5 Steps Toward Becoming a Physical Therapy Assistant

April 9th, 2013 by

Although many different industries are struggling in the down economy, the field of medicine remains strong. Regardless of how much people are earning, they still need to visit doctors and stay healthy. If you are interested in becoming a part of the field of medicine, but you don’t want to attend medical school for several years before you even begin working, there are still a number of career options to choose from. One of the most popular is that of a physical therapy assistant. Here are the five steps you need to pay attention to in order to become a physical therapy assistant.

1. Research Physical Therapy and Understand the Field

The first thing that aspiring physical therapy assistants need to do is make sure that they understand what physical therapy actually is. In a nutshell, it involves helping others who have been injured so that they can tackle their daily tasks. You might help individuals learn how to walk again, or you might help a professional athlete regain full motion in their stride due to tightness in the hamstring.

2. Enroll in a Program for Physical Therapy Assisting

In almost every employment opportunity in the field of physical therapy, you will be required to have a minimum of an associate’s degree or a certificate in physical therapy assisting. You can choose to complete these courses in college campuses, but there is also the option to enroll in online degree programs. By studying online, you may be able to save yourself quite a lot of time and money in the long run. Find out more about earning your physical therapy assistant degree.

3. Learn the Accreditation Guidelines for Your State

Check the American Physical Therapy Association website in order to determine what qualifications are necessary for physical therapy assistants in your state. Before you begin your program, check to ensure that it meets all of the state guidelines so that you can work upon graduation.

4. Complete the Degree Program

This step, actually completing the degree, diploma or certificate, may be the most challenging part. Programs typically last two years, but students who study online will have the option of speeding up or slowing down in order to better meet their needs. While studying physical therapy assisting, you can expect to cover subjects like anatomy, physiology, creating patient relationships and learning rehabilitation exercises for clients.

5. Begin Networking or Internship to Gain Experience

Even after you have completed your online degree in physical therapy, there is still one final step before you can begin working. In order to gain first-hand experience, look for an internships with a reputable physical therapist in your area, or find out if you can shadow a therapist for a week. Not only will you better understand how physical therapists work, but you can begin networking for employment in your area.

Working as a physical therapy assistant can be a lucrative position, and it is also very rewarding.

Find out more about a wide range of health care and other types of degrees available from accredited colleges and universities at Accredited-

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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