Physical therapy assistants work in the medical field and their jobs is to work alongside healthcare providers and offer their assistance. Since the position is in the increasingly popular healthcare sector, more people are becoming interested in becoming a physical therapy assistant. It is a good idea, however, to get more information before jumping into training programs.
What a Physical Therapy Assistant’s Job May Entail
Physical therapy assistants operate under the direction of a licensed physical therapist to provide various treatments to the patient. This can include exercises, massage, balance training, and offering guidance to the patient. However, these may only be a few of duties of a physical therapy assistant. The extent of what he or she is allowed to do will depend on the scope and policies of the individual practice as well as the rules and regulations of the state medical board.
Physical Therapy Assistant Education
Before beginning your career you will have to attend and successfully graduate from a program at a physical therapy assistant school. This is usually a two yr degree program, but other types of approved programs may be available. Although vocational schools may offer physical therapy training programs, many likely employers and various states may require some form of degree.
One of the many aspects of becoming a physical therapy assistant is through hands-on instruction. To complete an approved physical therapy program, there is a certain amount of clinical experience necessary. During clinical time, the student actually works in the field with direction from the instructor. Clinicals can be in a variety of facilities such as a nursing home or a hospital. The exact number of hours will vary by local laws and the learning institution.
Prerequisites and Requirements for Training Programs
To enroll in physical therapy training programs, a high school diploma or GED is required. In addition to this, some programs may also have selective admission criteria. Prerequisites for the program may vary by the institution but generally consist of core classes in math, English, and similar subjects. The student should consult with his advisor to obtain this information.
If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapy assistant, you should look into schools in your area. By enrolling in a training course you are taking the first step towards starting a career as a physical therapy assistant!