Skip to Main Content

Physical Therapist Assistant: Finding Articles & More

Off-Campus Access to Databases

To access any database in this Research Guide from off campus, you will need your myMCC login.

Physical Therapy Journals

The MCC Library provides access to many allied health journals through the library databases.  In order to search for a specific title or to search for physical therapy journals, use the Journal Search in the library catalog.

Brainstorming for Keywords

Creating Search Statements

Starting Point -- CINAHL and Health Source Nursing

The search box below will search the CINAHL and HealthSource/Nursing databases. When searching in our databases, make sure to combine your key terms with Boolean AND (to include all the terms) or Boolean OR (for related terms). Check out the video offerings on this page for a quick tutorial on Boolean operators, database searching and reading scientific articles.

Research databases
Limit Your Results
  • Select / Deselect all
  • CINAHL Complete
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition

Selecting and Using Keywords Video (3:50)

keyword with magnifying glass over research

Joshua Vossler's video "Selecting and Using Keywords"

Keywords and Database Searching

  • Use specific keywords, not questions.
  • Revise your keywords to see how that changes your results.
  • Look for more keywords in the articles you find.

Database Search Tips

Searching in the databases can be tricky, especially since they are all slightly different. Here are some basic tips to get you started:

  • Use keywords instead of phrases. Try searching for "nurse AND education" instead of "how much school do I need to be a nurse?
  • Not every article you find in the databases will be complete. Some will only be a citation or a summary. Limit your results to "Full Text" to see only articles that allow you to read the full text. 
  • When given the option, use other limiters to further refine results, such as by date and scholarly peer-reviewed articles.
  • Look for an option to create a citation for the article right in the database. This can be a quick and easy way to create your Works Cited or References page. Always double check that the citation is correct. For example, sometimes the title will be in all uppercase. You might need to manually correct these editorial issues.
  • Remember that the databases aren't right for everything! If you're looking for general information there are other sources that may work better such as encyclopedias, handbooks, or trusted websites. If you have questions about the right kinds sources for your research, ask a Librarian!

Quick Tips and Shortcuts for Database Searching (video 5:19)

Entering Keywords into a Database (video 4:41)


Other Useful Research Guides