients.

We got really deep for a minute talking about the patients that we’ve kept care from because we didn’t put ourselves out there with the gifts and strengths that we have.

“If you wait until you’re confident to try it, you’re never going to start”

Dr. Tori Crook, PT

I’m so glad Tori has become such a dear friend & I can’t for you to meet her in this episode!

Some questions I had for Tori:

Me: What is the one thing you hope to get out of your Camp Watchme experience?

Tori: Confidence. I want to question myself less and feel the confidence to be more creative with my treatments. 

Me: What is a question that you want post-camp Tori to answer for you?

Tori: How many times did you cry haha. Seriously though, I’d like a set list of takeaways that I can implement in my whole practice. 

Some questions Tori had for me:

Tori: What were you most nervous about when you went to camp for the first time?

Me: Working with children. It’s so much different that the treatments I had done before. 

Tori: How was it working with the parents?

Me: They were really easy to work with and receptive to learning. But they were also willing to impart wisdom on us therapists. We know lymphedema treatment and they know their child, so both working together makes a better experience.

Stay tuned for our follow-up interview on the other side of camp.

Check out the brand-new Pediatric Lymphedema Alliance courses!

Fundamentals of Pediatric Complete Decongestive Therapy course – 8 hour online course that covers the basics you need to know about pediatric CDT

Pediatric Lymphedema Management Certification course – 24 hour, in-person course that provides a deep dive into pediatric lymphedema presentation, diagnoses, treatment, & more

Camp Watchme – https://www.brylansfeat.org/campwatchme

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