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Carrington College Blog

PTA Students Save Lives

August 6, 2012

PTA ProgramAn education can be a wonderful thing for so many reasons, but when you put your education to good use by saving lives, it takes its value to a whole new level. Earlier this summer two students on our Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at our Albuquerque, NM, campus used their knowledge to save lives on two separate occasions.

PTA students are taught about diseases and the effect they can have on the body, as well as how to handle emergency situations. They use this knowledge to help patients recover from a disability or an injury, but if you’re in the right place at the right time, that knowledge can be crucial in life saving situations.

Dr. Myrna Brown, Director of Clinical Education for the PTA program in Albuquerque, explained how two of her students came to be life-savers earlier this summer.

“One of our PTA students recognized the symptoms of a heart attack in a female relative. The signs and symptoms of cardiac disease in women are often vague and differ from those taught in public announcements that are more common in men.

Women don’t usually exhibit the typical chest pain and pressure, jaw pain or radiating left arm pain, but instead may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away. Our student’s PTA education helped her to recognize her relative’s symptoms early, and refer her to the emergency department in time to prevent serious complications.

Doing Well By Doing Good In Albuquerque

The second incident occurred during a PTA student’s clinical externship when a therapist was choking. The student’s training kicked in and she helped the therapist to breathe again by using the Heimlich Maneuver, performing what seemed like endless repetitions.

Dr. Brown and the rest of the Albuquerque faculty are understandably very proud of the actions of these two inspiring individuals…

“An important part of our culture is sharing our success by contributing to the communities where we live and work. We call it Doing Well By Doing Good. Both of these students chose the PTA program because they wanted to make a difference in patients’ lives. The training they received at Carrington College not only prepared them for a rewarding career in physical therapy, but also prepared them to quickly respond in an emergency situation and ultimately save a life.”

If you or someone you know would like to find out more about our Physical Therapist Assistant program, speak to an Enrollment Services Representative. In addition to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Carrington Physical Therapist Assistant program is available at our Mesa, Arizona, Boise, Idaho, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Pleasant Hill, California campuses.


For comprehensive consumer information on our PTA program, visit

Program availability varies by location.