Things You Should Do to Have a Career as a Physical Therapy Assistant

If your dream job involves helping others, then you need to consider a career in physical therapy. As a physical therapist assistant, (PTA) you will play a major role in restoring motion and function in people’s lives, while also reducing their pain level.

What does a PTA do?

As a PTA you will be the direct help to a licensed physical therapist (PT) and do a lot more than just take orders. Duties can include:

  • Assisting in instructing patients in exercises and activities of daily living;
  • Collecting data on the patient’s progress; and
  • Documenting and reporting on the patient’s response.

PTA’s assist individuals of all ages who have medical issues or other health-related circumstances that restrict their capacity to move and conduct functional operations in their daily life.

PTA’s operate in a multitude of environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health care, nursing homes, colleges, sports facilities, and more. Patient performance improvements may also be measured by PTA’s as a consequence of the physical therapy given.

PTA care may include teaching patients’ mobility exercise, strength, coordination, and preparation for movements such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents, and electrotherapy (such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation).

Many factors come into play that makes physical therapy an important and rewarding career. You will meet new people every day and become a positive influence in their life. Watching a patient make steady progress is going to be a rewarding feeling that few other jobs can match.

How can you become a PTA?

To become a PTA you need to obtain a degree and a license. Each state establishes its own licensing criteria as a PTA, but they are very similar across the United States.

However, before you start your journey to becoming a PTA, check with the Physical Therapy or Professional Licensing Board in the state you are hoping to work in. You can do this right now through ptassistant.org and search for a school to earn a degree. Itis the easiest and most organised way to find schools across the US to apply to.

Generally, you will spend two years or a bit less completing an associate degree programme. Around 25% of that education time is devoted to hands-on clinical training, which prepares you better for work. 

National Test

If you successfully complete an accredited programme, you should be prepared to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam which is needed for licensing in all states.

To prepare for the exam, you can use the content outlines given to study and take advantage of the accessible internet training tests. A lot of people need to take this exam more than once, so do not give up if your first score falls short. Once you pass, you are licensed.

Job Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, PTA employment is expected to grow 30% through 2026, making it an excellent career choice.

It is gratifying to know how to and be able to alleviate a person’s physical pain and get them back to their regular life. This is just one of many reasons why thousands of people find PTA so rewarding. Good luck!

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