Physical therapy institute benefits aspiring health care professionals
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- September 1, 2022
- Undergraduate Students
There are many kinds of careers in the health care sector – from a range of positions in nursing, to becoming a physician assistant (PA), a cytotechnologist, or a physical therapist (PT), among many others.
With the variety of career options in health care, choosing your own path can be difficult. So, where to start?
In physical therapy, Daemen University is offering a new way for high school students to find out more about the profession – by holding its first-ever PT institute this summer.
“An academic camp is a unique way of putting a growing profession on the radar of 16- and 17-year olds,” said Michael Ross, associate professor of PT at Daemen and co-director of the institute.
Before 2030, opportunities in physical therapy are projected to grow by a 21 percent projected job increase, with an average annual salary of $95,620, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Those who completed the week-long program earned two hours of university credit and a $1,500 Daemen scholarship. The institute will become a yearly offering at Daemen, and interested high school students can apply beginning in the spring of 2023.
Due to the high standards and selectivity of Daemen’s physcial therapy program, the symposium was limited to 26 students to ensure a quality experience for all enrolled students, who came from Buffalo-area high schools as well as Rochester, Vermont, and Pennsylvania.
“We want to make sure we provide the individual attention necessary for students to have the best-possible experience,” said Ross.
Building valuable connections
Giving students a personalized experience is one of the reasons Daemen’s PT program stands out among competitors. Class sizes at Daemen average a 13-to-1 student-to-professor ratio, and each student receives one-on-one advisement.
Current Daemen PT student Mason Loar said that after going through the college search process, “I chose Daemen because its small size was very important to me.”
He added, “Now, as a student in the PT program, I am able to have personal relationships with both my teachers and my fellow students, which I love.”
During the recent summer PT institute, high school students not only got a feel for the Daemen campus and faculty, they learned about many major areas of PT, including cardiopulmonary, neurology, orthopedics, and pediatrics, and more.
“Students learned about the profession in a hands-on way and got a head start if they choose to pursue this path as a career,” said Ross, “They were also introduced to one of Daemen’s signature programs in a hands-on way.”
All full-time, core Daemen PT faculty actively teach, practice, and conduct research in their area of specialty. Therefore, students learn from professionals who are currently practicing in the field, treating patients in addition to providing thorough education to their students.
The introductory course that compromised the summer PT institute was also taught by Gary Styn, who serves as the university’s director of graduate anatomical sciences and as an assistant professor in the physician assistant program. His expertise gave students a taste of the valuable, interdisciplinary education students receive at Daemen.
The university offers many opportunities for its health sciences students – across PT, PA, nursing and other related majors – to collaborate, particularly through the on-campus Center for Interprofessional Learning and Simulation (CILS), which promotes experiential learning.
Overall, the summer PT institute received a positive response from attendees.
“Many students have expressed a desire to enter the field,” said Ryan Boggs, assistant professor of PT and co-director of the institute.
Sign up to learn more about Daemen’s PT program today.
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