Rebecca started with researching Virtua as they are a large health network in her area. She found a listing for a Physical Therapy Aide position and started to dig more into it. Her mom is an employee with Virtua, so she was able to apply for this position and make it into an internship. Rebecca notes that the largest responsibility of a Physical Therapy Aide (PTA) is to maintain the flow of the office. Whether that is checking patients in and out, assisting the therapists with exercises, or keeping the work area clean, PTAs are crucial to have in a Physical Therapy office to ensure all operations run smoothly. Her typical day would start with catching up on voice messages from patients and checking patients in for their appointments. She would then usually migrate to the back and clean benches, exercise equipment and machines. If the therapist was very busy, Rebecca had the opportunity to help patients perform exercises with resistance bands, ankle weights, exercise balls, and many more items. She would also go back to the front desk if they needed help. Wherever someone needed assistance, Rebecca was there to help!
Rebecca notes that the courses she has taken at Ursinus have prepared her greatly for her internship. Knowing basic anatomy is crucial for this field, so she felt confident when discussing bones and muscles with the therapists. The Ursinus community has also allowed her to become a better leader and team member, so she was able to apply those skills during her internship.
This internship solidified for Rebecca that she wants to pursue a career in healthcare. Learning about how the body works is so interesting to her, and she is excited to learn even more! Rebecca is looking forward to taking more health-based courses during her remaining time at Ursinus.
Rebecca believes that Communication skills were the most important regarding her internship. In healthcare especially, good communication is crucial when dealing with patients. Without proper communication, progress would never be achieved. Communication from patient to therapist, and then therapist to other employees is so important in order to provide adequate care. Rebecca also demonstrated effective work habits by communicating clearly, working efficiently, and utilizing teamwork. Healthcare is all about giving back to the community, and she was able to express that during her time at her internship.
Rebecca has known that she wanted to be a Physician Assistant (PA) for a while. The PTA position allowed her a first glimpse into what it takes to be involved with healthcare. She is still planning to become a PA post-graduation, and would like to thank this internship for solidifying that for her. Rebecca finds physical therapy very interesting, but her heart is still with becoming a PA. Rebecca recalls that the most challenging part of her internship was learning the EMR computer system in such a short time. A lot of different aspects goes into medicine, but she did not realize learning how a software works would be one of them. One big idea learned from this is that organization is very important and crucial for dealing with the EMR system. Although there was this challenge, Rebecca notes that the coolest part of her experience was seeing the growth of the patients during their time at Physical Therapy. Seeing them grow stronger every session always left her so happy. She also loved getting to talk with the patients and getting to know them better.
A fun fact about Rebecca is that her favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip!
Written by Alexa Alessandrini ’24