Day in the Life of a PTA Instructor

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There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, according to at least one of Concorde’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) directors.

“A day in the life of a PTA instructor involves much more than an eight-hour day at work,” said Cristiane Timoteo, PTA, CCI, Director of Clinical Education in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Concorde’s campus in Miramar, Fla. “It is a long-term commitment with several sacrifices needed in order to be able to supply the students with the necessary material and knowledge to be a successful, safe and knowledgeable PTA.”

Rewards of being a Physical Therapist Assistant instructor

Timoteo said a Physical Therapist Assistant, when dealing with patients, garners rewards from seeing patients improve and receiving credit from those patients for that improvement. There are rewards as well for the PTA instructor, but they’re different, she said.

“It is not as immediate as with a patient, but more long term,” Timoteo said. “When the students were able to successfully complete the program and become licensed, that is one of the biggest rewards I have ever felt.

“It’s amazing to know how many patients will be helped because there is one more licensed PTA on the field!”

Keeping chin up as a Physical Therapist Assistant instructor

Timoteo said it’s important as an instructor to not lose sight of that reward on a daily basis. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or over worked, because students can be demanding, lack confidence, need extra hours of tutoring. There are administrative duties on top of normal teaching hours. It’s easy to feel burned out.

“But again, remembering the small gains and achievements by the students, the lit-up faces when they understand a concept, or just allowing them to have fun when learning about wheelchairs …,” she said. “It’s important to keep motivated and make it worthwhile the extra work we, instructors, put into it.”

“Countless prep hours and grading papers at home, retake exams and many other everyday tasks that can make one feel overwhelmed … I can assure you, it all goes away when you are able to give a final advisement to a student saying he or she made it to the next term and are one step closer to their dream.”

Loving where she is as a Physical Therapist instructor

Timoteo said she couldn’t be more excited to be in the education sector of the Physical Therapist Assistant field. Teaching students how to become a physical therapist assistant is all the reward she needs.

“I feel I’m constantly learning more and more as well as making a difference in the students’ lives forever,” she said. “To top it off, once licensed they become our peers, and it can be a lifetime friendship that was formed as well.

“I love to come to work every day.”

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