Read about some of our alumni and their interests, career goals, and experiences in the our Programs.
If you’re looking for a career that offers tremendous growth potential and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives, Casa Loma College will prepare you for that career!
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Amy Shelton-White holds our July Alumni Spotlight! Amy graduated November 2017 with an Associate of Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant. Amy has been working as a PTA for about one and one-half years and believes that working at both in-patient and out-patient facilities upon graduation will give graduates a better feel for the type of facility they want to work in and a better idea of what to focus your PTA career on.
We wish Amy the best in her career and know she will make a name for herself in whatever path she chooses to follow as a PTA!
Where have you worked since you graduated and where do you currently work? What is your title?
Physical Therapyworks (Santa Monica outpatient private clinic), Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys (acute care rehab department), private contractor home health physical therapy. I currently am a PTA at VPH and in the home health setting as a private contractor.
What type of things do you do there day to day?
Assist with scheduling, provide physical therapy services to patients in the acute care setting. There is constant variety in the patient population. The youngest patient I’ve treated was 8 years old and the oldest was 104 years old. We treat a lot of post-op ortho patients, but also a lot of neurological, cardiac, general debility and other patients.
What do you like about your career?
I like the interaction with people from all walks of life, helping people, problem solving, being physically active throughout the day, focusing on health and wellness, and the combination of teamwork and autonomy that comes with the acute care setting.
What are your career goals for the future?
I could see myself shifting toward the “health plus” side of physical therapy with a focus on the geriatric population, possibly training in Pilates or tai chi in order to become an instructor or just to add more tools to my grab bag.
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
For current students: If you don’t understand something, keep asking questions until you do. Prioritize. Drill your anatomy until you know it cold. When you feel overwhelmed, go to sleep. Showing up is half the battle, studying is the other half.
For new grads: Congratulations! Be proud of your yourself and know your value! I found it helpful to work part-time in outpatient and inpatient settings for the first year out of school to round out my skills and to get a feel for where I wanted to be and what my priorities were for my career as a PTA. The skills I learned at my outpatient job make me a more confident and competent PTA in the home health and inpatient setting.
How did Casa Loma College help you get where you are today?
The staff at Casa Loma were very supportive and responsive from the moment I walked in to pick up an application, all the way through last week when I emailed Carren about getting a copy of my transcript, and I feel confident that they will continue to be supportive and responsive in the future as my career progresses. They care about their students and are personally invested in every one of them.
What was your experience like getting a job after you graduated?
I maintained a relationship with one of the clinics where I did a clinical rotation and applied to the job leads Carren sent out toward the end of the program and was lucky enough to have 3 job offers before I even took the board exam.
Did you use any of the school’s on-campus career services?
Yes, Carren was very helpful.
Did you find a job right away?
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome getting into the program?
Rearranging my home life (prior to beginning the program I was a stay at home mom) to accommodate the demands of school and doing the volunteer hours since I had no prior experience in the field.
While at School? Time management, sleep deprivation, juggling family life and student life
Transitioning into the workforce?
Learning to be efficient in my documentation is an ongoing process. Thankfully, I am now able to write a note in less than 30 min! Also, in the outpatient setting I learned the hard way that sometimes less is more when it comes to therapeutic exercises. I overworked a patient’s posterior tibialis and she was in pain and flared up for months afterward.
What are some highlights from your time at Casa Loma College?
Giving a speech at the commencement and mostly not crying while I talked about how amazing our cohort, families and the PTA staff were; I passed every test; doing Dan’s informal (but hard core) Cardio Kickboxing classes in the PT lab on Thursday afternoons; the field trips to Rancho Los Amigos, Ride-On and the CSUN therapy pool were fun and informative; and the breaks between the semesters were always bliss.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Nap, clean, and play with my kids
Where do you see yourself five years from now in your career?
I’m not sure. Possibly doing more home health. I’m happy to be gaining experience in the acute care setting right now but I am keeping my eyes and ears open for new opportunities to grow and learn and earn.
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