CareerVillage.org Professional Spotlight - Margie Nguyen

April 25, 2022

Margie Nguyen shares her journey on how she became a Physical Therapist Assistant

Video Transcript

Speaker: Margaret Nguyen

Brief introduction: Please tell us about yourself

Hi, my name is Margie Nguyen, I'm a home health physical therapist assistant in northern Virginia just right outside of Washington, d c.

Please tell us what kind of student you were in high school and how you decided on your career path.

I guess you can say in high school, I was more worried about being popular and being in all the organizations and clubs and I was worried about grade schools and academics. Um, definitely a lot to learn and a lot to grow from it. I felt like college was what you're supposed to do right after high school and you graduate and go to college. Um, and I didn't find out about physical therapy until much later when my brother had a sports injury and he had to see a physical therapist and I didn't know what a physical therapist was at the time. I was a college freshman at Old Dominion University and was majoring in Business Marketing and I knew it wasn't for me.

What professional mistake(s) did you learn most from?

I guess you can say I'm a nontraditional student. So after high school I went to a four year university, got my Bachelor's degree and then I went back to Community College for two years to get my Associates in applied science for Physical Therapist Assistant and got my license and started practicing while in the P. T. A. Program, the physical therapist assistant program. I was discouraged. I had a lot of pride. I felt like I had a bachelor's degree. Why do I need to go back to school back to the community college, back to get an associate's degree. I felt like it was beneath me. I felt like I was better than that and I'll never forget um My professor telling me that Margie you and the rest of society always think that careers or degrees our ladder. You have associate's bachelor's master's doctorate PhD. But if you turn the ladder and make it a railroad or a fence you can see that you as a person as a physical therapy assistant, you have all these attributes including your bachelor's degree and exercise science, including your associates degree and all these other certifications that make you a well rounded clinician. So I definitely became humble from that conversation and I'm forever grateful. I will always remember that conversation. The mistake I made was thinking that I was too good um to go back to school, especially at a community college to get an associates degree. I was deeply mistaken and I now support have so much appreciation and I advocate so much for community college and especially my local P. T. Program. And I always tell people that College, the four Year University gave me a degree, Community College gave me my career.

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