Kayla Clem

Feb 01, 2021 / Therapy Services

Get to Know our Staff: Kayla Clem, Therapy Services

What is your role at Scottish Rite for Children?
I am physical therapist and mostly work on the inpatient unit with the kids that need intensive physical therapy, either due to a recent surgery, wounds or just need a jump start to their recovery. I love this position because it really gives me time to connect with the patients, see them improve significantly in such a short time and then resume the activities that they enjoy. I am also an assistive technology professional, meaning that I complete the evaluations for patients who need custom wheelchairs or walkers. I love this side of mobility as well because it allows kids to find their independence.

What led you to Scottish Rite? How long have you worked here? 
I knew that I wanted to work at a children’s hospital when I graduated from PT school. When we were selecting our top choice for clinical rotations, I fought to be placed at Scottish Rite. I knew it was a better fit for me than other area hospitals. That being said, I got placed for my clinic rotation January 2016 and I have been here ever since!

What do you enjoy most about Scottish Rite for Children?
I love the interdisciplinary approach we have here at Scottish Rite. I appreciate that a physical therapist, occupational therapist, certified prosthetist/orthotist, nurse, psychologist and physician can all talk on one level about a patient in order to provide the best care. I also like that we are a smaller organization, so you are able to get to know your colleagues, which helps make communication easier amongst departments. 

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here?
My first job was teaching with Stretch-N-Grow. I would go into daycares to teach an exercise and nutrition class to all of the kids, and then teach ballet, tap, tumbling or cheerleading to those kids that were interested. That is an obvious segue into what I do on a daily basis now. I then taught swim lessons to kids at Aqua Tots and ended up teaching all of the kids with special needs, which I loved. While I was in PT school, I taught swim lessons to local kids on nights and weekends just to help pay for school. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of my free time is spent outside with my dog. We go on runs, hikes, ride bikes, paddle board, kayak, lay in hammocks, etc. My boyfriend and I just bought a house within walking distance to the lake, so we have greatly increased how much time we spend outside now. We also like to camp and have been trying to see at least a couple national parks each year. 

What’s something—big or small—that you’re really good at?
My most interesting talent is probably that I can sign the alphabet forward in sign language while simultaneously saying it backwards. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My Meemaw tells me when I was really young, I wanted to be a “cooker” because I would only watch cooking shows. The first thing I remember I wanted to be was a ballerina or part of the Radio City Rockettes. I even won a Texas Miss High Kick competition my senior year, but then I learned I was too short to be a Rockette. At age 7, I had to start going to physical therapy due to dance injuries and it was at that time that I realized that was what I wanted to do for my career. 

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into?
I have been brewing my own Kombucha since quarantine. I feel like my flavors are getting pretty good since I now use my home-grown herbs. I make so much of it at one time that I feel like I should start selling it at local farmer’s markets! 

What’s the first concert you ever went to?
N*Sync! I was about 7 years old. I wore my N*Sync shirt and my N*Sync shoes with a secret compartment for my lip gloss. I made my own N*Sync bracelet, socks, bag and poster that all said, "I LOVE LANCE." Best part - my friend’s mom had a limo pick us up to go to the concert!

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