David Noonan's Hands-on Education
At MCCC Leads to PTA Success
Windsor, N.J. - One of David Noonan's greatest joys in life
is alleviating pain. This proud 1998 graduate of Mercer's
first Physical Therapist Assistant class speaks quite literally
from hands-on experience. Noonan, a licensed physical therapist
assistant at Inner Circle Physical Therapy and Myofascial
Release Centers in Bucks County, Pa., treats a wide variety
of physical ailments on a daily basis.
feels right at home at Inner Circle. The privately-owned outpatient
clinic specializes in manual therapy-based approaches to orthopedic
and chronic pain conditions that meet patients' individualized
needs. With four locations, its newest addition is the Women's
Health Center, the first of its kind in Bucks County. Working
closely with lead therapists, Noonan assists in applying a
broad array of modalities including heat, electrical stimulation,
and cryotherapy. "I am involved in the clinical decision-making
process every step along the way," Noonan said.
constantly get patients where nothing has helped them beyond
temporary relief," Noonan observes. "At Inner Circle,
we place our focus on the changes that can be made so that
people can heal. We can help them in that journey."
graduating from Steinert High School, Noonan initially thought about
becoming a physical trainer. He enrolled at MCCC, which offered
a solid curriculum in anatomy, exercise science and other sciences.
With Mercer having just launched its Physical Therapist Assistant
(PTA) Program, the timing was perfect for Noonan to consider a career
in a rewarding related field. "It sounded like something I
would enjoy, so I applied [to the program], was accepted, and started
a very important path in my life," he says.
quickly developed great rapport with his professors. PTA Program
Coordinator Barbara Behrens was among the faculty members who helped
mold him professionally. Physical therapist Regina Rosenthal, under
whom he trained during a clinical internship, also made a strong
impression. "Their advice shaped my clinical decision-making
skills," said Noonan, who graduated with honors. "When
I gave them an answer, they would ask for my rationale. There are
many correct answers, but usually there is one best answer to meet
a patient's specific needs."
graduation, Noonan relocated to the West Coast, where he put his
PTA career on hold to pursue an equally strong passion for music.
An accomplished drummer and bassist, he returned to his Jersey roots
in 2000, founding and managing the rock band The Cryptkeeper Five
(www.cyrptkeeperfive.com). He toured with the group throughout the
country for nearly 10 years.
a "love/hate relationship" with the music business, Noonan
found himself drawn back to the field he had trained for at Mercer.
He enrolled in an eight-week online physical therapist assistant
refresher course offered by Lake Superior College and then took
his PTA board certification exam. He passed with high ratings 11
years after graduating from Mercer's program.
in his second year of practice, Noonan is bolstering his skills
by studying to become an advanced myofascial release therapist.
"I am happy that I made the decision to return to the physical
therapy field. It is amazing work," Noonan said.
more is in store. Noonan was recently accepted to Thomas Edison
State College, where he will major in Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
From there, he plans to pursue his doctorate in Physical Therapy
with an end goal of autonomous case management.
has also proven a loyal MCCC alumnus, often returning to campus
to address graduating students as part of a PTA alumni panel.
would not change a thing about my journey. No one can ever take
your education away. Every experience has shaped me into what I
have become today," Noonan says.
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