Healthcare professionals dedicated to physical therapy will be the first to tell you that they feel blessed by their career choices. Similar to the nursing profession, physical therapy is all about providing direct patient care and getting to see individuals improve their lives through the process of rehabilitation. Patients strive for regaining mobility as well as leaving the pain behind. Compassion is key in this profession; so is the desire of seeing patients getting better through a gradual therapeutic process.
How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant
The first step is to determine if you have an affinity for empathy and a desire to be an active participant in the improvement of patients’ lives. There is a movie directed by Andrew Reid, a Florida filmmaker. It covers the work that physical therapy assistants perform to rehabilitate a patient who was initially resigned to deal with paralysis for the rest of his life.
“ASIA A” is a very touching film and just one example of physical therapy. If you can identify with the therapists in the movie, this is a good sign that this career may be for you.
You will need to complete a college degree program before you can go through the Florida Board of Physical Therapy’s licensing process. Florida National University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree for Physical Therapist Assistants who can choose from various educational tracks. FNU is a private college properly accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
What Does A Physical Therapist Assistant Do?
Most physical therapy assistants choose a clinical track that will put them in direct contact with patients. Alternatively, they can also perform educational and administrative duties.
Therapeutically speaking, PT assistants work under the supervision of physiatrists, doctors of physical therapy, and in some cases orthopedic surgeons. The main task is to help with the rehabilitative process. Patients must go through this process after suffering periods of illness or major injuries.
General duties of PT assistants include:
- Work with patients who have been prescribed the use of prosthetic devices.
- Monitor and record how patients are doing in terms of mobility, balance, and strength.
- Provide education to patients with regard to their rehabilitation and what they can expect in the future. You may also have to counsel the loved ones of your patients.
- Some PT assistants travel to the residences of patients for therapeutic sessions.
- Provide massage therapy as instructed by physicians.
Depending on your education track and your goals, you may also be tasked with clinic management and administration. Some PT assistants lead group sessions or else are assigned to train other assistants.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant?
At FNU, you will be expected to complete a minimum of 120 credits for the bachelor’s degree program. The upper-level courses of your clinical track, however, will take longer to complete. Some students are able to complete their chosen track in two years.
Some courses can be taken online, and this could help you get through the curriculum faster. Keep in mind that you will have to go through the state licensing process. This may entail an examination, filing applications, and paying associated fees.
FNU also offers an Associate of Science degree program for PT assistants. This program is highly focused on preparing for the national licensure exam and following a clinical track. You can find more information about this program below. After reading, contact our admissions counselors to determine if this is a better fit for your career goals.
Admission to the FNU PT assistant programs is selective. In addition to a secondary education diploma, you must also present minimum scores on college admission examinations. Qualifying examinations include the SAT, ACT, or College Success test.
In case you have not taken these tests, our admissions office can help you with this arrangement. You will also be expected to maintain a 3.0-grade point average on your prerequisite courses.
Physical Therapist Assistant Job Outlook And Salary
Median annual earnings for PT assistants according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics were slightly higher than $48,000 in 2018. Over the next eight years, demand for these professionals is expected to be about 26%. The percentage is considerably higher than those from most other occupations.
Join FNU’s Top Physical Therapist Assistant Program in Miami, Florida
If you are looking for a PT assistant program that can fit your work and life schedule, consider applying to FNU. In the end, the best program will be one that is mindful of your life situation. Moreover, you should also choose a school that will help you with the financial aid application process. FNU offers scholarships to qualified students, and it is also rated as a Military Friendly School.
FNU’s Associate of Science Program
Many prospective students find our Associate of Science program to be a good fit for their PT assistant goals. The program is designed to be completed in less than two years for full-time students. The admissions process for this selective program wraps up each July; please contact our admissions office to get started right away.