Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life as a PTA Student

Well, now I’m here. It’s been a grueling year and a bit, but with the summer semester down and only two to go, I can safely say that I definitely made the right choice in The Physical Therapist Assistant program here at Volunteer State. With a proven track record of some 20 years our program is recognized as one of the best, if not the best, in this State and surrounding area.

Let me tell you a little about myself and the PTA program. My name is Ian and I’m originally from Canada. I moved here 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario to marry my lovely wife (whom I affectionately refer to as Kitten) and start a new life. As of 2007, I am a legal permanent resident (with no conditions attached) awaiting my chance to become a Citizen of these United States. After working as a CNA for a time, I knew that I had more to offer. I had become acquainted with Physical Therapy through my work and decided to pursue a career in the field. My role model, and dare I say mentor, is a fellow by the name of Steve Fergeson, a PTA of 30+ years and a friend. I’ll put it this way, if I can be half the PTA that he is, then I’ll have accomplished something wonderful.

OK, a little about the program itself. It is basically a 2 stage process. The first year is called Pre-PTA where all the pre-requisites are covered. Anatomy & Physiology (1&2), Physics, Math and others are some of those required courses. It is here that you are in contention for 1 of the coveted 32 positions offered each year. A rigorous interview process follows and if fortunate, you are accepted into the second year on your first attempt. Now the competition ends, as you and the other 31 students, together with your Faculty, draw together into a compact family like unit within the overall Family that is Volunteer State Community College.

The PTA program is not all work though. Sometimes, we have fun too! Our Field Day, held 7/17/08 combined therapeutic exercise with stress relieving fun. There were the ever popular wheel chair races, the oversized gym ball soccer matches, the challenging Hydrocollator Strapping three legged races, and the moisture inducing wheel chair water balloon toss (where the participants kept moving apart until they reached their respective goal lines or used up their balloons).

They say a picture paints a thousand words, well I guess the faces of my friends in the accompanying photos would fill several novel length books! We had a blast that day, and there are more to come if I can have any say in the matter!!!

Ian Pass
Student PTA

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