Physical therapist assistants provide help for physical therapist in order to provide treatment to benefit the patient’s disability. Assistants face a lot of competition in the job market, so if this becomes your career you must try to specialize in a certain field. To become a physical therapist assistant, you must get a degree from an accredited program. Also you will need to receive certification in CPR and other forms of CPR that are required. This job is known to be pretty demanding work, but the field of physical therapy is a growing field throughout the United States. In this article you can learn what it takes to become a physical therapist assistant and how to receive superior education in physical therapy. If you are interested in a career in physical therapy, but aren’t quite ready for grad school then a career as a physical therapist assistant is the best decision. However, a career as a physical therapist assistant isn’t as easy as it may seem, it will require dedication and hard work. Most jobs needing a physical therapist assistant will require the applicant to have an associate’s degree more than likely and experience in science.
Is Being a Physical Therapy Assistant For Me?
A career as a physical therapist assistant needs a certain type of personality, which requires you to be people-oriented and good social skills with people. A good and successful physical therapy assistant has to genuinely want to be a part of a team and crave the need to help others with their disabilities. Being able to make decisions on your own while thinking on your feet and making independent choices on your own in a fast-paced environment. To be great at your job as a physical therapist assistant, you will need to have patience and be able to perform under a stressful work environment. This job will also require a certain level of physical stamina and the ability to work on your feet for long periods of time. Your job duty is to work under the supervision of a physical therapist or another physical therapist assistant, in order to make the therapy sessions successful and productive for everyone.
Duties for Physical Therapist Assistant
A physical therapist assistant’s main job description is assisting physical therapists with the rehabilitation of their patients. Becoming a physical therapist assistant or PTAs, assist a physical therapist when treating accident victims, low back pain, fractures, arthritis, severe burn rehabilitation, common muscle strains, and even some head injuries. When training to become a physical therapist assistant you learn to conduct therapeutic exercises, provide massage techniques, researching medical records, and help evaluate a patient’s progress.
As a physical therapist assistant expect to do small tasks around your job because you are there to serve the physical therapist’s needs. You will need to welcome patients and make them feel comfortable while you are evaluating the patient. A physical therapist assistant will assist in fitting, adjusting, and constructing types of supportive devices for patients such as braces, casts, or crutches. In this profession you can expect to do small tasks like answering telephones, ordering supplies, doing paperwork, stocking supplies, and updating patient medical records.
Physical therapist assistants can expect to perform various tasks while under the supervision of a physical therapist, such as massages, electrical stimulations, paraffin baths, exercises, ultrasound, apply hot and cold packs, and traction. You will apply part of the treatment alongside the physical therapist and then the physical therapy assistant needs to record the patient’s response to the treatment. Next the outcome of the procedure will need to be reported to the physical therapist in order to proceed with treatment.
Physical therapist aides are responsible for properly disinfecting and cleaning the treatment area, as well as preparing the treatment area for upcoming patients.
Education Requirements for a Physical Therapist Assistant
If you are serious about becoming a physical therapist assistant, then you must obtain an associate’s degree in physical therapist assistant programs and training to be qualified. Gaining a career in this field is actually isn’t too hard, considering there are over 250 accredited physical therapist assistant programs throughout the United States. The curriculum for the programs varies from school to school, but will most likely be required to take basic science classes and other courses for this career field. Also there are internships available at practicing offices if you access to any in your area, but this can be a very promising for someone wanting to become a physical therapist assistant. You can jump into this career very quickly in a little over two years after obtaining your associate’s degree from an accredited program. If you do find an internship this can give you a special edge over the job competition that will make you the better candidate.