How Do I Become A Physical Therapist Assistant?

If you dream about working with athletes to improve their muscle circulation, then you may be the perfect fit for a physical therapist assistant position. When you are a physical therapist assistant, you help individuals who are dealing with muscle and joint problems. You may help patients with their daily stretching routines while you wait for the physical therapist to attend to them. You may work with athletes, elderly people and young people who have suffered sports injuries. This is a very fulfilling career for people who like a “hands-on” approach in helping others. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a physical therapist assistant?” If you want to become an assistant, the good news is that you will not need to devote endless years to pursuing this degree.

What’s it like to be a physical therapist assistant?

The majority of physical therapist assistants only work on a part-time basis. They assist with the intake of patients into the clinic. They help with the process of taking patients through their daily exercises. A physical therapist assistant may also administer ice to patients who need it. If a patient needs to have a certain part of his or her body massaged, then a physical therapist assistant may also help with this process. The physical therapist assistant is also responsible for researching the charts of patients. An assistant may need to work with a secretary to make sure that a patient’s charts have been fully updated. The physical therapist may also have errands that the assistant needs to complete in a given day. Overall, the assistant works closely with the therapist to make sure that a patient has received the care and treatment that he or she needs for a visit.

Education Requirements

To become a physical therapist assistant, the education requirements are minimal. One does not have to have a college degree in order to become a physical therapist assistant. It is helpful if a person pursues a one or two-year program in physical therapy treatments. One can check out the programs that are offered at a local community college. Community colleges frequently offer these types of programs to individuals who need to pursue a certificate physical therapy treatments. One can also receive a bachelor’s degree in a field like athletic training. This will put a person in a good position for obtaining employment at a physical therapy clinic. Some individuals decide to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree so that they can get their foot in the door at a clinic. This will then give the person the opportunity to have his or her additional educational training paid for by the clinic. If a person decides that he or she wants to become a full-time physical therapist, then the clinic will likely support him or her in the pursuit of this educational goal. It is not uncommon for clinics to provide financial assistance to individuals who want to become physical therapists.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the BLS, the average salary of a physical therapist assistant is about $28,000 a year. When a person becomes a physical therapist assistant, he or she may also be given bonuses. To get a job as an assistant, one should look for open positions at clinics. It is also a good idea to check whether hospitals have any need for physical therapy assistants. If one works in a hospital, then he or she will probably not work directly with the physical therapist. Instead, one will probably simply work on an independent basis with a variety of patients in the hospital.