Stanbridge University is showcasing Alumni True Stories to shine a light on our passionate graduates making a difference in the community. This week we are featuring Rex-David Arcibal, a Physical Therapist Assistant alumnus who made his dream of working in pediatrics a reality.
Where are you working and what is your current role?
I am currently working at Unlimited Possibilities as a pediatric physical therapist assistant.
What does your day as a physical therapist assistant look like?
I usually see 7-8 kids a day. Often, I spend my first 30 minutes reviewing which kids I have for the day and creating a treatment plan. Treatment sessions are based on PT evaluations, often looking at developmental milestones such as stairs, running, balance, motor coordination, and behavior.
What do you love about working in physical therapy?
I love working in pediatric physical therapy because I get to see kids achieve major motor milestones such as taking their first steps, riding a bike for the first time, or even helping them sit independently with their peers. It takes plenty of patience and creativity; however, having the ability to help children reach their milestones is rewarding.
Have you had a recent patient experience that you felt confident about?
I have had too many to count, especially since I work with many children with rare diagnoses. Right now, I’m passionate about using virtual reality to assist with physical therapy. Currently, we are working with a company that uses a fun, interactive system that keeps children engaged in treatment while helping the clinician gauge how much muscle activation a child is doing.
Why did you choose Stanbridge University’s PTA Program?
I’ve had an interest in pediatrics since my undergrad days at CSULB. When I ended up doing an internship at a local pediatric clinic and assisted in physical therapy, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I looked up physical therapist assistant programs where I could achieve that and found Stanbridge. During my tour, it just so happened that my cousin was already enrolled in PTA classes at Stanbridge, and he gave me feedback. I ended up being a part of the following PTA cohort.
How has Stanbridge prepared you to become a pediatric physical therapist assistant?
Stanbridge’s PTA program was definitely rigorous and challenging since the staff has such high expectations for each student. The education and training set the foundation for me to become the clinician I am today.
Any favorite Stanbridge memories, classes, or instructors?
I made plenty of memories at Stanbridge, including making friends throughout my program. Our whole cohort relied on each other during the struggles of the program. Therapeutic Exercise with Instructor De Ruyter was one of my most memorable classes because it challenged me and helped me gain confidence early on. Neuro with Dr. Eberhardt taught me many techniques that I use in the clinic today. She was so passionate about Neuro that she found many ways for us to understand difficult concepts and opened up my creative mind with my treatments. I have the utmost respect for them and consider both of them mentors.
What advice do you have for someone considering applying to Stanbridge?
This program is very demanding and tough but rewarding in the end if you put your time and effort into it. It is a marathon where mental fortitude is needed to continue pushing through. One thing that helped me was finding great study partners that have the same work ethic and study habits. Find the right study partners to maximize each of your skill sets and help each other pass the competencies and practicals.
What is your biggest goal right now?
One of my goals is to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. I am currently working on building a virtual reality program with children at my clinic and taking plenty of continuing education courses to diversify my skillset. Further down the line, I may go to PT school to become a Physical Therapist and eventually would like to teach.
Anything else you’d like to share?
The Stanbridge PTA program prepares you for the working world by setting down your foundation as a clinician. Use all the resources available to you. You will have your ups and downs with the program; however, you just have to keep pushing on. Keep practicing with your fellow classmates and instructors to fine-tune your manual skills!
To view more inspirational stories, visit Alumni True Stories.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant, visit the Stanbridge University PTA Program for more information.
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