Physical therapy assistant programs can be found online, through community colleges and in many schools located within cities and towns throughout the United States. Physical therapy assistants and aides are usually charged with assisting patients in recovering from various injuries and illnesses. These assistants work closely with physically disabled patients under the guidance of a trained therapist.
Physical therapy assistant programs may vary greatly depending on what type of training program they pursue. Many PTAs choose to pursue a certificate or associate degree, while others prefer to pursue a bachelor's degree. Some physical therapy assistant programs even offer certification programs for individuals who already have their own certifications.
Students pursuing one-year, on-campus physical therapy assistant programs typically select courses in subjects such as anatomy and physiology. They may also choose courses in medical terminology, nursing and legal terms. In addition, students may choose courses in human growth, motor skills, communication and office administration. They will also take part in clinical experience that is supervised by a licensed medical professional.
Those who complete two-year or four-year physical therapy assistant programs will also study courses such as rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise techniques. The courses also include special training in the area of geriatrics, physical therapy ethics and laws, patient education, and occupational health. In addition, students will participate in internships, clinical rotations, clinical and research experiences.
Most physical therapy assistant programs do require students to attend internship and clinical rotations. These rotations are usually designed around the school's specific areas of expertise. Additionally, physical therapy assistant programs often require students to attend summer internships in a variety of settings such as hospitals, doctor's offices, sports teams, and community-based organizations.
The programs offered by physical therapy assistant programs are generally accredited by the state or local boards of education. This accreditation ensures that the programs meet certain standards. It also ensures that the students are meeting the requirements for a higher level of educational quality.
Most physical therapy assistant programs also require students to complete an internship prior to beginning their studies. This internship program normally lasts about six weeks. Students completing this program will learn the basics of the medical field and gain experience in helping physically impaired patients. The internship also enables students to gain a general understanding of the medical field in terms of diagnosis, treatment and care.
Aspiring physical therapy assistants must be admitted to the program. Physical therapy assistants must also pass rigorous screening procedures to determine whether they are eligible for . . . . . . admission. The program will ask students questions regarding any previous disabilities and medical conditions, as well as any special education requirements.
Physical therapy assistant programs are open to all types of students who wish to pursue a career in this specialized field. However, physical therapy assistant programs are especially beneficial to individuals who want to get into a field in which they can make a difference. The program can help students develop the necessary interpersonal skills needed to provide a positive and beneficial service to patients.