The last five years have been characterized by seismic changes in the job market as professions which were hitherto popular lost their quondam allure.
Against this backdrop many people lost their jobs while high school students did not know exactly which career to join. Amidst this entire hubbub, one profession has remained constant in offering prestigious opportunities and still offering opportunities for growth and this is the physical therapy industry.
The US BLS in its Occupational Handbook Outlook for 2010-2020 projects that this profession is to grow by about 45% which is way above the national average. According to CareerCast this is ranked as the second most all-round satisfying profession due to wealth accumulation, working conditions, occupational hazards, and physical demands.
If this information has whetted your desire to work as a physical therapist assistant (PTA), you need to enroll at a physical therapy assistant school to ensure you get the prerequisite skills. What are some of the germane issues while thinking about training as a physical therapy assistant?
A Brief on Physical Therapy Assistant Training
In any institution dealing with training physical therapy assistants, you will first tackle the roles of this profession. Some of the PTAs roles include assisting a physical therapist to prepare equipments necessary during therapy.
You will organize the room where the sessions will take place before the patient and the therapist arrive and all equipments should be tested to ensure it is working.
At a school you will also be taught on how to provide massage and help patients to work with equipments in order tor educe pain while also enhancing mobility.
Other techniques that you will learn through such programs include hot and cold baths and electric stimulation though all these will be supervised in actual practice by a certified therapist.
You will also learn how to observe and record any patient behavior during therapy sessions as part of the evaluation of the treatment plan. Most of the programs offer certificate programs, associate degrees running for at least two years, Master and even Doctorate programs.
Qualification to a physical therapy assistant school will also differ but a high school diploma with strong credits in mathematics, biology and English will be a requirement. If you are already working as a PTA, different schools will ask for certain number of working hours to enable you take their programs.
Some of the common subjects covered include medical terminology, anatomy, psychology and physiology, communication for health professionals, rehabilitation, growth and development among many other areas.
Choosing the Best Physical Therapy Assistant School
There are thousands of institutions offering these programs and it is important to ensure you choose the best to ground you solidly in the profession. Some of the key considerations include;
Accreditation; for you to get certified as a PTA you must have trained in an accredited institution. Some of the major accreditation bodies in the profession include Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPT) among others.
This will ensure that you can later sit for a National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) to get certified. Moreover, such accreditation ensures that the courses offered are professional.
College record; it is important to check an institution’s performance record from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) website. This will show you previous performance of students in the college and it is possible to compare them with the rest of local schools.
Faculty qualification; always pick a college that has qualified personnel to ensure that you exploit their knowledge in the industry. A good college will always feature a staff page where you can evaluate all tutors who will take you through the program. Ensure they are certified in their particular specialties.
Facilities and services; any physical therapy assistant school that is credible must have sufficient facilities to provide holistic training. These include laboratories, libraries, and extra-curricular facilities among others. Moreover, there should be adequate resources in all these facilities to ensure your program runs efficiently.
Flexibility; there are many types of learning methods. Some schools offer fully online courses while others have on-campus training programs. Others will merge the two and provide academic bits online and practical work from a campus. As such, ensure you pick an institution that fits your schedule especially if you are working.
As the population ages, there will be more demand for therapeutic services and with the best training from a good physical therapy assistant school, you will have taken a pivotal position to exploit these opportunities.