physical therapy assistant schooling
Physical therapy assistants play an essential role in the healthcare industry, as they work alongside physical therapists to help patients recover from injuries, surgeries, and illnesses. To become a physical therapy assistant, you must complete an accredited physical therapy assistant schooling program.
In this article, we will explore what physical therapy assistant schooling entails, including the education and training requirements, and the career prospects in the field.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a physical therapy assistant, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Then, you must enroll in an accredited physical therapy assistant program, which typically takes about two years to complete.
These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and some universities. They typically include both classroom instruction and hands-on training, with courses covering subjects such as anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, rehabilitation techniques, and medical terminology.
In addition to the coursework, students must complete a certain number of clinical hours working with patients under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. This hands-on experience is critical in preparing students for the demands of the job and providing them with the necessary skills to assist physical therapists in providing patient care.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for physical therapist assistants. Passing the NPTE is required to obtain a license to work as a physical therapy assistant in most states.
Physical therapy assistants work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private clinics, and nursing homes. They work under the supervision of licensed physical therapists, assisting with patient assessments, developing treatment plans, and providing hands-on care.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapist assistants is projected to grow 33 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for physical therapy services is expected to increase as the population ages and as advances in medical technology enable more people to survive traumatic injuries and illnesses.
In terms of salary, physical therapy assistants earn a median annual wage of $59,770, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of facility in which they work.
Physical therapy assistant schooling is an excellent way to enter the healthcare industry and make a difference in the lives of patients. With a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training, students can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become licensed physical therapy assistants and work alongside physical therapists to provide high-quality care to patients.
As the demand for physical therapy services continues to increase, there is a growing need for qualified physical therapy assistants. By completing a physical therapy assistant program and obtaining a license, you can embark on a rewarding career that offers excellent job prospects and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others.