First, you have to do some research and find a proper program that can make you become a Physical Therapy Assistant. There are many programs, especially in the United States, there are over hundred accredited programs. Everything has to be proper, so the program that you are going to attend has to have a license that has to be certified by the Commission on Accreditation, CAPTE. APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) is also association that is responsible for approving PTA programs in the country, just like CAPTE. If the school that you are attending has this kind of accreditation, you can be sure you are on the right way to become a PTA, because you are going to have quality educational course, getting knowledge from competent instructors. For individuals it is required a two-year Associate Degree.
So, there you are, you have found a proper school, and now you need to find out how to get accepted into a PTA program.
If you had an average high grade point in your high school, there are really good chances to get accepted. Also, it is very important to have as many math and science classes as you can, because it can increase your chances to get on board. If you have been volunteering in some healthcare field, good for you! This will, also, help you to be accepted into the program.
Now, you must be thinking about courses that are required. Well, probably you already know that programs are not the same, so there aren’t some really necessary courses you have to have finished. But, there is a survey done by the American Physical Therapy Association, and there are several courses that are always required, such as: biology, anatomy, chemistry, physiology, general psychology and English. If you are into helping injured people to get well, you might consider becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant.
Here it is, the part where you can decide whether you want to do online course or to go to an actual school for PTAs. There are many PTA courses offered online, but they are limited and incomprehensible because of lack of lab equipment and clinical exposure, which is really needed if you want to become proper PTA. There are many things that have to be considered before signing an online course.
There are, also accelerated courses, which is very popular in groups whose learners already have jobs, but want to become PTAs. These kind of programs offer people to have entire coursework shortened, so they could have more time for work. Normally, it takes 2 years to finish course, but accelerated course takes 14 months too complete it.
When you, finally, complete course, you are prepared to start working and helping your clients. It is important to continue your education, to stay up-to-date with your skills, so you don’t miss new things that are in relation with your new work. If you are able to go to other courses of healthcare, why not?! You are only going to be certified in new areas, and that will help you expand your career opportunities, which is fantastic career move!