The information below is for those who are interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant. We will show how this can be done and why the job is growing and is a great choice for an allied health career!
Bls.gov shows a 30% for physical therapy assistants (PTA). This is a great growth percentage!! We will cover salary details and job information later in the article.
Lets get started on describing the field as a whole and showing you the steps and details for becoming a PTA!
What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?
PTs or Physical Therapists assist the sick and injured to improve movements and manage overall ans specific pain. The are integral to treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries and chronic conditions.
(PTAs) Physical therapist assistants work directly for and under the supervision of physical therapists. They do a vast array of duties. Be it assisting the patient in an exercise or movement, setting up an area or facility or clerical work they are the “Jack of all Trades” in the physical therapy environment. This is key to growing from a PTA to possibly becoming a PT.
Below we get in to much more detail about the specific duties of the jobs.
Core Duties of a Physical Therapy Assistant
Below are the most common tasks for physical therapy assistants.
Observe patients before, during, and after therapy, noting status to PT.
Help patients with exercises
Treat patients (massage, stretches)
Use equipment to help patients
Educate patients and their families about what to do after patient treatment
Clean treatment areas/set up any necessary therapy equipment
Assists patients moving to or from therapy area if it is needed
Wash all linens
What is the process to become a Physical Therapist Assistant?
The four core steps to becoming a PTA are detailed below. From start to finish! Lets get started!
STEP 1 – Have Your High School Diploma
The first step to being eligible to become a physical therapy assistant you need to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
STEP 2 – Enroll in to a Physical Therapy Assisting Program
All PTAs need to have an associates degree from an accredited program. Below is a link to all the accredited PTA programs. The Commission of Accredidation in Physical Therapy Education has a database of accredited programs with an interactive map that will help you find a progam near you. Use the link below.
PTA Programs are usually about 2 years in length. Your coursework will include English, anatomy, physiology, algebra and even psychology. Assistants will in most cases also get hands-on training with supervised clinical work. (CPR), basic life support (BLS), and other first-aid skills are also taught with certifications being available for each.
Step 3 – Pass the National Physical Therapy Assistant Exam
All states require certification for their physical therapy assistants. The exam is given at a national level by the Federation of State Boards of Phyical Therapy.
Step 4 – Get your Physical Therapy Certification
After successfully passing the certification exam you may have to pass a background check in most states. Once you have done that you will have all you need for PTA certification!
About Physical Therapist Assistant Salary
Physical therapy assisting is growing at a wonderful rate of 30%! This is a great rate of growth for the field as a whole. Bls.gov has many statistics that back this up below.
What is the average salary for a Physical Therapist Assistant?
According to bls.gov the average salary is $46,920 per year and hourly pay is $22.56 per hour.
PTA salary by state
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