As an assistant to a physical therapist, you will help patients recovering from debilitating illness, amputations, surgery, or accidents restore their physical function and relieve pain. To achieve these goals, you will use treatments such as physical exercise, hydrotherapy, and muscle manipulations to increase the patients' abilities. Physical therapist assistants are not limited to one kind of facility; physical assistant therapists work in a variety of facilities, such as hospitals, sports clinics, schools, and more.
What kinds of patients does a physical therapist assistant work with?
As a physical therapist assistant, you have the special opportunity to work with patients from a wide demographic instead of one kind of patient type. On one day, you may work with a young child recovering from illness. The next, you may work with an elderly adult after surgery or an athlete after an injury. Each day offers new challenges and patients from different areas and stages of life.
What are the rewards of being a Physical Therapy Assistant?
By serving as a physical therapist assistant, you will be an important member of a team of health care professionals that directly interact and help people recover physical function, relieve pain, and improve their overall quality of life. Each day brings the satisfaction of knowing you were involved in someone’s recovery and progress.
What qualifications are needed to be a physical therapist assistant?
To become a physical therapist assistant, a college curriculum accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association will be very helpful in preparing you to pass the national licensing examination. This education includes a wide knowledge in biology, anatomy, and different forms of therapy, such as massage therapies. Degree programs can vary in length, so can be adapted to suit your schedule and lifestyle.
External internships can greatly benefit your career, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in the health care and therapy environments. Internships allow you to work alongside accredited therapists and assistants, and can give you an idea of what to expect the day to day work to be.
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