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Blinn Physical Therapist Assistant students learn from world’s best therapists

Twenty-one PTA students tour Houston’s Health Museum, Institute for Rehab and Research

August 4, 2014

Blinn College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) students Blinn College Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) students left Bryan-College Station before sunrise recently to share their knowledge with children and learn from some of the world’s finest physical therapists.

At the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, the 21 students acted as docents for three different hands-on activities for children and their parents. The respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular systems were each represented at a station where students taught museum guests what a longtime smoker’s lung looks like compared to a healthy lung, how much sugar is in a can of soda and how much blood the human body contains.

“The presentations at the museum helped sharpen our communication skills and made the information really sink in,” said Brittany Martin, a second-year student from Lindale. “The museum was incredible to walk through—the exhibits were hands-on and very involved. It was a great learning experience.”

The students finished their day at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), a world-renowned facility ranked No. 1 in the state and third in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. They toured the facility and observed physical and occupational therapists as they worked with clients.

“TIRR was unbelievable to see in person,” Martin said. “It looks like an ordinary clinic from the outside, but inside incredible things were happening. There were so many therapists moving nonstop and working diligently with their patients. The staff had a way of approaching rehab that was really inspiring.”

The Houston trip was a first for the students, but PTA faculty are already working to make it an annual affair.

“The opportunity to travel as a group to Houston and observe professionals of their same career choice in action was motivating and inspiring,” said Heather Lewis, PTA instructor.  “The students were drawing from what they have learned in the classroom and that opened up for intriguing dialogue in the clinical setting.”

Blinn’s PTA Program is part of the Division of Health Sciences based at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, which offers associate degree nursing, dental hygiene, emergency medical services, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, fire science, therapeutics manufacturing, veterinary technology and vocational nursing programs designed to train students for high-demand professions.

For more information on Blinn’s PTA program, visit:

Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 18,413 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is currently implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled, “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

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