Physical Therapy Assistant Class Requirements – Physical therapist assistants work directly with PTs to guide patients through rehabilitation therapy. As a physical therapist I know firsthand the invaluable role PTAs play in patient progress. If you are interested in a career in physical therapy Don’t miss your chance to become a PTA. I’ll give you all the steps below!
Although the path to becoming a physical therapist assistant is not as long as that of a PT, you still must complete rigorous training to receive state-regulated certification.
Physical Therapy Assistant Class Requirements
I’ll examine each of these steps in more detail in this article, but first, let’s take a look at the physical therapist assistant career. So you can decide if this route is right for you.
Luke Airman Becomes Af’s First Physical Therapist Assistant To Bypass Tech School > Air Force Medical Service > Display
PTAs don’t just help physical therapists. But it also helps patients and clinics. Main job duties include:
Compared to physical therapists, PTAs may spend more time interacting with patients. Although they do not prescribe or design care plans, PTAs have the authority to modify treatment to reflect patient needs.
Like PTs, most PTAs work in outpatient clinics. But there are many other settings that require PTA duties.
PTAs work in clinics and in hospitals, such as acute care or subacute rehabilitation facilities. This helps hospital patients recover and be discharged from the hospital. A nursing home or skilled nursing facility may have its own physical therapy clinic that is open to residents or other patients who have nowhere else to go.
What Does A Physical Therapist Assistant Do?
Physical therapy assistants may work in other locations outside of a healthcare setting. For example, a home health PTA provides rehabilitation care in each patient’s home. Just like in the clinic Some schools and fitness centers have PTAs on board to help people with mobility issues and improve their well-being. As a PTA, you may work for the government or government agency, such as the military, or be called upon to help with a company office. Achieve a more ergonomic work environment.
Because of this, physical therapy is a highly applicable skill and PTAs are in demand not only across the country but in every industry.
As the population ages and the baby boom generation slows down. Physical therapy will also increase in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of physical therapist assistants will increase 33% in the decade between 2019 and 2029.
The career outlook is positive for both PTs and PTAs, but the relative salaries vary greatly. On average, PTAs earn just $28 per hour, or $59,000 per year, which is a full 30,000 less than the average PT salary. The increase in PT wages comes with its own tuition costs. And in many cases It can be a huge student debt burden, so just because you make less money because of a PTA doesn’t mean it’s a bad option.
Occupational Outlook For Physical Therapist Assistant
What do employers look for in a PTA? In addition to training and qualifications which we will discuss later. Employers are also interested in PTA’s soft skills. All the education in the world can’t make you love a job that doesn’t suit your strengths.
These qualifications will not only help you determine whether a PTA school is a worthwhile investment or not. But it also shows employers that you have what it takes to be successful in this career.
To practice as a PTA, you must have a valid and current state-issued PTA license. However, obtaining this license requires more than filling out an application form. In fact, becoming a PTA takes several years. in training both inside and outside the classroom
PTAs need to be knowledgeable about physical therapy. and feel confident with procedures such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Good PTAs are also good communicators who can effectively educate patients about care plans and the use of special equipment.
Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree
So you will need to go to school before applying for a PTA job or PTA license!
After graduating from high school or completing your GED, you must apply to an accredited physical therapist assistant program. and completed a 2-year associate degree
To qualify for the program Programs must be accredited by CAPTE, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. CAPTE is the only organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit entry-level physical therapy programs.
The best way to find a PTA program is through CAPTE’s website, with more than 350 accredited programs nationwide. You are sure to find a school that meets your needs.
Career Or Job Opportunities As Physical Therapist Assistant
An accredited PTA program typically results in an Associate of Science qualification or an Associate of Applied Science qualification.
No matter what your degree is called If it is an accredited PTA program It may also consist of 5 full-time courses and clinical experience. Some PTA programs allow part-time or online status. So flexibility is possible. Otherwise, it will take two years to complete the degree.
You may earn between 65 and 75 credits to complete your PTA, of which 3/4 will be earned through taught courses in subjects such as:
In addition to the course Your training will include at least 16 hours of clinical experience – hands-on learning under the supervision of a PT or PTA in a clinical setting. Clinical training typically occurs over the last 3 semesters. and occur in various places This includes hospitals, schools, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities.
Physical Therapist Assistant, A.s
When you complete the PTA program and receive an associate degree. You will be eligible to appear for the board exam. National Physical Therapy Examination, or NPTE
To become certified or licensed, both PTs and PTAs must pass the NPTE. If you hope to become a PTA, you will receive a version that is 4 chapters long and has 200 questions. The NPTE is a timed test and is not It should be over 4 hours with at least one scheduled half-way break.
Unlike other standardized tests, the NPTE does not have essay questions. There are multiple choice questions only. And there is no penalty for wrong answers. But don’t let this fool you into thinking that NPTE is just a piece of cake. The test is worth between 200-800 points, and you need a score of at least 600 to pass. You are allowed a maximum of three consecutive attempts to pass the NPTE. Or a total of six times in your lifetime.
In fact, when you’re ready to take the NPTE, make sure you give yourself enough time to study. I took the NPTE myself a few years ago. And I am sure these NPTE study tips will be as helpful to future PTAs as they were to me.
Physical Therapist Assistant Course Descriptions
Every state requires a passing score on the NPTE as a condition of PT or PTA licensure, but many states require other things as well. For example, half require potential licensure applicants to pass a law exam. while the other half conduct background checks or require professional liability insurance. So please check your state’s requirements. In case you need to complete other steps before registering for the exam.
FSBPT (Federation of State Physical Therapy Boards) has compiled a flowchart for potential PTAs to determine state licensing requirements. Simply enter the name of your school and the state in which you wish to obtain your license. The flowchart explains the rest of the process. FSBPT is the governing body for NPTE, so you can rest assured that this information is up to date.
Once you have met all the license requirements. You can apply for your PTA license! Some states automatically issue your license after notification of your NPTE passing score. However, before your license can be processed, You must follow other steps. all to finish Including paying the application fee in advance.
A licensed PTA never stops learning. And not just metaphorically. Almost every state requires licensed PTAs to demonstrate “Continuing education” or “Continuing qualifications” as a condition of licensure In other words You cannot renew your license and continue practicing. Unless you take additional PTA courses periodically. or participate in appropriate learning activities
Physical Therapist Assistant Associate Degree Program
Licensing requirements vary from state to state. Continuing education requirements also vary. Expect annual or biennial continuing education units, called CEUs, to run anywhere from 10 to 40 hours. You can choose from a variety of courses and providers. This depends on your state. Or you may not need to take any courses at all. Your state may let you take a break during your first renewal period and not require as many CEUs, but it’s best to check this in advance. At least a few months before your license expires.
After working with a physical therapist in a clinic or hospital You may choose to become a PT instead of a PTA in addition to a higher salary. You will have the opportunity to lead and have more freedom to make decisions. Personally, I love being a PT and there are so many benefits that we can’t fully share with PTAs.
About 1 in 10 PTAs become PTs, so this is not the case.
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