Virginia Western Community College launches physical therapist assistant program

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Western Community College is offering a physical therapist assistant program for the first time this fall.

Jayden Glass has dreamed of being a physical therapist assistant since he was in 8th grade, after his friend got injured during their cross-country practice.

“When I helped her with her stretches, I realized it was a great way to help people and make connections with people and to really see them go from zero percent to a hundred percent,” said Glass.

Glass is now taking the first step to making his dream come true. He is one of the 24 students enrolled in the new physical therapist assistant program.

“It’s a neat mix of students that are kind of fresh out of high school,” said Program Administrator Jordan Tucker. “We got several students who are in their 20s. We’ve got several students that are 30s, 40s maybe doing a different career path in life.”

Tucker was the clinical coordinator at Jefferson College of Health Sciences before it merged with Radford University. Tucker says she was able to bring knowledge from the former program.

“They will do three clinical experiences out in the community where they will be working alongside a licensed PT or PTA,” explained Tucker, “and start putting hands on patients and putting in practice everything they’ve been learning in the classroom.”

Tucker says there is a strong demand for PTAs, especially in the Roanoke Valley.

“Almost every healthcare facility in the area that has therapy employs PTA’s,” added Tucker.

The five-semester program begins August 22.

“I am really looking forward to seeing what we learn and how we get to do things in class as well,” said Glass.

If you are interested in being part of the program, they are currently accepting applications for next year.

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