Students at Calhoun on track to being assistant physical therapi - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Students at Calhoun on track to being assistant physical therapists

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

According to a Calhoun Community College web page description of the Physical Therapist Assistants' program, a PTA and a physical therapist are ordinarily considered two distinct academic paths.

There are many avenues available to graduates of this PTA program, according to program director Dr. Heather MacKrell.

"The goal that I have for my students is that they graduate and pass their licensing boards to become physical therapists' assistants and that they will be working in the community to take care of patients," said MacKrell, "and get them back to their maximum functional level and help them in lots of different settings in a hospital or outpatient settings with a school or a sports team."

There's a lot to learn and a lot of memory work involved to become an assistant physical therapist. But most of these kids say they have definitive plans for when they graduate.

PTA student Sarah Brannon of Athens has her own plans for after graduation.

"I'd like to go into the outpatient setting, to work mainly with sports injuries," she said. "That's something that always sort of fascinated me."

Jessi Roberts is a Tanner resident. She says her goals are in sight.

"Post graduation, I would probably like to work inpatient," Roberts said. "I'm a tech now, inpatient, and I really like it. There's also other options as far as pediatrics. I'm also kind of interested in pediatrics, so I think I might go take some CCU's and see where it takes me."

Madison resident Chris Carter wants to concentrate in one particular area:

"I'd really like to work with athletes," he said. "That's my main goal coming into this, but I realize that's a stepping stone - so I will probably start off in a clinic somewhere, maybe a rehab facility. My dream is to one day become a physical therapist and then work with athletes."

"So they actually can go into sales or management, administration work in a hospital... or an outpatient clinic," said MacKrell. "It's amazing the stories I hear from my students when they come back and tell me about what they've accomplished and done with their career."

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