Posted on December 4, 2014 by Chapter Staff
Originally Published in HAPTA’s e-Newsletter, What’s HAPTAnin’ – December 2014
APTA National Student Conclave and You
Before I begin I want to thank HAPTA, Danae, and Noreen for reaching out and providing me the wonderful opportunity to attend APTA’s NSC (National Student Conclave). For those unaware, the NSC is put on to educate student PT’s and PTA’s on their professional future, career goals and pathways, as a motivational and awareness tool, and to nudge the profession on a particular trajectory. This year’s Conclave emphasized bettering society through the Physical Therapy profession.
The question asked is: why should you, the PT or PTA student attend the NSC? The NSC is a wonderful opportunity to extend professional networks, meet other fellow students and gain new insights into other programs and the profession, to learn about new applications and opportunities through the APTA (for instance PTA APP’s, or the recognition of specific specializations), and to rekindle the passion and love for your profession. For me, my time spent at the NSC was invaluable. I was able to learn strategies other states used to pass particular legislation (amend practice acts and temporary licensure, for instance), add to my contact list people in specialized areas (geriatrics), and improve my job prospects through resume builders as well as the career and professional seminars that were held. This information and networking is extremely valuable in having a successful and rewarding career in the Physical Therapy world.
As well as the national chapter, involvement in your State chapter is vital to our professions and the associations’ future success. This, too, was stressed at the NSC, and the benefits for you as a student for your career are numerous. This ranges from job opportunities listed through the State chapter, making connections and friends with other local PT’s and PTA’s (which can also help with employment and other opportunities), as well as helping you with continuing education (at a reduced cost), to benefit your patients as well as yourself. Similarly, the conference had regional and national employers in attendance.
Lastly, I want to talk about professional issues that were addressed at NSC that affect all of us (PT’s and PTA’s), which is the issue of direct access. While Hawai’i does have direct access it is a two-sided coin. It is important for our patients to know and understand that they can receive Physical Therapy services without having to be referred or see their General Practitioner first. Through the NSC students can learn more about their profession and the issues we face. It’s up to all of us together to address these concerns and provide for our patients and ourselves.
I want to again thank HAPTA for this wonderful opportunity. I also want to implore any prospective student who either hasn’t heard of, or has been on the fence about the APTA and the NSC to reach out and attend. The information provided and opportunities available at the NSC will help you and your patients in your journey as either a PT or PTA.
Sincere Thanks and Gratitude,
Scott Wassmer, SPTA