Should you have a passion in assisting people regain their own body function after injuries, illnesses or major operations, then you should consider pursuing a career as a physical therapy assistant. As a physical therapy assistant, you will be responsible for helping patients during their rehab exercises as well as therapy sessions that are meant to speed up their recovery process. Therefore, after several years of practice, you can be sure of a rewarding and fulfilling career in this field.
As a physical therapy assistant, you will perform the same set of duties as the physiotherapist. Your job will include assisting recovering patients during their exercises, electric stimulations, workouts, massages and paraffin baths. Generally, you will do most of your jobs under the supervision of the physiotherapist, who is responsible for coming up with the rehabilitation program and monitoring the progress of the patients. In addition, you will be actively involved in the documentation and monitoring of the patients’ progress.
Most physical therapy assistant jobs are done in medical offices, clinics, rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Therefore, regardless of your work environment, you will need adequate physical strength and fitness since you will spend most of your time lifting and supporting patients. You will also be needed to operate physiotherapy equipment.
Your work schedule will depend on your employer’s requirements as well as the number of patients that you will have to serve. Generally, you can work on a full time or part time basis depending on your arrangement with your employer.
There are certain specific training programs that you need to pursue in order to become a certified physical therapy assistant. To get started, you will need to acquire an Associate’s Degree, which you can pursue from an institution of your choice. In addition, you will need to sit and pass some certification exams before you can be licensed to practice.
There are two options available when it comes to selecting the physical therapist assistant programs. You can choose an on-campus program where you will be attending your classes in the campus premises. However, in case you have a full time job that you cannot give up, you can consider an online or part time program that will allow you to study from the convenience of your home. The biggest difference between the two programs is convenience, with an online-based program offering you the convenience of studying from the comfort of your home and at the times of your choice.
Attending classes on campus enables you to receive hands-on training in a clinic, thus allowing you to get some form of on-the job training. While studying online, you may receive enough credit to become a certified physical therapy assistant; however, you will not have the opportunity to receive the actual practice that you will apply on your job.
Establishing a career as a physical therapy assistant can be very rewarding and fulfilling. However, before you can start your practice, you have to decide if this is going to be the right career path for you before enrolling in one of the physical therapy assistant schools. Here are some essential tips that can help you know if this is the right career path for you as well as how to find the right school for your training.