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Physical Therapy Assistant
|Overview:||Physical therapy assistants work under the direction of licensed physical therapists. Their objective is to help patients with injuries or illness resume regular physical activities under a managed therapy program. They administer exercises and other treatments and assess patients' progress.|
|Duties:||They instruct patients in a variety of manual exercise treatments with equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes and weight lifting machines. They also conduct swimming exercises.
They administer massages, electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, ultrasound, hot/cold packs and traction. They measure and assess the patient's flexibility and range of motion.
They assist physical therapists in the fitting of orthopedic braces and prosthetic devices on patients. They instruct patients how to use these devices.
They monitor patient progress throughout the prescribed treatment plan and report significant problems, abnormalities and achievements to the physical therapist.
|Degree(s):||A.S. Health Sciences
A.S. Liberal Arts and Sciences (Mathematics and Science)
|Job Outlook:||Employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to grow faster than average through 2018 due to the growth in the elderly population. Physical therapists are expected to increasingly use assistants and aides to reduce the cost of physical therapy services. Job opportunities should be particularly good in acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings and in rural areas.|
|Starting Salary:||Hospital salaries are lower than those in private practice offices.|
|Salary Range (National Average):||$28,000 to $33,000|
|Education Level:||Training for this occupation generally requires an Associate Degree from a 2 year or community college.|
|Additional Training/Education:||An associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program is the appropriate educational background for this occupation. Most states require assistants to be certified or licensed and have certification in CPR, first aid and clinical working experience.|
Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services Advisor to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.