Erin Adamczyk has a passion for fitness and wellness, and she loves to help people. That’s why she decided to specialize in a field that lets her follow her heart.
“My original thought was to go through nursing school; I started at a community college but there was no clear path. I found it very difficult to see the end.”
Once she realized community college wasn’t for her, Erin started to explore other options. She also did some soul searching. Erin wanted to figure out what she loved about health care and then find a career path that could incorporate own passion for health and wellness. That’s how she decided to become a physical therapist assistant.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Erin did a lot of research online and she visited several schools before deciding on Carrington College. In July 2014, she enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Associate Degree program at Carrington College’s Mesa campus. One of the reasons she chose Carrington was that the campus and the people seemed so friendly when she took her tour.
“While they were very welcoming and positive, they didn’t sugarcoat anything. They told me it would be hard work, but they also said I wouldn’t be alone – people would be there to help me along the way.”
Erin commuted to Mesa from Florence, AZ, every day, a good hour’s drive each way depending on traffic. Add the commute to her school work load, being mom to three pre-teen kids, and Erin needed some help.
Erin says her husband Donaven, a firefighter in Florence, was incredibly supportive. He even picked up a second job, so she could focus on school and not have to work. Her neighbor Tracy was also very helpful, picking up the kids from school some days, looking after them for a couple of hours if needed.
Erin’s 14, 11 and 9 year old children were very supportive of mom’s decision to go back to school.
“Don’t get me wrong, it was hard; there were times they wanted my attention but I didn’t have much to spread around.”
She believes her kids have benefited from her continuing her education. They now look at education in a different light; they seem more motivated now they’ve seen what she was able to do later in life.
Something for Me
The most interesting part of the program for Erin was learning about the neurological aspects, but it was also the most difficult. However, Erin learned that if she puts her mind to something she can complete it, and that was something she had doubted about herself before.
“I started and stopped community college probably five or six times, so being able to focus, dedicate myself, and complete the program was a huge accomplishment for me.”
Many people go back to school hoping to change something about themselves, or discover a new path. As a married mom of three, Erin wanted to have something for herself, a career that she could call her own in a field that she would be passionate about.
A Perfect 800
Erin graduated from the Carrington College PTA program in March 2016. She went on to pass her board exam and gain her licensure shortly after. But she didn’t just pass her FSBPT board certification exam, she scored a perfect 800 points, which is a very unusual achievement!
“I don’t remember exactly what they told me, but it is pretty rare; I think they said there were only 12 people in the country who got a perfect score this year. I was extremely surprised, although I did study quite a lot. I definitely made the time to study and focus, but I didn’t feel as though I’d done that well. I thought I’d passed, but not with a perfect score!
When Erin went online to check her result, she saw she had passed the exam, but they hadn’t posted her score yet. It was only when her license arrived in the mail that she saw her score.
“It was a little unbelievable to be honest; I looked at the 800 and thought ‘well that’s the most you can get on the test, what was my score?’ I went back online, and by then they had posted my score and it showed 800. I was a little dumbfounded by it! At my Carrington graduation ceremony they said a little piece about my perfect score, and that was really wonderful.”
Erin started working in a physical therapist office in Gilbert, Arizona, where she currently works part-time by choice. After 20 months at school, she wanted the flexibility to spend some time with her kids this summer! She will go full-time once the kids go back to school in August.
A Job That Meets Her Passion
Erin’s main role as a Physical Therapist Assistant is to assist the physical therapist, but the scope allows her to treat patients herself (under the guidance of a physical therapist). She also provides patients with instruction and education to help them recover from an injury or condition, including exercises that can be done both in-house at the clinic under her supervision, and at home. As someone with a passion for fitness and wellness, who loves to help people, it is the perfect role.
 Carrington College prepares students to take appropriate certification and licensure exams related to their individual majors. The College does not guarantee students will successfully pass these exams or be certified or licensed as a result of completing the program. Credential preparation varies by location.