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Physical Therapist Assistants + Fantastic = PTASTIC

By ARIELLE BREEN, Staff Writer
Many Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) students are involved in the rigorous Physical Therapist Assistant program (PTA). The Physical Therapist Assistant Student Tactically Involved Club (PTASTIC) helps these students to better cope with difficulties associated with being in a highly competitive program.

Seemingly stressed PTA students are often seen at MMCC’s Doan campus studying in the second-floor student lounge, just outside the 201 PTA Lab room.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), physical therapists deal with a wide range of ages and medical conditions.

“Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat,” reads the APTA website on a PT’s role. “PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles”.

Advisor of PTASTIC and PTA instructor, Crystal Parker commented on the values and goals of the club.

“The club for PTA students was a vision of mine from the inception of the PTA program,” says Parker. “The American Physical Therapy Association promotes professional development for both physical therapists (PTs) and PTAs.  A few of the core values of professionalism are altruism, professional duty and social responsibility. The PTASTIC will help students develop these values.”

PTASTIC’s president, Kayla Schunk of MMCC, explained what she likes about PTASTIC and talked of upcoming events.

“My favorite part of PTASTIC is the interaction that I get with other students,” says Schunk. “Not only do we work with other MMCC PTA students, but we will be going to a conclave in the spring where we will get to interact with other PTA students around the state. I also love getting awareness out to people who do not know much about PTA. It is such a fun program and field to be involved in and more people should know how great it is!”

Meeting days and times tend to vary with PTASTIC members’ schedule demands, and the best way to find out about upcoming meetings is to email Schunk at ksharp@midmich.edu.

MMCC student and treasurer of PTASTIC, Samantha Sherman, discussed what members do at the club meetings.

“At the meetings we discuss upcoming events, new members wanting to join, and how we are going to raise money for the upcoming events. We also discuss how to promote awareness of the club,” says Sherman.

Club Vice President, Cori Pinkos of MMCC, pointed out some of the benefits of PTASTIC.

“PTASTIC is beneficial to students because it is able to get the word out in the school and the community about the program and see what other people know or want to know about the profession. It also will look good on a resume knowing that I was a part of a club,” says Pinkos.

When asked what they hope PTASTIC will be like in one year, members said they hoped to have more members and community involvement.

“We hope to see it grow and become a more recognized club,” says MMCC student and PTASTIC’s  secretary Will Oard. “There are so many things we would like to see the club involved in, but we are just getting on our feet. Hopefully the next cohort will take what we’ve started and run with it.”

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