The members of the association include physical therapists, P.T. assistants and students of physical therapy. Physical therapy has been defined by APTA as: "clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function."
The health care professionals who are working with physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments are called physical therapy assistants. They are usually needed among patients who are treated for arthritis, lower back pain, injuries due to accidents, and heart diseases. To help patients who are recovering from surgery, illnesses and injuries in order to manage pain and to regain movement is the major purpose of a physical therapy assistant. Mostly, exercise is being performed where muscles and joints are being strengthened by a variety of techniques.
Physical therapy assistant is the one in charged in supervising the patients while they are following the treatment regimen being developed by the therapist. They make sure that patients carry through the plan correctly and successfully. They help in providing services that improve the mobility of the patients and in reducing their pain thus preventing them from further injuries and limiting the condition to deteriorate. It would depend on the experience that the physical therapy assistant has and the clinic they are working for in which their duties and responsibilities may vary. Nevertheless, physical therapy assistants must always work under the supervision of a physical therapist. Helping physical therapists in clinics, rehab centers, offices, outpatient centers, education centers, research centers, extended care facilities, schools, sport training facilities, industrial places, and hospitals are the common work of physical therapist assistants.
Education, Training and Certification:
Physical therapy assistants in most states are required to have an Associate's Degree from CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Education) accredited programs. This has normally two parts which are academic coursework and clinical experience. Courses like English, physiology, anatomy, and psychology are covered on the first part while the second part is more on hands-on experience that takes place in therapy centers. Right now, there are 280 accredited associate degree programs available for Body therapy assistants. Aside from the coursework, the clinical training given to health care specialist assistants helps them gain practical experience in their field. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), hands-on experience, and first aid giving are included in the training. Most states required a therapist assistant to be licensed before they can practice. They are also required to first pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) issued by the Federation of State Boards of P. Therapy after completing a 2-year Associate's program. They can then apply for a license in the state they would like to work and the license often has to be renewed with continuing education courses.
Career Perspective and Work Environment:
There were 67,400 jobs in this occupation in 2010 and it expected to expand by 46% in 2020. Over 50% of PT assistants work in ambulatory health care services and 28% work in hospitals. You will also find them in nursing homes and residential care facilities.
Typically, Body therapy assistants are working in full time hours. Since most clinics are open during evenings and weekends, they are also expected to work during those times.
Factors That Affects the Salary of a Dental Hygienist:
The key factors that would determine the salary of a physical therapy assistant are experience and education. Other graduates choose to gain other certifications in massage therapy, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Basic Life Support (BLS), since it will not only improve their ability at work, but will also increase their pay. The choice of right work setting would also affect their salary. Mostly, skilled nursing facility pays the highest in salary while outpatient clinics pay the lowest.
Average Yearly Income:
The average annual salary of a physical therapy assistant is $51,110. This has been calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and dividing that value by the total number of employees. The lowest 10% in this career makes less than $32,030 and the top 10% makes over $71,200. The mean hourly salary of a physical therapy assistant is $24.57. The lowest 10% makes $15.40 while the top 10% makes $34.23.