Rehab explorer program gives students hands on experience

By  | 

ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR)-- The demand for physical therapists is growing. Forbes magazine listed physical therapy as a top ten job in high demand and these students lived a day in the shoes of the healer.

"Learning the difference between athletic training and physical therapy that's my big personal thing," said Dylan Coffey a senior at Boylan Catholic high school.

Physical therapy assistants at OrthoIllinois opened their doors to students to teach them some of the ways they do their job. Physical therapy assistant Heather Riley ran some simple exercises with the group.

"I think by coming today the students are doing lots of exercises and kind of practicing with the ultrasound machine off," said Riley.

Assistants that ran this event think the hands on experience is important for students to have early on in this field.

"Giving me clearance on the difference between each one, because physical therapy has a lot more clinical work," said Coffey.

Experts say the college programs that teach students to become physical therapists are extremely competitive. Event coordinators gave out some tips for students to prepare them for this challenge.

"They can maybe do some job shadowing, they can maybe do some community service," said Riley. "By coming to something like this they can start preparing for that, so they are ready to apply when the time comes."

OrthoIllinois plans on having this event twice a year, once now and again later in the year. Their goal is to have them around the time students apply for college.