Knee Surgery Sparked Interest in Physical Therapy for this Carrington College Graduate
When Chelsea Cregreen had knee surgery as a teen, she recovered with the help of a physical therapist; that experience sparked her interest in physical therapy and helped develop a passion for helping others. Later, when Chelsea began exploring her own career options, a friend told her about the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Carrington College and encouraged her to apply.
“My friend was a student at Carrington, so he already knew what a great program it was—he told me to go just for it!” she remembers.
Chelsea enrolled in the PTA program in March of 2019. Although COVID-19 presented some challenges during her clinical learning experience and graduation, she still found a way forward.
“When the pandemic first happened, my clinical site couldn’t have students,” she explains. “But I was lucky to find a new site and was able to finish there. The Carrington PTA program really helped mold me, so I was able to adapt quickly and be flexible with the changes.”
She did her clinical outpatient work at two orthopedic clinics, and her inpatient clinical work at a hospital. Her responsibilities included providing effective care for her patients, ensuring their safety, and helping them achieve their functional goals for everyday life. Chelsea felt the program prepared her to treat patients safely and effectively—and she learned to be flexible, because not all patients respond the same.
After graduation, Chelsea found that her job search was also impacted and limited due to COVID—but she persevered, finding her dream job at TEAM 4 Kids, a pediatric physical therapy clinic. Her favorite part of her job is being able to make physical therapy into interactive play for kids.
“I love trying to make kids smile and laugh while being effective with their treatment!” she says.
A typical day at her job involves creating exercises that are interesting for the child, spending about 45 minutes with each individually, and educating parents so they too can help their child reach short- and long-term goals.
“Ever since I had my injury as a child, I knew I wanted to help pediatric patients,” Chelsea says. “I wanted to be able to make an impact on a child’s life—maybe one day they’ll say they want to do physical therapy because of me. I also just love helping children because I want to make the rest of their life functional, without any potential issues down the line.”