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Educational and Licensing Requirements to Be a Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) perform a variety of tasks under the track and supervision of physical therapists. Their prime responsibilities generally consist of conducting therapeutic exercises, provide therapeutic massage, and observe patient’s recovery along with evaluate data on a patient’s progress. Adding to this, they are equally responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and organized and for preparing for each patient’s therapy. Definitely, it is one of the few careers that demand special skills that can be only nurtured through intensive training. It won’t be wrong to say that physical therapist assistants need a proper training and a moderate educational degree as much physical exertion and good knowledge to assist patients going through treatment.

Regarding the educational requirement, an individual must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Besides this, candidates should take courses in mathematics and science in high school. Potential physical therapist assistants may also gain experience by volunteering part time in a hospital, clinic or working with handicapped children in summer camps. Though, in recent times much medical and health-care centers are looking for PTAs who have earned an associate degree through an accredited physical therapist assistant program.

This physical therapist assistant course is normally a two-year program that mainly includes both coursework and clinical experience. The course mainly involves subjects like chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, algebra, and psychology. Moreover, these days there are many colleges offer the physical therapist assistant programs that require a student to visit 1-2 physical therapy sites, usually one inpatient and one outpatient. The visitations are important as it is discussed during the admission interview with the school’s PTA program director.

Apart from this, some states require licensure or registration for the physical therapist assistant to practice. Although having licensure or registration is not always compulsory in all states of the United States to allow physical assistants to practice. The States that necessitate licensure also specify certain educational as well as an examination criterion. The other requirements may also include the certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as additional first aid and a required number of hours for experience in clinical practices. The PTAs also should be well-organized, detail oriented, and caring. They need to have strong interpersonal skills and an aspiration to help people in need.

Today it can be recognized as one of the few career options that may offer you the long-term employment growth. Performing the responsibility of a physical therapy assistant or technician, you may be one of the key health care professionals that can be very important in ensuring and extending proper support to different patients.

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