Alumni

Lindsay Dunkle

  • Physical Therapist Assistant

After earning a bachelor’s in chemistry and working in a research lab, Lindsay was eager for a change. Her personal experience with physical therapy, desire to help others, and interest in a more hands-on career led her to Penn College. After graduation, Lindsay scored a job as a physical therapist assistant. Today she’s applying what she’s learned to help her patients recover and get back to doing what they love the most.

Lindsay Dunkle
TAKING THE LEAD

Q&A with Lindsay

WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CAREER FIELD AND WHY?

I’ve always had an interest in physical therapy since I was about 16 years old, but I didn’t decide to actively pursue an education in this field until I was 27. Even with having a prior interest in PT, I first pursued and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and worked in a research lab. I realized that lab work didn’t exactly fit my personality or interests and then the turning point for me was after I had gone through my fourth knee surgery. After I finished the PT rehab process, I felt that God was leading me into a field that involved helping athletes or people of any age return to the activities that they love to do and that make them happy.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR FIELD?

The thing I like most about physical therapy is that I get to be a part of someone’s recovery story of how they were able to heal from an injury or learn to manage a disability. It’s an extremely rewarding experience when you see a patient progress and make strides towards their goals. There’s no better feeling than seeing your patient succeed and seeing the happiness on their face.

WHAT IS SOMETHING COOL YOU LEARNED AT PCT OR A FUN PROJECT YOU WORKED ON?

I learned so much during my time at PCT that it’s hard for me to just center on one topic. The human body is an amazing thing with so many intricate systems. It’s so interesting to learn about neurological disorders and how a structural, biochemical, or electrical dysfunction can cause such a wide range of symptoms. I also think it’s cool to learn about all the origins and insertions of the muscles and how the muscles make the body move and work in the ways that it does. 

HOW DID THE MIX OF PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE AND THEORY HELP YOU?

The mix of practical experience and theory that we receive in the PTA program is awesome. The professors work so hard to tie in the lecture topics with the in-class lab assignments so that we not only get the theory and reasoning behind rehab techniques, but we also get the hands-on experience that is so essential to cementing the information into our minds. We also get the amazing opportunity to have three clinical experiences in various settings, where we get to apply everything we’ve learned on actual patients.

IF SOMEONE WERE INTERESTED IN PENN COLLEGE, WHAT MIGHT YOU TELL THEM?

If someone was interested in Penn College, I would definitely tell them to schedule a visit! There are so many majors available, and most of them are directly hands-on. The class sizes are small and the campus is beautiful and very welcoming. Every professor that I have had here has also been pretty great. The faculty and staff really put their hearts into their work to make sure that their students succeed. 

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS YOU HAVE WITH FACULTY AND/OR THE PENN COLLEGE FAMILY?

Speaking in regards to the PTA program, the faculty is nothing short of amazing. You can feel how much the professors care not only about how your classes are going, but also how you are doing in general. College can be difficult and extremely stressful, so it’s great when you feel that your professors are there to help in any way they can. Every professor wants all of their students to succeed and if that means staying late, staying on the same topic for an extra 15 minutes, or meeting with you individually, they are willing to do that. The professors encouraged us all to lean on each other and help each other, and I definitely feel like I came out of the PTA program with another awesome family. 

Guaranteed Momentum

"Seeing how PTs and many other medical professions still had to work throughout the COVID pandemic, it gave me a newfound respect for the medical field. When you work in a field that relies heavily on hands-on contact, there’s going to be a risk, but it’s always humbling and inspiring to see the resilience of those who deal with patient care."

Lindsay Dunkle

Real-World Ready
So many ways to give back

So many ways to give back

Lindsay's passion for helping others continued outside of the classroom. She was the treasurer and active member of the Physical Therapist Assistant Club (PTA). One of the club's initiatives was a 10-day food drive. Lindsay and her group collected food and donated to The Cupboard at Penn College, an on-campus food pantry that assists students and their families.

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Physical Therapist Assistant

Enjoy a hands-on career that allows you to promote an active recovery process and help patients lead pain-free lifestyles.

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