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What are the advantages of being a Physical therapist with an associates degree?

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Brendon’s Answer

To clarify the practitioners who have an associate's degree are Physical Therapist Assistants and only the Physical Therapist has a doctorate. While a student in 2014 I chose to become a PTA for several reasons the largest of which is significantly decreased debt and increased time in direct patient care. (Physical Therapists spend a higher percent of time doing paperwork and evaluations -- although both professionals get to spend much more time with each patient than the typical MD/PA/RN.) I hope that helps!

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Karen’s Answer

There are definite advantages to getting an Associates degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA). As a Physical Therapist with a doctorate, I wish someone had alerted me to this possibility before I dove into the load of student loan debt. I work with many PTs that started out as a PTA to earn money and gain experience and then completed a transitional program from PTA-PT. The only trouble with that is many had kids while they were completing this program that definitely added to their stress. Overall, PTAs do all of the patient treatment and don't have to do the intake and discharge paperwork that the PT has to complete. That being said, PTAs can only practice under the supervision of a PT so while there is flexibility in what you are able to do with a patient, it is a team effort among the PTA and PT and that constant collaboration is key.
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