"The more than six months I spent in clinicals solidified everything I had been learning in PT school and allowed me to apply the information. Getting hands-on experience with so many patients really progressed my skills as a physical therapist very quickly."
At SAU, Katie completed three, 10-week clinical rotations, which put her education to the test and boosted it, too. Through our DPT program, she discovered her fit and passion, and gained the skills and confidence to land her dream job as a physical therapist at Genesis Pediatric Therapy Center, in Bettendorf, Iowa.
How did the DPT program prepare you for this position?
"At St. Ambrose I learned from some of the best professors – who are practicing therapists – and they instilled strong education goals in me," she says. Our DPT faculty make it clear that continual growth and knowledge is key to helping people live their best life. And, our rigorous curriculum bridges both theory and practice to produce top-notch physical therapists.
How did your clinical rotations refine your goals?
"I did a rotation in outpatient orthopedics, in an in-patient hospital setting, and a pediatric setting. I had an inkling I wanted to work in pediatrics, but I didn't want to make that decision until I completed all my clinicals. Those experiences really solidified what I wanted to do for the rest of my career." In our program, you'll gain skills in a variety of clinical practice settings and have the option to explore specialty areas of interest.
What surprised you about the DPT program?
"One of the biggest advantages is the small class size, which makes you feel as if you are home. It is a community; the professors genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. Even 10 years later, I can reach out to those professors and ask for help if I need it."
How do you carry forth the Ambrosian mission of enriching lives?
Our DPT program challenged Katie to do her best and to always help people reach their highest potential, too. Now, she ends each treatment session with tips about what to do at home to build on their progress. "Every week we set small goals that build up to much larger goals in the end. Part of my job is helping to guide that progress with the parents or actually teaching the child what they can be doing to improve their level of functioning at home."
Can you assess the ultimate value of your SAU education?
"My education was priceless. The amount of time professors dedicated to our education, ensuring our success, guiding us when we needed it, to get us to the point where we out in the real world on our first job. They helped me get the internship with Genesis, which then afforded me my first job, which has turned into a 10-year career for me."