The physical therapist assistant follows the plan established by the physical therapist. They have more hands on patient care and less paperwork and less responsibility in the clinic. The PTA has 2 -3 years of school.
The salary for the PT is greater than the PTA but there is a lot more school too.
In the current work environment there is a push to frequently reassess and discharge clients. Since the PTA cannot reassess and discharge most of the PTA jobs are in longer term care settings like nursing homes, home health and maintenance programs.
PT jobs are in demand and have a wide variety of settings -hospitals, private clinics, in home care, research, schools, athletics, nursing homes, and more.
Both PT and PTA college programs are very competitive. They will require a high GPA, good test scores, some do interviews. It is a good idea to have some volunteer or work experience in the field to be sure you like it, and this is usually required in the application phase.
The PTA degree is not part of the PT program. Do not think you will get your PTA then apply to PT school and have extra credits. It doesn’t work like that. There are a couple “bridge “ programs out there but not many. If you want your PT, jump in to get it, don’t use PTA as a step. Good luck! It’s a great profession.
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