October 11, 2011 Leave a comment
A few months ago, I found out that PIT will be offering a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Associate Degree. This program will be a 5-semester, full-time program that will allow students to pursue one of the fasting growing jobs in the United States. I wanted to write about it because I have been intimately involved in physical therapy for my entire adult life!
A million years ago, or 25 if you want to be specific, I was a fresh-faced, eager young student at the University of Delaware. I lived in what was called North Campus which was accessible by either a 2 mile walk around a mountain (or for what passes as a mountain in Delaware) or trotting up and down four sets of steep concrete steps that make PIT’s steps look like a senior citizen ramble at the mall. One night, coming home from the….uh….library…, I fell down the aforementioned steps resulting in my first experience with physical therapy. This is what I remember most …it hurt like crazy and then it helped. The physical therapists and physical therapy assistants were a combination of Mr. T (I pity the fool!) and Mr. Rogers (Won’t you be my neighbor?). They pushed me and cajoled me and finally, I didn’t need crutches, a cane or a knee brace.
Over the past two decades, I have managed to wreck my other knee quite successfully (In a series of misguided adventures, I thought I could dance, ski and play softball). Through these injuries, I learned that surgeries hurt and physical therapy can drain your energy, but more importantly, I learned that physical therapy will fix you like no medicine can. Last summer, I had terrible shoulder pains and once again, I ended up in physical therapy—this time for painter’s shoulder (or as I like to call it—too much writing on the whiteboard shoulder). After 8 glorious weeks of torture and torment, I was back to my usual self (not new, mind you….I’m an older model!). However—believe it or not, there are tons of people way older than me!
The Baby Boomer generation (born 1945 to 1964) is aging quickly and the need for physical therapy assistants is quite literally booming! From bad hips to replacement knees to the occasional compressed spinal disk, the medical community is turning more and more often towards physical therapy to help patients recuperate and get back on their feet. If you are someone who wants to move around on the job, enjoys interacting with people, and more importantly, enjoys the idea of transforming someone from dependent to independent, this is the job for you. I would have endured at least three more surgeries if not for physical therapy, so I am a huge advocate for this field because scars are just not that cute!
If you would like more information about the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree, please contact the admissions department at the Media Campus: 610-892-1500.