Physical Therapy Assistant
Let's have fun getting you back on the run!
One could say that injuries are an unfortunate part of life, however there is a perspective that provides a positive aspect in the sense that our bodies are amazing when it comes to healing. It is a benefit sometimes taken for granted as we can heal so much from the rebuilding of broken bones to the regeneration of organs! Although this process is natural and can begin immediately after trauma, there are many instances where healthcare intervention can help. Whether patients experience heavy trauma with a long road to recovery, or other patient injuries whose injuries may not be as severe but also struggle to heal due to age or disease, all could benefit from physical therapy. Most people understand that physical therapists take charge at this juncture but what of their assistants? Allied Help looks to explain why these healthcare workers are vital to the practice of physical therapy while highlighting the important aspects of their careers such as educational requirements, salary and job growth going into the next decade.
The first step towards becoming a physical therapist assistant is to complete educational requirements. Community Colleges and universities alike will typically offer some form of a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). CAPTE is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, so it is the gold standard for students looking to obtain proper certifications. General courses will also need to be completed in conjunction or prior to program acceptance so time to completion may vary but PTA students can expect at least two years of schooling to learn the skills and protocols of physical therapy. Explore Health Careers was able to further break down what these programs will consist of as they noted that 75% of the program is done through classroom and lab work while the remaining 25% is reserved for clinical education, allowing PTA students to work with patients to gain real world experience. After that student will then need to pass a licensure or certification exam in most states to work as a physical therapist assistant.
When it comes to salary and job outlook the information can get confusing as most statistics will combine both physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides into one profession. There are huge discrepancies here as physical therapy aides are not synonymous with PT assistants because in most cases, they will not have received the same level of training. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median salary within this profession be approximately $49,180 per year. Although this is technically correct, a further analysis from the agency reveals that the median annual wage for physical therapist aides was $29,200 while the median annual wage for physical therapist assistants was $61,180 as of May 2021. Either path taken by the student should be rewarded though as both careers have expected job growth that exceeds the national average. Those wanting to reach the pinnacle of physical therapy could continue their education and experience to reach the level of physical therapists. The median salary for a physical therapist is currently around $95-96k per year and requires a doctorate level of education just for eligibility.
Even though physical therapy aides were mentioned, it is still important to discuss a similar but alternate position as an athletic trainer. Although these professionals can be hired to work in hospitals and other outpatient settings, they are able to provide focused treatments on sports injury rehabilitation for athletes or those not necessarily injured but looking to improve body condition allowing them to heal better in the event of injury. Many of these professionals will be employed at gyms or even provide private one-on-one training for those who are unable to make it to their local gym. At a current average salary of $48,420 these professionals will be expected to obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher to provide competent services. Athletic trainers will find their work to be extremely rewarding as they are constantly helping people move better while doing active tasks that they genuinely enjoy.
No matter which direction that anyone decides to take their careers, Allied Help wants them to know that they have their backs throughout their journey. The founder Allied Help himself spent years training and playing at an elevated level of basketball that led to many injuries, so he understands the significant role they play within healthcare. As mentioned before, whether you are a high-level athlete or a patient suffering from an accident, we may all need the employment of physical therapy and physical therapy assistants are educated and trained to be with us every step of the way on the road to recovery. All Physical therapy assistants, aides and trainers are encouraged to join Allied Help as the company has just released its first version of their proprietary digital credential wallet which allows them to safely upload, verify and store their healthcare credentials so that it can be easily shared in a secure manner with potential employers. It is a PTA looking for extra work on their days off or maybe it is an athletic trainer displaying his credentials and experience to a private client. No matter the task, Allied Help knows this project will be helpful. Another great aspect of Allied Help is their discord channel which connects the healthcare professionals with each other and app developers creating an environment where there are constantly new features being discussed and added.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). Athletic Trainers: Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/athletic-trainers.htm
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). Physical therapist assistants and aides: Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, September 8). Physical therapists: Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm
Physical therapist assistant. ExploreHealthCareers.org. (2017, July 14). Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://explorehealthcareers.org/career/physical-therapy/physical-therapist-assistant/