College of Health Professions
Physical Therapist feels not only prepared, but well-grounded
Joel Johnson was among the first graduating class of the Physical Therapy program at the Anderson University College of Health Professions. He’s a recipient of the Clinical Excellence “Hands That Heal” Award, and feels that Anderson University went above and beyond to help him succeed academically while balancing work, school and raising a growing family.
How did you choose Anderson University?
I knew the Lord was leading me towards physical therapy, but I also wanted to take two years to go to a small Bible school, just to get to know the Lord better. While attending undergrad, I was already considering PT school and I heard randomly that Anderson was starting a PT program the same year I would be graduating from the Bible school. Anderson stood out to me for a lot of different reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that it is a faith-based Christian organization. It is also close to home and I have family in the area. With a growing family of my own, both of those things were also important to me.
What about your Anderson University education really stands out for you?
Lots of hard work, lots of great memories. I really appreciated that my teachers were invested in me academically, but I also knew they were praying for me. They’re centered on not just equipping you to be a productive member in the workforce, but also a productive and well-grounded Christian in the workforce. That really stood out to me.
Where are you working now?
I’m working for Elite Integrated Therapy Centers at a clinic out in Greer, called SSI (Sports Spine Industrial), which they just acquired.
When did you know you wanted to do physical therapy?
I was doing pretty well in my exercise science classes in undergraduate and as I was praying about it, I felt like I was getting nudged more that way. Then I shadowed a PT summer of 2016 and just felt like this is what the Lord was pointing me towards, which was convenient because it combines a lot of things I love: sports, nerdy science stuff, exercise, and the medical field. One of the biggest things that attracted me to physical therapy is the interpersonal aspect where you get one-on-one time to meet new people and help them get better.
Did you play sports in school?
I played soccer for North Greenville University.
At the end of the day, what gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
Knowing I’m right where the Lord wants me. That’s the biggest one.
“What advice would you give someone considering a career in physical therapy?”
Go shadow a PT and see what it’s all about. I would recommend shadowing PTs in various settings. Look into the outpatient orthopedic setting, neurological rehab settings, home health, pediatrics, or inpatient settings like the hospital or nursing homes. Getting experience in a variety of settings will help you hone in on what you want to do.