Man, that's pretty cool!
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When I was 19 years old I worked as an orderly in a long-term care facility.
I saw a physical therapist (PT) walking a 90-year-old patient with an above-knee amputation and I thought to myself, "Man, that's pretty cool! I think I want to do that!"
An opportunity presented itself to work with the PT, and I took it. For 3 years he mentored and instructed me in many aspects of physical therapy and the profession.
During my years of physical therapy school at Salt Lake Community College, I was a student member of APTA because it was mandatory.
As I began my career as a PTA, my membership lapsed due to unforeseen circumstances. In 1999 I returned to APTA and have been a member ever since.
Today, I recognize what APTA means to our profession. Since rejoining, I’ve taken advantage of the programs and benefits that are offered. I have achieved advanced proficiency in the areas of the integumentary system, geriatrics, and acute care.
In 2015 I became the PTA Caucus representative for Mississippi. The following year I was elected to the position of PTA at-large for the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy. During this time, I have been actively engaged in instituting a bylaw change to allow PTAs a full vote on the chapter level.
APTA has challenged me to speak on the national level, and asked me to chair a committee to write the Core Competencies for Entry-Level Physical Therapist Assistants in the Acute Care Setting guideline.
Without my membership I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to participate in any of these professional endeavors.
I'm glad that I took the plunge to become a more active member, as it has afforded me many chances for growth as a person and professional.
APTA has given me new perspectives, new friends, and has lead me down a path that I wouldn’t have followed otherwise.
Today, I'm so thankful for the PT mentor of years ago, and I’m thankful for APTA, my professional association. I encourage, I persuade, and I implore students and licensed therapists to become and/or continue their membership in APTA!
Want to share your APTA love story? Submit it here! Haven't had such an experience or moment? We encourage you to contact Kaylee Pobocik, SPT, Director of Membership, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors to discover APTA value and opportunities.
Jeremy Foster, PTA, is an active member of the PTA Caucus based out of Grenada, MS. You can connect with Jeremy via email.