If you have a passion for helping others, then a career as a physical therapist assistant can be the perfect fit.
Physical therapist assistants work in physical therapy clinics and hospitals. They provide patient care and administer tests, treatment and exercises. They also prepare patients for their next appointment.
Physical therapist assistants are a critical part of a physical therapy team. They help patients overcome physical impairments to restore their ability to move, perform daily activities and participate in the community.
What is a physical therapist assistant like?
Physical therapist assistants are highly skilled and educated individuals. They often have a bachelor’s degree or higher and many of them have an advanced education and training.
Physical therapist assistants work with patients who have conditions such as arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and more. They also work in sports and physical therapy clinics.
What education is needed to be a physical therapist assistant?
Although there are many options, a physical therapist assistant typically needs a bachelor’s degree. They must also complete an associate’s degree, where the focus is more on classroom learning.
There are many types of physical therapy assistants and the education and training needed to be a physical therapist assistant can vary.
Some physical therapist assistant programs include:
- A Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT)
- An Associate of Science in Physical Therapy (ASPT)
- A Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (BSOT)
For those pursuing a certificate, many programs also require an accredited physical therapy assistant program.
What do physical therapist assistant?
Physical therapist assistant is a career in the medical field. They support patients with medical conditions and help them move around and perform daily activities.
Physical therapist assistant careers can be in:
- Physical therapy clinics
- Occupational therapy
- Other clinics
Physical therapist assistant jobs can also include:
- Working with the elderly
- Working with children
- Working with people recovering from surgery
- Working in the military
- Working in research
Physical therapist assistant requirements
There is a variety of physical therapist assistant requirements. Some of these requirements include:
- Licensure and certification
- Physical therapist assistant salary
- Work environment
Physical therapist assistant education
A physical therapist assistant (PTA) need a bachelor’s degree or higher. They might need to take courses in anatomy and physiology. They may also need courses in medical terminology, chemistry and biology.
Physical therapist assistant licensure and certification
Licensure requirements for PTA vary by state. They include:
- A license to practice physical therapy
- Completion of an accredited PTA program
- Approval by the state board of physical therapy
Physical therapist assistant training
Training requirements for PTA vary by state. Some requirements include:
- A minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised training
- A written exam
- A practical exam
Physical therapist assistant work environment
There are different work environments for PTA. These include:
- In a physical therapy clinic or hospital
- In a sports or physical therapy clinic
- In an occupational, physical therapy clinic or school
- In research
Physical therapist assistant salary
The annual salary for a PTA can vary. They can earn anywhere from $18 to $82 per hour.
Working as a PTA in a clinic can also be a good career choice. The average salary is $41,871 per year.
In addition to their salary, PTA can also earn a benefit package. These include:
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Paid holidays and vacations
- Job security
- Flexible work schedules
- Employee discount programs
What is the difference between a physical therapist assistant and a physical therapist?
A physical therapist assistant is a support professional. A physical therapist is a doctor who provides medical care.
Both are vital to the success of a physical therapy clinic.
As mentioned above, PTA work is varied, with jobs in education, sports, occupational therapy, medical clinics and hospitals.
A physical therapist assistant is a critical part of a medical team. They may work in an outpatient physical therapy clinic, which provides care to patients at home.
They may also work in a hospital, where they provide care to patients in the hospital or at home.
Physical therapist vs. physical therapist assistant
There are some similarities between the roles of a physical therapist and a physical therapist assistant.
They both have patient care and medical education as part of their responsibilities. They can also both work in hospitals or outpatient physical therapy clinics.
However, a physical therapist assistant has more education and a broader scope of duties.
Additionally, physical therapist assistant can also perform more complex duties such as working in schools, sports and medical clinics.
How to become a physical therapist assistant?
If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.
You can do this in a community college or a four-year college. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, which can take anywhere from two to four years.
There are many types of physical therapy assistant programs available. You can study a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT), an Associate of Science in Physical Therapy (ASPT), a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (BSOT) or a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT).
You need to complete an accredited physical therapy assistant program. Many of these programs also require an associate’s degree.
In many cases, you can gain entrance to a PTA program with a GED or a high school diploma.
Many of these programs include clinical training, as well as classroom instruction.
You should also look into the physical therapy assistant certification program offered by the National Board for Certification of Physical Therapy Assistants (NBCPTA).
What are the jobs of a physical therapist and physical therapist assistant?
There are many jobs in this field. A physical therapist can work with patients with a variety of conditions. They may also work in:
- Sports and physical therapy clinics
- Hospice and palliative care centers
- Nursing and residential homes
- Rehabilitation centers
- Outpatient clinics
A physical therapist’s role may include:
- Diagnosing and treating physical and neurological disorders
- Encouraging patients to increase their physical activity
- Providing treatment for pain
- Prescribing medications and therapies
- Teaching patients how to manage their conditions
What are the requirements to become a physical therapist?
You can become a physical therapist with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. You can start this in a community college or a four-year college.
Some physical therapy assistant programs in the United States require an associate’s degree. Others do not.
A physical therapist and physical therapist assistant both need a doctorate degree. There are many types of doctorates in this field. You can earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Assistant (DPTPA) with a combination of courses from the following schools:
- Case Western Reserve University
- Florida State University
- Harding University
- Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
- University of Minnesota
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Western Kentucky University
- University of Tennessee
- University of Virginia
In order to be able to work as a physical therapy assistant, you need to have a physical therapy license.
This can take the form of a PTA license or PTA certification. You can also earn a license as a Certified Physical Therapist Assistant (CPTA) through the National Board for Certification of Physical Therapy Assistants (NBCPTA).
You can find PTA jobs in a variety of settings, such as outpatient physical therapy clinics, hospital outpatient departments and more.
You can also earn a PTA license as part of the PTA certification program.
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