Jada Thomas is a PTA student at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Virginia. She is completing a clinical rotation at Martinsville Physical Therapy and Industrial Rehab. Her clinical instructors are Mike McClellan, MPT and Tim Armstrong, LPTA.
Why are you pursuing a career in physical therapy?
I think physical therapy is such a great field. It is so rewarding because you’re helping someone function again or decrease his or her pain. I’ve always known that I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and be hands on. It took me a while but I found the perfect profession.
What role does the clinical rotation play in your PTA education?
I’m applying what I’ve learned in the classroom and labs to real life situations. I do believe you learn a lot more in your clinical rotations. In school we’re working on other classmates that do not have these injuries that we learn about in class. In my clinical rotation I’m getting in there and actually getting to see the different complications that we discussed in class.
What were you looking for in a clinical instructor and clinical site?
I was looking for clinical instructor(s) that weren’t expecting me to know it all and was excited about teaching me. I did not want to have instructors that would leave me on my own and that actually wants to give me tips and explain things to me. I was expecting a larger site than the clinic I was at on my last rotation. MPT is a great size and everyone has room to move around and that is important for the patients. I was looking for great people to work. Everyone is so willing to help out, and its great to know I have help. They don’t mind helping and it helps build confidence.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
My favorite experience so far has been helping out with the progress evaluations and progress notes. I was pretty nervous about doing those but I feel so much more confident.