Graduation Season – New Therapy Grads

By Vanessa Cardenas

For 23 years, Prime Rehabilitation Services, has hosted countless therapy students both at level I and level II clinical affiliations with great eagerness to pay it forward. Our seasoned clinicians share their vast knowledge freely; encouraging students to expand their “book learning” to actual practiced applications.

Our founder, Yaffa Liebermann, PT, is a Geriatric Certified Specialist (one of only 11 in the entire United States with this distinction for 30+ plus years) remains a formidable teacher and advocate for students.  She shares her decades of wisdom, using real world examples, guiding through difficult clinical decisions, demonstrating “tried and true” techniques while embracing the newest best practices.  Besides “therapy lessons” Yaffa shares her life lessons to enable each student to realize it is not just skilled therapy service that is being provided but a connection of empathy and encouragement between therapist and patient, advocating for the patient, especially when the patient cannot advocate for themselves.  The value of this mentorship is undeniable: helping to pave the way for others and paying it forward. Her advice has been,

“Know that you work for yourself; you are building your own career;

and your reputation will follow you wherever you go.”

In my 15 years with Prime Rehabilitation Services, I have witnessed students transition from level II to new hire, to assistant Director of Rehabilitation, then Director of Rehabilitation with our guidance and encouragement.  Former students that have moved to other settings or, even other states, still keep in touch years later by reaching out to their clinical advisor, sharing success stories and, at times, moments of despair with the passing of a patient.  The advancement of social media gives way to sharing in profound ways.

As these new grad therapists come into the healthcare industry, what would be my advice?

“Do the Right Thing ~ It’s never wrong to do the right thing!”

Providing your patients with the best clinically supported care should always guide your decisions (for me, orange is not the new black…an orange jumpsuit isn’t flattering regardless of body type).

“There are no worries when you do the right thing so you can truly focus on patient care.”

Yaffa Liebermann. PT, GCS, CEO and Founder Prime Rehabilitation Services and Mobile Therapy Services

Lovingly providing treatment to patient in skilled nursing facility in New Jersey 2019


  1. Jeanne Marshall, PT on March 24, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Prime was a great place to work! Started as a staff physical therapist and progressed to a Director of Rehab. Good educational inservice education provided by company at no cost to employee. Good management support.

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