Physical Therapist Assistant – An Alternative to RN?

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Physical Therapist Assistant – An Alternative to RN?

Nurses and physical therapists are both essential healthcare professionals that aid patients in recovering from injuries or illnesses. However, the specifics of their work set them apart from one another.

Nursing and physical therapy are rapidly expanding professions within healthcare. As more people age and develop chronic health conditions, these two professions will continue to experience an uptick in demand for their services.

Nurses are commonly employed in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation centers and other medical settings to provide patient care and treatment. Their daily schedules typically extend from 8 AM to 5 PM with some working overnight shifts when necessary.

PTAs, on the other hand, work under the direction of a physical therapist in various settings such as hospitals, home care agencies and offices that specialize in sports medicine and rehab. Their duties involve providing manual treatments, exercises and specialized equipment for people of all ages to increase mobility and reduce pain.

A career as a physical therapist assistant (OTA) offers more than just a job; it’s an enthralling chance to make a difference in people’s lives. It requires compassion, attention to detail and interpersonal abilities as well as dexterity and physical stamina for helping patients with exercises and movements.

Becoming a PTA requires similar educational requirements to those for registered nurses, including earning either a high school diploma or its equivalent and completing an associate degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Students take courses in anatomy, clinical pathology, biomechanics, physiology and ethics before receiving 16 weeks of full-time supervised clinical experience to gain hands-on practice.

Those aspiring to be a PTA or OTA should possess exceptional “people-reading” abilities in order to comprehend each patient’s individual needs and ensure they feel at ease during therapy sessions. Furthermore, having an upbeat outlook and a desire to help others will be indispensable traits in this profession.

Both professions can be found in a variety of healthcare facilities and expect continued growth. Whether you want to work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or schools – both professions boast promising job prospects over the next decade as well as competitive salaries.

The cost of a degree and licensure for physical therapist assistants is higher than most other careers, but the potential payoff is substantial. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of physical therapist assistants will grow by 33 percent between 2019 and 2029, making it one of the fastest-growing careers in America.

Most PT assistants work a 40-hour week. However, they may have the flexibility to work additional hours as necessary in order to meet their patients’ needs or the facility’s budget.

Some PT assistants can take on additional responsibilities in their role, such as scheduling appointments or handling insurance billing for patients. Furthermore, they possess clerical duties like answering phones and taking care of referrals or requisitions.

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