Delineating A Physical Therapist And A Physical Therapist Assistant

Any career in the field of healthcare brings a promising reward. It also satisfies your personal needs of wanting to help others when your career is within the healthcare field. A career in physical therapy can provide both your personal goals and career fulfillment. Physical therapy involves the assessment, evaluation and treatment of persons with limitations or problems in functional mobility. Physical therapy is mainly provided by licensed and certified physical therapists. However, there are other options too if you want to proceed in the physical therapy field. You can also choose to become a physical therapist assistant or a physical therapist aide.

Physical therapists are responsible in giving direct patient care, providing services that enhances or restore function in mobility, limits or prevents physical disabilities and relieves the pain of patients. They create treatment plans for their patients as well as oversee that these plans are followed in order to achieve the desired outcome or goals. In order to become a physical therapist, one must need to earn their master or doctorate degree from a certified physical therapist educational program and then pass the licensure exams for physical therapist aspirants. The median earnings for physical therapist as of 2011 are around 74, 480 dollars.

Physical therapist assistant on the other hand works under the supervision of a physical therapist in administering cure or treatment to patients. In order to become a physical therapist assistant, an associate degree from an accredited physical therapist education program is required. Most of the physical therapist assistant coursework includes anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, algebra and psychology. In addition to that, physical therapist students are also required to do clinical fieldwork. In order to work as a physical therapist assistant in some states, a license is required which can be done by passing the physical therapist licensure exam. In 2009, the median salary of physical therapist assistant is $48,290.

Physical therapist aide works under the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant. They are responsible in making the physical therapy session a productive one by making sure that the area for physical therapy treatment is clean, organized and well prepared for physical therapy patients. They are also given the task to prepare the patients for the physical therapy session and assessing the patients after the therapy is done. On-the job training can be done after earning a GED or high school diploma if you want to become a physical therapist aide. Physical therapist aide earns a median salary of 23,890 dollars as of 2011.


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