A serious injury on the basketball court led to a career epiphany for Jordana Andrews.
Andrews, a senior health science major from Center Ridge, Ark., who will graduate on May 16, will attend the University of Central Arkansas’ Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the fall. She was one of 56 students out of several hundred applicants to be accepted into the three-year program.
A major knee injury on the basketball court during her sophomore season at Ozarks led to a strenuous rehab program with athletic trainer Chad Floyd. That first-hand experience eventually led to a work-study job in the athletic training office and a full-blown passion for physical therapy.
“I went through rehab with Chad, so I was in the training room a lot,” Andrews said. “I enjoyed being in there and learning how to help people who are injured. The next summer I volunteered at the Clinton Physical Therapy Clinic and really found that I loved physical therapy. I fell in love with the environment and I knew that it was what I wanted to pursue a career in. The next year Chad asked me to work for him. Since then I have become more and more excited about my future career.”
Andrews said her professors at Ozarks were instrumental in her being accepted into the highly competitive UCA program.
“UCA is one of the top physical therapy programs in the country, and it is very difficult to get an interview, much less get accepted into the program,” Andrews said. “They only take 56 students each year. There are many aspects taken into consideration, such as GPA, GRE score, observation hours, and many others. I felt very confident when filling out my application and during the interview. I knew my grade point average was very good, and I owe a huge thanks to my professors for that. The professors here are always willing to help out, if you’re willing to do the work. Everyone at Ozarks has always been very supportive of anything I’ve done, and have helped me in so many ways.”
Andrews said working with Floyd for three years has also been a major plus in her collegiate experience.
“Rehabbing with him is what first got me interested in doing physical therapy, and he has supported me every step of the way,” Andrews said. “Doing work-study with him has given me experience that I couldn’t get anywhere else. I was able to do hands-on therapy, learn about several rehab and therapy techniques, and also familiarize myself with the technology I will be using as a physical therapist. I think I will be ahead of the game when I am in physical therapy school because of the work I have done in Chad’s office. I am so grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to learn and supporting me in all that I have done.”
Andrews said her professional goal is to one day own her own clinic.
“I would love working with athletes,” she said. “Eventually, my goal is to own my own outpatient physical therapy clinic. My clinic wouldn’t be only for therapy; I would like to have a workout facility open to the community and other programs offered to get people more involved in physical activity and exercise.”
After recovering from her knee injury, Andrews went on to become a standout on the basketball court for the Lady Eagles, starting all 52 games the past two seasons.
“It has been an amazing experience being a college athlete, but it was also a lot of hard work,” Andrews said. “Balancing school, basketball, extracurricular activities, and time with friends was definitely a challenge. I think having to balance all of my activities along with school and basketball really helped me develop a good work ethic and time management skills. This will help me in my career and in life in general. Also, being on a team means you have to know your role and be able to work well with other people, which is a great quality to have for any career.”
Topics: Health Science