Medical conditions are not necessarily healed through medicines alone or surgery. Rehabilitation of the body parts is essential in order for the patient to function normally after any incident or accident. This is what the physical therapists and the physical therapy assistants are for. If this career is interesting, read on to find out how to become one in the state of Alabama from the best school.
Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants are there to handle the patients with physical conditions caused by injury, accident or disease. The physical therapists work with other doctors as well as other medical professionals to find out the best way to rehabilitate the patient. The physical therapy assistants are those that provide assistants to the work of the physical therapists. The therapy programs that the PTs and PTAs apply are varied such as deep-tissue massage, strengthening exercise as well as ultrasound treatment.
While the physical therapists create an individual rehabilitation program for the patients, the physical therapist assistants are the ones who guide the patients in following the program especially when there are many patients at a time. Other than this, the physical therapy assistants also do administrative work and preparation of the facility where the patients will have their treatment sessions. Physical therapists are also involved in the sports where they monitor the physical aspect of the athletes and provide programs to strengthen and maintain their physical health.
Necessary Preparation Of Aspiring PT And PTA Before Entering College
- Taking Up More Subjects Related To The Course In High School
When you plan to get into the limited number of Alabama PT or PTA schools, it is best to prepare yourself early on. In high school, take up basic subjects that are related to physical therapy. These include anatomy, biology and other life sciences in order to be more aware of how the body works. Aim for above average to top grades since physical therapy schools will know your determination to be a health professional in the physical therapy field when doing well in high school in all subjects.
- Obtaining More Information Outside The School
Becoming acquainted to the physical therapy course is also important to gain information outside the four corners of the classroom. Head out to the library and read documentaries of what this career is all about. Check out real life videos and media that will add on to this learning.
- Getting Experience In Actual Work Environment
Take time to be exposed in the actual workplace of the physical therapist or physical therapy assistant. This will be a great venue to gain experience rather than just depending on the textbooks, documentaries and videos. Building networks will also be created even with voluntary work or summer jobs. This will be advantageous in finding a job later on as physical therapy assistant or getting recommendations when getting into physical therapy schools for the higher education of physical therapists.
- Research On The Possible Schools In Alabama
Getting into top schools in Alabama for physical therapy or physical therapy assistant program is equivalent to looking for accredited schools. Accreditation to the CAPTE or Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is vital since those who graduate from unaccredited schools cannot practice as PT or PTA.
The accredited schools in Alabama for physical therapy are Alabama State University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of South Alabama. Those who want to be physical therapy assistants, accredited Alabama schools are Bishop State Community College, G.C. Wallace Community College, Jefferson State Community College, South University and Wallace State Community College.
Fundamental Skills Of Being A PT And PTA
Other than the genuine interest and high intelligence of aspiring PTs and PTAs, personalities are crucial to lead a great career. Interpersonal skill is a must for those working the physical therapy industry. Being around patients is part of the daily routine and having the positive vibe will encourage them to become better in their situation. Patience, analytical skill and flexibility is also required to have in order to handle well the patients and provide them with the best health program for achieving best health.
How To Become A PT And PTA
A college degree is the first step in the physical therapy career. For the PTAs, an associate degree is required before practicing as such. The two years of PTA undergraduate education combines the classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction. After the five semesters of schooling, the next thing to do is obtain a license from the state you want to practice. Only Colorado and Hawaii, amongst the 50 US states, do not require license. Target to become a physical therapist through continuing education for better job opportunities
For physical therapists, to become one is to at least have a master’s degree in physical therapy. The bachelors degree may not necessarily be a course in physical therapy but related sciences such as biology, anatomy, physiology and the like. It is highly recommended that the getting experience before the masters program should be obtained. Entering physical therapy school requires the students to have recommendation from science teachers and practicing physical therapists. This can be possible when working under physical therapists during internship or summer to build relationships in the industry. Maintain grades of 3.0 GPA or higher to boost chances of getting in.
After completing the master’s degree, take the license examination NPTE or National Physical Therapy Exam to start practicing the career. Continue education and take up doctorate degrees while already in the field. Physical therapists by 2020 should have at least a doctorate degree to be able to work and schools will only offer doctorate degrees starting 2017. Maintain the validity of the license and acquire certifications to advance in the career as PT. Specialties in PT have certifications to ensure the patients of competency in fields such as geriatrics, neurology, pediatrics, sports, women’s health, orthopedics, clinical electrophysiology and cardiovascular and pulmonary therapy.
Work Environment And Salary Range Of An PT And PTA
Physical therapists are one of the top paid in the health industry. The annual average income for the physical therapists is at $79,830 or $38.38 an hour. Those on the top 10 percent are receiving much higher at $110,670. The range of the income is at $54,719 per year or $26.30 per hours to $110,670 per year or $53.21 per hour. Physical therapists working on the management, scientific and technical consulting services are the top paying industry.
Physical therapy assistants can expect lesser incomes than the PTs because of the educational background. The median salary of the PTAs is ate $51,110 annually or $24.57 per hour. The salary range that these PTAs can earn is between $32,030 and $71,200 per year or at $15.40 to $34.23 per hour.
PTs and PTAs work in medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics while others are in private offices. In the clinics and offices, equipment and exercise apparatus are used by PTs and PTAs to be able to perform the necessary treatment for the patients. These health professionals may also need to go to hospital rooms, schools or homes for patients that cannot move on their yet. Working at forty hours a well is the usual schedule while some have to work on evening or weekends depending on the schedule of their patients.
Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants have so much contribution in the medical field. These health professionals are quite contented with their jobs. If you are interested in the health industry and want to offer rehabilitation then the PT or PTA is a career you can pursue.