There are a variety of different physical therapy assistant jobs out there that you may be eligible to apply for if you have the correct qualifications. This article is aimed at telling you everything you need to know about physical therapy assistant jobs and helping you make up your mind whether or not this is the kind of job that you would like to have or not. There are plenty of things to take into account in this regard, so make sure that you read this article carefully and consider all of the advice and information it contains.
Duties Of A Physical Therapy Assistant
There are a number of duties that a physical therapy assistant is allowed to perform during the course of their working day. However it must be noted that physical therapy assistants are not permitted to do things unsupervised and that there are only a limited number of things that they are allowed to do to the patients during treatment. Here is a list of basic PTA job duties:
- Administer treatment to patients
- Oversee exercises
- Oversee therapeutic procedures (such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound and mechanical traction)
- Perform therapeutic massage
- Apply heat and cold to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain
- Train patients in proper gait and balance
- Make note of patients’ responses to treatment
- Document the care they provide and the patient’s response to treatment in the patient’s medical record
- Inform physical therapists of progress or side effects
- Show patients how to use crutches
- Prepare therapy-related equipment for therapy sessions
- Administrative (answering phones, handling insurance paperwork and ordering supplies)
Education Needed For Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs
There are a number of educational requirements that you will have to fulfill if you want to be eligible to apply for PTA jobs. Like in all fields of work there are a number of things that you simply have to have if you want to be allowed to work in that profession. Below is a discussion about the educational requirements needed in order to be hired as a physical therapy assistant. Consider these requirements carefully and decide whether you are willing to go through with them in order to get the physical therapy assistant jobs you are interested in.
The first thing you will have to do is to earn an associate’s degree in physical therapy assistance. This can be done at a variety of different physical therapy assistant schools and through many different physical therapy assistant programs. You need to remember that the school or program that you choose to study through must be accredited appropriately and you must be able to answer all of the possible questions that come up in the final exam based on what you learned in your physical therapist assistant program. If these requirements are not met you will not be eligible for physical therapy assistant jobs when you graduate from that school.
These programs take about two years to complete and include a variety of subjects such as algebra, biology, anatomy and physiology, body mechanics, medical terminology, psychology and physical therapy techniques and English. Because they only take two years to complete many students choose this option as it allows them to get out in the world and work in physical therapy assistant jobs as soon as possible. It can also be used as a stepping stone qualification to get jobs that are more advanced. People n physical therapy assistant jobs can eventually move up to being physical therapists.
If you want to be eligible for the many PTA jobs out there you will need to be certified in CPR and gain clinical experience at treatment centers. If you are not then you will find it very difficult to get any of the physical therapy assistant jobs available. Of course clinical training is a prerequisite if you want to pass your course in the first place, so that should not be a problem. Remember that the more clinical experience you have the higher your chances of getting physical therapy assistant jobs will be. Take all opportunities to practice that present themselves to you.
If you want to get jobs in the physical therapy assistant arena then you need to pass either the National Physical Therapy Exam or a state licensing exam. This varies from state to state so contact the relevant bodies to find out what your requirements are. Once you are licensed you will be able to begin applying for PTA jobs. A physical therapy assistant license is essential for employment in these areas, so you must make sure that you are properly licensed for the particular state in which you want to work as a physical therapy assistant.
Working Environment Of A Physical Therapy Assistant
Physical therapy assistants have fairly standard working environments and can most often be found in places like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and treatment centers, therapy practices, other care facilities, in private doctors’ offices and for home health care agencies. All of these locations share a number of similarities, but in general it can be said the physical therapy assistants work in well lighted and well ventilated conditions and they have a safe working environment. The working environment is similar to any you would expect in the medical profession in general.
Usually physical therapy assistants work 40-hour weeks, but some outpatient treatment centers may require evening and weekend work as well. Generally speaking though work takes place during the week in daylight hours. These are the normal kinds of hours that you would expect in the medical industry, and, as health professions go, physical therapy assistants have a good deal in terms of their working hours. When considering physical therapy assistant jobs you may want to keep the hours that you are willing to work in mind so that you can be sure of getting a job that is not inconvenient for you.
An important thing to note about the work environment of physical therapy assistants is that it requires you to be physically fit. This is because you will need to moving patients as well as kneeling, bending and standing for long periods of time. All physical therapy assistant jobs require strength in these areas, so if you are not someone who has the strength and stamina necessary to do this amount of physical work then you may want to reconsider becoming a physical therapy assistant at all. This is something that is very important for all physical therapy assistant jobs.
Employment Outlook For PTA Jobs
It must be noted that physical therapy assistants belong to that group of jobs that are growing very quickly. The medical sector stays strong even in times of general economic difficulty and it worth noting that PTA jobs have the best possible outcomes in terms of job security. You are more or less entirely guaranteed to be employed at all times of you are a physical therapy assistant. There are a number of physical therapy assistant jobs out there and if you can become involved with one you will be in a position to have a stable and steady job for the rest of your life.
In the future the best places for physical therapy assistance to work will be in facilities that care for the elderly, such as acute hospitals, skilled nursing and orthopaedic settings. This is because the population is aging due the advanced age of ten baby boom generation. This means that there are more and more elderly people around who may require eh assistance of a physical therapy assistant at some point in their lives. This is good news for physical therapy assistants. This is a good area to get involved in now if you want to be guaranteed of job security in the years that are to come.
Tips For Looking For Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs
There are a number of jobs out there, and now you have to find the right one. Here are some tips:
- Know the locality – know what is going on in the area where you would like to apply for PTA jobs so that you have a higher chance of finding the right job.
- Know the specific requirements for jobs advertised in your area – this will help you make sure that you meet all of the necessary requirements easily enough.
- Start looking for work online – the internet is a great resource for anyone who is willing to take the time to use to help them find what they are looking for. There are plenty of job opportunities advertised online.
- Make a catchy resume – your resume is your first impression so you want it to be a good one. Look at what other people have written in the past and see what kind of resumes are in fashion at the moment.
- Have the right address – many physical therapy assistant jobs will only hire you if you live in the area where the job is being advertised, so if you are serious about the job, move if necessary.