Letter to Students Regarding COVID-19
To Our Fellow Students:
We have journeyed through many classes, exams, and clinical internships in pursuit of becoming a PT or PTA. Now we are presented with our biggest challenge yet.
COVID-19 is affecting the health of people around the world and close to home. As our nation has taken steps to reduce the spread of the outbreak, it has introduced a new level of uncertainty and anxiety to our career paths: virtual classrooms, cancelled clinical rotations, and postponed graduation ceremonies, just to name a few.
In times like this, it's more important than ever to remember why we chose the profession of physical therapy, and to look for any opportunity to be a positive force in the health of society.
So what do we do now as we await answers about our futures? First, we take care of ourselves at home. Call friends to stay connected. Get physical activity (while practicing social distancing). And if you find yourself with any extra time, maybe read that book you've been putting off.
To keep up with what's going on, APTA and the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy have provided resources regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our profession and physical therapy education. Additionally, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education has issued updates to provide guidance with the present uncertainties in both didactic and clinical portions of our education. As this situation continues to evolve, check these links often to receive the most up-to-date information, and remain in close contact with your program for specific guidance on expectations and requirements.
This is a stressful time. Many of us feel unsure, uneasy, and unsettled with changed timelines and deviations from our original goals and plans.
Remember that you are not alone. Of APTA's more than 100,000 members, over 27,000 of us are students — the APTA Student Assembly — and we are in this together. We must continue to build each other up, encourage one another, and provide support where needed.
APTA's mission statement, "Building a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society," calls us to unite, now more than ever.
So remember that even in this time of physical distancing, we are better together. Reach out to each other on social media. Find ways to support your peers as we continue our journey to join the physical therapy profession.
Your program is your best source to answer specific questions about what this disruption means for your education, but if you have other questions or simply want a virtual hug, please reach out to us.
In your service,
The APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors