Close Server: KOPWWW05 | Not logged in

Welcome to Health Care POV | sign in | join
Life of a PTA

The Importance of Mentorship

Published April 18, 2014 5:01 PM by Allison Young

Although having only been a PTA for three years, I've found myself in conversations with many potential future SPTA candidates. Quite a few have been with bright and hardworking CNAs who I work with in skilled nursing and others have been with folks my age or older (that would be the 40+ set if you were wondering) looking into PTA as a second or third career.

For those seeking direction about entering the physical therapy field -- I say this: The accredited PTA programs available are incredibly challenging, so be prepared to study and be tested weekly for almost two years without a significant break. I don't mince words or sugarcoat the process because people need to understand the commitment level you take on as a SPTA. However, when you've earned your degree and pass the state board -- you'll be working in a vastly varied field where your choice of setting and patient type can range from the local gym with a 12-year-old soccer player to the hospital with a 90-year-old recovering from hip surgery.

Whichever setting and patient group they ultimately choose to work with, I tell them they have to love it. If you're passionate about orthopedic PT but working in a skilled nursing setting with little exposure to ortho conditions, maybe it's time to make a job switch. Patients will know if your heart's not "in it" and frankly, you've worked too hard to just "phone it in" at work daily. Having said that -- give each PT setting a try, whether job shadowing a PTA or when choosing your clinical affiliations.

Personally, I find discussing the PTA profession with other interested parties to be one of my duties as a licensed healthcare professional in this field. Physical therapy has given me a profound insight into the human condition as well as myself. Providing advice and mentoring future PTAs can only support the long-term strength of the profession.

Related Content

Bridging the Gap

Creative programs offer PTAs the potential to earn advanced degrees.


I am so excited that I stumbled across your blog!  Tomorrow I go in for my interview to get into the PTA program.  I too am a 30-something, returning to school to pursue my dream.  Every morning for the past year I've started my day asking "What can I do to reach my goal to be a PTA"   Thank you for your insights into the profession.

Lori Lewis June 20, 2014 2:43 PM
Gladewater TX

leave a comment

To prevent comment spam, please type the code you see below into the code field before submitting your comment. If you cannot read the numbers in the image, reload the page to generate a new one.

Enter the security code below:


About this Blog

Keep Me Updated