How Can I Become a Physical Therapy Aide?
Are you good at brightening people's days? Do you want to help patients regain their strength? Read on to see if a career as a physical therapy aide is right for you. Schools offering Physical Therapy Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Would I Do as a Physical Therapy Aide?
The physical therapy field employs three levels of workers, they include therapists, assistants and aides. As a physical therapy aide, you would help the therapists and assistants perform therapeutic tasks for patients. Your tasks could include dressing patients, stabilizing patients during exercises, transporting patients, cleaning work areas and filing records. You need to be physically able to assist with therapeutic exercises, sometimes lifting a patient or supporting a patient's weight with your own body. A genial and friendly attitude is also important for your physical therapy work because recovery is often aided by positive mental and emotional stimulation.
What Education Do I Need?
Though physical therapy assistants need to complete at least an associate's degree program, physical therapy aides typically begin work after earning a high school diploma. You can learn most of your skills on-the-job as you work with trained professionals. Many employers provide you with clinical training as you begin work in order to learn basic skills such as CPR and first aid, in addition to various physical therapy fundamentals.
How Could I Advance My Career?
Because most states require that physical therapists and assistants hold certain degrees, you could choose to enroll in a physical therapy training program after spending some time gaining experience in the field. In a formal training program, you would study anatomy, physiology and psychology as well as participate in a supervised clinical experience. An associate's degree would qualify you to take the national licensure examination and begin work as a physical therapy assistant.
What Is the Job Outlook?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that employment for physical therapy aides is projected to increase 36% in the decade from 2008-2018, which is much faster than average for all other occupations (www.bls.gov). The BLS notes that as demand for physical therapists, assistants and aides increases with the aging population, you may have more job opportunities in the field.
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