I Am Elon with Jordan Patterson DPT ’22

The Doctor of Physical Therapy student and class president is using his listening skills as he helps patients.

Human connection means everything to Jordan Patterson DPT ’22. When he and his cohort were beginning the Doctor of Physical Therapy program in January 2020, he made sure to foster relationships with each of his classmates. A stickler for punctuality, Jordan would always be one of the first to arrive on campus for a day of classes. As other students trickled in, he made the rounds, greeting everyone with a fist bump.

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Not surprisingly, Jordan’s cohort nominated him to be the class president, a role he relishes. “I keep the tempo of the class, making sure everyone is doing OK and working out priorities of my classmates,” he says. “I’m our liaison to the faculty, making sure our needs are met.”

Jordan, a North Carolina native, played football in high school, and a knee injury landed him in a physical therapist’s care. His experience with the injury and the rehabilitation process were eye-opening, and he learned that he wasn’t quite as invincible as he’d thought. That experience drew him to the profession and helps inform his work with clients.

During his first year at Elon, Jordan volunteered with the Health Outreach Program of Elon — H.O.P.E. Clinic for short — a student-run pro bono clinic that offers physical therapy services to uninsured or under-insured clients. In-person meetings were impossible because of the pandemic, so they relied on telemedicine instead. He said that type of care sparked his creativity and taught him how to think differently.

Jordan spent January and February in a clinical rotation at CORA Physical Therapy Chapel Hill, treating patients both in person and virtually. He found that connecting with patients and developing rapport were just as important as the physical care. Patience, with himself and his patients, guided him and helped him see the bigger picture.

“I listen and I commit to each person,” Jordan says. “I may not immediately know every answer, but I am listening 100 percent of the time, always doing my best. I will give you as much time as it takes to reach our goal.”

Jordan is  Elon and one of many stories that are part of our “I Am Elon” series.