October is loved for many reasons, including the height of autumn, the mark of cooler weather, pumpkin patches and colorful leaves, fun costumes, and decorations. However, the world of physical therapy has another reason to celebrate this month! Across the nation, physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are celebrating National Physical Therapy Month. This time serves as an opportunity to highlight what comprises the field of physical therapy, as many are unaware of all the different facets. We emphasize the importance of movement and the significant impact that regular activity has on the body, regardless of whether the activities are big or small!
Many PTs and PTAs choose to highlight their profession in some way during National Physical Therapy Month – after all, this is the profession we love. At Southern Nazarene University, we are excited to highlight this wonderful profession all month! One way we chose to do this is through a recent service learning experience.
What is service learning? There are many acceptable definitions, but we find service learning is an opportunity for students to practice the skills they learn in the classroom while providing a valuable service to the community. At SNU, we ensure our PTA students understand the importance of having adequate knowledge regarding physical therapy-related skills as well as the importance of using these skills and abilities to provide for others and support the community. Our values of refining character, shaping culture, and serving Christ are demonstrated through service in the OKC community.
This month, our service learning experience involved providing passive stretching and myofascial interventions to runners of the Red Coyote running group. The PTA students received the opportunity to put their physical therapy education to the test in a real-world experience. During this experience, they were able to interact with others and learn to differentiate the techniques that work well for them along with those that don’t. The students loved this opportunity, and the runners were grateful for a good stretch after running so many miles!
Here is some of the feedback received from the runners:
“Thank you to the students for stretching me out. They were very knowledgeable and showed me new stretches to relieve my pain.”
“Thank you for the stretching and safe modifications!”
“Thank you all! Best post-run stretching I’ve had!”
Two current PTA students who attended the service learning had the following to say about the event:
“I felt that being able to work on people that were actually having issues, whether it was tight muscles or lacking mobility, was such a great experience. It was so cool to see how people really want to be educated on what they could do to fix the issue and relied on you to be knowledgeable. It was such a great experience and I'm definitely looking forward to the next stretching session along with getting into the real world with clinicals!” - Britney Jarvis
“I absolutely loved the service learning we did together. It was such a rewarding experience, and I felt like we made a real difference in the community. Can't wait for more opportunities like that in the future!” - Brooke Terry
We have a passion for physical therapy and are so glad the profession is highlighted all month! If you are interested in how to become a physical therapist assistant, this is the place for you!
Happy National Physical Therapy Month!
Southern Nazarene University takes immense pride in celebrating the PTA program, a standard of excellence for budding Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs). This program embodies a holistic and comprehensive education in the PTA field. At SNU, PTA students gain the essential skills and knowledge required and become part of a tightly-knit community dedicated to making a positive impact. With our experienced faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, our PTA program equips students to thrive in their future careers. Whether you're an eager learner seeking quality education or an employer searching for skilled PTAs, SNU's PTA program is a testament to our dedication and commitment to this noble profession.
You can find information about Southern Nazarene’s University PTA program on our webpage. Also, feel free to contact the Program Director, Dr. Loren McElroy, email@example.com, or the Clinical Education Coordinator, Dr. Leah Spurlock, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions or if you wish to discuss the PTA career further.