Do you think you want to become a physical therapy aide but aren't sure what type of work you will be doing? Are you unsure as to whether or not you will like the work? Do you not know just where to begin to be eligible for such a career? Well, look no further! If you really want to find the top physical therapy schools then start your research below.
In order to become a physical therapy aide you will need to begin by obtaining a high school diploma. Most employers will be willing to train you while you are on the job. Depending on which state you reside in, you may be required to obtain an associate's degree. This associate's degree is typically a two year course, which is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. As you work on obtaining your associate's degree you will have courses in psychology, anatomy and physiology, English, and algebra. You will also be expected to complete clinical training in CPR and first aid. Prior to completing your degree program you will also be required to complete a field experience in a treatment center setting. Furthermore, some states require physical therapy aides to earn a passing score on a state regulated exam. Your state of residence may also require continuing education classes in order to keep your certification and licensure current.
To be a successful physical therapy assistant, it will be very beneficial for you to be a compassionate, well organized, detail oriented person. It will also be important for you to work well with others, be able to perform well within a team, and be capable of taking directions from others and carrying them out accordingly. Often, physical therapy aides decide to further their career and become a physical therapy assistant. Should you decide to pursue advancement in your career, you may also want to choose an area of focus. A few of the applicable choices are neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, geriatric, pediatric, and musculoskeletal physical therapy.
In your career as a physical therapy assistant, you will likely find yourself working in a physical therapy clinic. Due to having to work around your patient's schedules, you may have to work evening and weekend hours. You may be required to frequently stoop, kneel, bend, and stand for long periods of time while helping with a patient's physical therapy. You will also need to have a decent amount of strength since you may often have to lift a patient to help them perform their physical therapy.
Overall, as a physical therapy aide you will be responsible for aiding in improving a patient's mobility. This is directly connected to lessening a patient's physical disabilities and physical pain. On a daily basis, you may be asked to help someone learn to use crutches or other mobility equipment, assistant a patient with exercising, or gather therapy equipment. You could also be in charge of ordering necessary supplies, filling out insurance forms and other paperwork, and answering the phone. It will be important that you feel comfortable working directly with the patients, since you may often be expected to help them with their transport from one therapy session to another. Keep in mind, the amount of duties and responsibilities you will be expected to perform will be determined by your employer. Any of the below physical therapy schools can assist you, just request information and get started.
When applying to school you’ll need to have a high school diploma or GED to get accepted. Your Associates degree will last 2 years and be made up of classroom courses as well as a more clinical side where you’ll l get hands-on experience.
- Health Science
- Physical Therapy Techniques
- Disabilities in Today’s Society
- Exercise Physiology
- Medical Terminology
- Pharmacology and Therapeutic exercise
- Clinical Program
- Record Keeping
You must take a program that is approved by the American physical therapy association. Then pass the national physical therapist examination NPTE
The exam for PTA is 200 questions that will take 4 hours, 1 hour per section. You’ll need to understand and be knowledgeable about data collection, effective treatments, interventions, domains and practice and safety. Only Hawaii and Colorado don’t require you to earn your licensure before you can start working as a PTA.
The median salary for a physical therapy aide is $27,500 per year. With 5+ years of experience however the nation’s average jumps to $37,000. Often you’ll continue on with your education while employed which will qualify you for new positions. With over 80,000 employees in this field the industry is expected to grow over 40% over the next 10 years.
Most physical therapy assistants find jobs at hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. Even with your Associate’s degree in physical therapy you’ll only qualify for an entry level position.
American Physical Therapy Association - http://www.apta.org/
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy - https://www.fsbpt.org/
American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties - http://www.abpts.org/home.aspx