Commemorating PT/PTA Awareness Month

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“Knowing I could be working as a Dental Assistant in eight months was crazy to me! I loved going to class and would drive an hour there every day. I’m truly happy that I took the step to go to Concorde. It was the best thing I have done for my family.”

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Dental Assistant graduate
physical therapist assistant

Since 1992, National Physical Therapy Month has been celebrated each October (from 1981-92, it was celebrated in June). The goal of the month-long celebration is to raise awareness of the important role a physical therapist and physical therapist assistant play in helping people decrease pain, improve mobility and engage in healthy lifestyles.

National Physical Therapy Month is celebrated any number of ways. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has a specific PT Month logo that it gives out free to members to wear on their clothing, or place electronically on websites or other signage during the month to increase community outreach.

By the same token, Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants are encouraged to engage their communities with activities that promote healthy lifestyles and to raise awareness for the importance of physical therapy. It's a wonderful opportunity to educate the public about what the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant do in helping manage pain, improve mobility and restore function.

If you're a student at one of Concorde's 10 campuses around the country that offers a Physical Therapist Assistant program, or if you have been a physical therapy patient during the month of October, there's a good chance that you've experienced first-hand some of the activities celebrating National Physical Therapy Month.

Concorde physical therapist assistant programs getting involved

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Concorde Career Institute in Jacksonville, FL is celebrating the month by volunteering at a local wheelchair (quad) rugby event - the Fall Brawl Wheelchair Rugby Tournament. Students will be assisting with registration, serving food and water to the athletes, prepping athletes for competition, loading and unloading equipment, keeping score and other duties.

"We are fortunate to have an Adaptive Sports Program in Jacksonville through Brooks Rehabilitation that gives our students the opportunity to volunteer at events where disabled athletes or recreation events are occurring," said Lori Hurtak, PT, MS, DPT, Program Director at Concorde - Jacksonville. "Oct. 15 is Global PT Day of Service for 2016. We opted to celebrate PT awareness by participating in the service day."

Hurtak said her students also will hang a National PT Month banner on campus to let the rest of the campus know about the special month.

"We'll also show appreciation to our students toward the end of the month with a small token gift and a celebration bringing both cohorts together," Hurtak said.

Physical Therapist Assistant students at Concordes campus in Memphis, Tenn. are putting on a two-week activity they're calling "Soles4Souls," which collects new or gently-used shoes and donates them to help people living in poverty. They're also engaging in a day of service during the Oct. 3-14 window to commemorate National Physical Therapy Month.

California also getting in on the act

According to Yelena Verba, BSPT, DPT, Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director at Concorde's campus in North Hollywood, CA, her students will celebrate by volunteering with the Junior Blind of America during their annual Halloween Carnival scheduled to take place Oct. 22.

"This is an event that we attend annually since the program has opened," Verba said.

A few miles south, Mary Riley, MPT, PTA Program Director at Concorde's San Diego, CA campus, said her students are performing postural assessments on campus with a "Basket of Health" raffle for all participants. Students will be distributing information about postural awareness throughout the month.

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Do you have an Associate's degree in health care field, which is a pre-requisite for this program?