Physical Therapy Assistant Career for ECPI University Student Inspired by Tragic Events

Physical Therapy Assistant Career for ECPI University Student Inspired by Tragic Events

Richmond/Emerywood Graduate Finds her Calling

Tragedy can sometimes bring life into sharper focus. That’s what happened when Ashley Battle’s cousin was shot. Paralyzed from the neck down, he was told he would never walk again. Through fierce determination and the dedication of talented physical therapy professionals, Ashley saw her cousin defy the odds and is now able to move about with the use of a walker.

This experience got her thinking. She was already a certified nursing assistant but was still unsure about her ultimate career path. Despite earning a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, she had not found her calling. Having seen the impact of physical therapy firsthand, Ashley decided to learn more. At the time, she was working at a Richmond rehabilitation center and met an ECPI University student doing his clinical rotation. He told her about the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program offered at the Richmond/Emerywood campus.

After a tour and meeting with an admissions advisor, Ashley decided to enroll. “Ashley has been a dedicated student from the time she started in the PTA program,” says Dr. Nijah Chinn-Gonsalves, Richmond/Emerywood PTA Program Director. “She is passionate about the profession and shows it by really trying to deeply grasp all the concepts, perfect her techniques, and sharpen her PTA professional skills. She not only works hard in the classroom, but also manages to take care of her young daughter and work at the same time. She will be a great physical therapist assistant and it’s been a pleasure to have her in class!”

Ashley has just completed her final classes and is now preparing to take the National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam. “My experience at ECPI University was awesome,” says Ashley, “I feel like I have been well prepared to begin my career. The way the program is organized is excellent. The way the classes flow, it really helps you build your skill level in a way that gives you great confidence.”

While Ashley says she may eventually earn her doctorate in physical therapy, right now she wants to hone her expertise in the area of neurology, specifically, working with stroke patients. Like most ECPI University graduates, Ashley says she is committed to a life of continuous learning. For now, however, she says, “I just want to be the best physical therapy assistant I can be.”