"The most rewarding part of my job is seeing my clients/patients over come the physical problem that has limited their life activities--and knowing that I was able to encourage them to reach their goals."

Role Model Photo Mona Crow

Health Field: Physical Therapy Assistant

Number of years in the profession:
23 year

Years in College: 7 years

Professional Credentials:
Licensed in Texas as a Physical Therapy Assistant, IWA Certified weight trainer, AHA certified CPR Instructor, APTA certified clinical Instructor

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
I volunteered as a candy striper in high school and was assigned to Physical Therapy Dept. and became very interested.

What other careers did you consider?

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
volunteer opportunities

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
volunteered as a candy striper in a Physical Therapy Dept.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
I did not qualify for scholarships except one that was given by the hospital that I volunteered at, and it was very small. The counselors at the 4 year college that I started at were not up to date with the requirements for a PT degree and caused me to take an extra year of pre-requsite courses and then I ended up going to a community colleg to get an associate degree because I could not afford to go to the 4 year college.

How did you overcome these challenges?
my parents got a second mortgage on their house and I worked part time.

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? Yes

Present Career as a Physical Therapy Assistant

Describe an average work day for you.
I work for an outpatient hospital based physical therapy dept. I see 8-9 patients a day for 45min to 1hr each. The type of patients vary from teenagers with sports injuries to the elderly who have had strokes or lung diseases. I also help in the Inpatient area when my coworkers are out or need help. Those patients are mainly elderly or Open-heart or lung surgery patients. I am also a clinical instructor for Physical Therapy Assistant Students for a local college.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
Outpatient hospital based Clinic.

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
A willingness to be patient and listen to your clients. Have strong interest in science and physics in school.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing my clients/patients overcome the physical problem that has limited their life activities and knowing that I was able to encourage them to reach their goals.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Do alot of observation and volunteering to get a very specific idea of what the field of physical therapy covers. The types of areas you can work in are very diverse.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
I take as much continuing education that I can. At this time there are no additional certifications or educational degrees that I can add that would not be too costly.

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