Care/Service provided by the Physical Therapy Assistant
Physical therapy assistant, also known as PTA, has the responsibility of working as the integral part of a therapy team for the provision of physical therapy services as an assistant to a physical therapist who directs and supervises him/her accordingly. The job of a PTA is the implementation of specially chosen mechanisms/procedures for the treatment of patient/client according to the prescribed instructions. he/she is also responsible for obtaining the relevant data about the preferred interventions (Dreeben-Irimia, 2011). In addition, the job requires him/her to make amendments/alterations in selected treatment methods for the progression of the patient/client condition as recommended by the physical therapist or for making the patient/client well-being and consolation certain ("Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)," 2013).
In addition, a physical therapy assistant is responsible for giving assistance to the physical therapist for the treatment of persons related to any age group, from infants to the elderly, who are faced with health/medical problems due to which their movement abilities and daily functioning to carry out even the simplest tasks are inhibited. It is exceedingly important to mention here that it is the responsibility of the physical therapist to answer for the services that a physical therapy assistant (PTA) provides. As far as physical therapists (PTs) are concerned, they are the health care professionals whose job is to check up and scrutinize every patient/client and then formulate a specific plan after making use of certain treatment techniques for the promotion of the movement ability, pain reduction, functional restore and disability prevention. Besides, physical therapists are responsible for working with the affected people for the prevention of the loss of movement before its occurrence. he/she does so with the development of programs for fitness and wellness of the patient/client in order to make sure that it helps in the restoration of a healthy and active way of life ("Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)," 2013).
Thus, it is the job of a physical therapy assistant to make sure that the physical therapist he/she works for is able to achieve the mentioned goals. There are a good number of settings where one can easily find a physical therapy assistant providing care for people. Those settings include "hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes" ("Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)," 2013).
A physical therapy assistant is liable for contributing to the efficiency and helpfulness of the physical therapist as it is his/her job to identify the issues pertaining to patient care, provide relevant information and observations, suggest alternative interventions and implement the physical therapy directions. he/she also has the responsibility of assessments of patient health after conducting patient interviews, carrying out physical examinations of patients/clients and collecting, revising and doing studies of patient history and keeping updates of any earlier therapy treatments ("Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description," 2013).
In addition, it is also his/her job to evaluate abnormal conditions in patients by assessing the interpretations made by physical therapist after going through the test results and evaluations of the client/patient. Physical therapy assistant is also involved in the documentation of the patient care services as he/she registers records about patient and department (Dreeben-Irimia, 2011). Other than the mentioned tasks, a physical therapy assistant is responsible for carrying out therapeutic procedures including the administration of manual exercises, giving instructions to patients/clients, providing encouragement and offering assistance to patients so that they can perform physical activities like exercises both manual and mechanical), ambulatory functions the execution of daily tasks. The physical therapy assistant also assists patients to use devices that are meant to provide support including canes, crutches etc. ("Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description," 2013).
Physical therapy assists also give instructions and do counseling of patients by providing descriptions regarding therapeutic regimens. They also provide them with information to grow and develop normally in order to promote wellness and maintain the health progression in patients. The provision of care in a continuous fashion is also the responsibility of a physical therapy assistant and they do so with the development and implementation of patient management plans. Other duties of a physical therapy assistant include the maintenance of clean, healthy, and safe that complies with therapeutic processes, rules and directives etc. PTA is also involved in the maintenance of production objectives as it is one of his/her duty to note contemporary and up-to-date treatment trends ("Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description," 2013).
It is also essential for physical therapy assistant to keep his professional knowledge updated by being a part of the available opportunities to acquire education. he/she must read professional literature and publications concerning his/her profession. The maintenance of private networks and participation in professional institutions is also necessary to understand his/her job responsibilities (Dreeben-Irimia, 2011). It is also important for a physical therapy assistant to improve and add to the reputation of his/her hospital and physical therapy by being smart enough to accomplish new and diverse requirements. Finally, he/she must make it a habit to explore opportunities for adding value to his/her professional activities ("Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description," 2013).
Professional Certification or Registration
It is required of a physical therapy assistant to graduate from PTA program CAPTE-accredited with CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education). A license or certificate is also required in a good number of states in which a physical therapy assistant performs his/her job ("Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)," 2013). It is required by almost every state that each and every one of the future physical therapy assistant must clear a pass if he/she wants to have a license of his/her own for starting his career on a professional level in the healthcare field. The acquirement of this license is essential for every PTA in order to get a job. There are different licensing fees in every state. In general, once a PTA acquires a license, he/she has to get it renewed within the prescribed time (Dreeben-Irimia, 2011).
Education and Certification
Educational Requirements for the Profession
In a majority of states, a physical therapy assistant is required to get hold of a 2 years' Associate's Degree accredited from CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Education). These programs generally consist of two parts. The first one is related with academic coursework whereas the other one is related with clinical experience. In the first program, several courses are taught such as Anatomy, Biology, Physiology, Kinesiology, Psychology, Medical Terminology, therapeutic exercise, Geriatrics etc. ("Physical Therapy Assistant Training," 2013).
The second program is arranged for making pupils having a practical experience as same as that in therapy institutions ("Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description," 2013). In such programs, students are made to attend laboratories so that they can practically work with patients. Such training programs for physical therapy assistants also help them in acquiring certification in first aid and cardio-pulmonary recovery. Besides all this, training programs help students to learn standards of exercise treatment, motion skills of various types and skills to make them understand daily living. In addition, knowledge about handling of various healthcare tools and other equipments is also delivered ("Physical Therapy Assistant Training," 2013). Trainings are also provided for making student learn various modalities of physical therapy including "massage treatment, paraffin baths, cold and hot packs usage, ultrasound, traction and electric stimulation" ("Physical Therapy Assistant Training," 2013). Such treatment methods are important to know as their usage means the clients are relieved of pain. Thus, gaining knowledge about all the mentioned things is really helpful to become a physical therapy assistant. When PTAs are hired by a physical therapist, he/she should know about all the basics as the licensed therapists supervise them based on their skills and knowledge. Thus, having a basic education and certificate from a training program is really necessary to discharge duties as a physical therapy assistant ("Physical Therapy Assistant Training," 2013).
Different Types of Educational Institutions offering the Program
There are a number of educational institutions throughout the country who offer training programs for the physical therapy assistants. There are more or less 200 training programs that are offered all over the United States of America. Several of these programs are also offered in smaller cities. One of the most important things to mention here is that if a healthcare program is being chosen by an individual to become a future PTA, he/she must have received good grades during high school years. It is also important that an aspiring PTA should have studied a number of science courses in high school before applying for a PTA training program ("Physical Therapy Assistant Training," 2013).
As far as tuition and fees for the PTA training programs are concerned, it takes about $8,000 to acquire the degree from Public In-State on an annual basis whereas if someone wants to get the degree privately, it takes about $27,000 per year ("Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Education Overview," 2013).