More Day in the Life Stories

A Day in the Life


Sr. Amanda Del Valle, IHM

Physical Therapist Assistant, Allied Services Rehabilitation Hospital (Scranton, PA)

Sr. Amanda Del Valle, a native of Colombia, was a physical therapist assistant at Allied Services Rehabilitation Hospital, Scranton, PA. She now serves in Lima, Peru.

4:30 a.m. - I wake up most days without the ringing of an alarm clock. The early hours of the morning are for me the most peaceful and refreshing for my preparation for the day. I start my day with prayer and meditation as I read the gospel of the day. I have found in this time of silence a fountain of strength which carries me through the day, especially in my ministry as a physical therapist assistant. Warmed and stimulated by a freshly brewed cup of Colombian coffee - a taste from home - I go to our chapel.

6:30 a.m. - We gather for communal prayer. Faith sharing is our form for prayer. This form of prayer requires trust in each other because we will share whatever God has spoken to each of us. I am reminded of the passage of Isaiah: "You have anointed me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the broken heart, to proclaim liberty to captives, release to prisoners." In our local community, diverse as we are, I believe that each of us in our different ministries, brings this passage to life.

7:00 a.m. - Mass in our church brings together a consistent group of people with whom I feel a connection. We share this celebration together as a family with Father Thomas, the celebrant from India; our IHM sister from Chile, a couple from Korea; other parishioners and me from Colombia. Together we begin our day praising and thanking God.

8:00 a.m. - Time for paper work and preparations for treatments. Sometimes I will visit the patients who are going to be discharged home that day wishing them good-bye and good luck and reminding them of the discharge plans to be carried out at home.

9:00 a.m. - Treatment time starts. I check the patients in my schedule for whom I have prepared a treatment plan. The plan varies according to the patient needs: exercises with or without equipment, ambulation with assistive devices and transfers. I start each treatment with a warm good morning greeting. Encouragement is vital especially at the beginning of the rehabilitation process. I love this ministry very much, and it is very rewarding because I see the progress that each patient makes every day.

12:00 p.m. - Lunch time: We take an hour for lunch because we do not have breaks in between. I usually meet my friend, Huda. She is a Muslim (from Palestine-Jordan). We have become good friends who share spirituality openly even though we practice our religion differently. Each of us has a very strong set of values by which we live. In our differences, God is the center of our lives and this is what unites us.

1:00 p.m. - I have a half-hour to prepare for the afternoon treatment session. I have an opportunity to converse with the occupational therapists with regard to our patients and different concerns. This is good because our interdisciplinary approach is beneficial for our patients. Our physical therapy gym is connected with the occupational therapy gym and this allows us to observe the different activities in which the patients are involved.

4:30 p.m. - I return home. I gather with some of the sisters in the kitchen for the last minute dinner preparations.

5:30 p.m. - We enjoy dinner together telling humorous stories. I believe that we really know how to celebrate time together. Our diversity of cultures, ages, ministries and interests in our local community enrich us greatly.

6:30 p.m. - I leave to go to the Marian Convent where I meet a sister to whom I give a Swedish massage. I am a certified Swedish Massage Practitioner. I administer massages to our sisters for relaxation purposes. I feel honored to be able to serve those who have been serving others so generously. I am proud of my sisters in my congregation because they are doing beautiful ministries wherever they are.

9:00 p.m. - I take some time to thank God for the day. I reflect on the events that happened during the day. I pray for my family, my patients, my co-workers and those for whom I promised to pray. I feel very tired at this point. Once again I find that in the silence I am able to hear God. I read the readings and gospel for the next morning before I fall to sleep. I give God all my worries and concerns and fall asleep about 10:00 p.m.

Sr. Amanda Del Valle: "I pray for my family, my patients, my co-workers and for those for whom I promised to pray."