Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs
When looking for physical therapy assistant jobs, you’ll find this is one industry that has shown spectacular growth, and it is a subset of the healthcare leviathan. Since it shows no signs of subsiding, in fact the best minds predict it expanding and doubling over the next several decades as the US population continues to age through a crisis of debilitating chronic illnesses and ailments, one can reasonably expect significant job security.
A prominent player in treating the symptoms and providing relief from the myriad of injuries, surgical procedures, impairments and disabilities will be the physical therapy assistant. As in most successful practices, in order to increase the number of patients a practice can handle, the physical therapist must hire physical therapy assistants to provide such things as specialized training, and supplemental treatment as well as administrative duties.
Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs
The abundance of physical therapy assistant jobs, in addition to the future growth, make this field a clinician’s dream come true. After careful research, many PTA’s looking for specific clinical fields to channel their careers, are rewarded with a lifetime of satisfaction for working in such fields as:
Pediatric Physical Therapy
The treatment and care of health problems involving infants, children, and adolescents. Problems include injuries, diseases and disorders that can impair growing bones, muscles and joints. Treatments are fine-tuned to improve motor skills, balance and coordination as well as endurance and strength. Some children afflicted by spina bifida, and cerebral palsy are excellent candidates for successful concentrated treatment using newer physical therapy techniques.
Orthopedic Physical Therapy
The management and treatment of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Patients who undergo orthopedic surgery such as hip and knee replacement require a great deal of postoperative treatment. This type of physical therapy is usually conducted in an outpatient clinical setting. Treatment can include alleviating sports injuries, and arthritis as well as amputations. Many PTA’s hone their skills by assisting with patients suffering from disease or injury affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons.
Geriatric Physical Therapy
As humans age normally there are numerous issues that affect us. Some of these issues can include, osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, balance disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and incontinence. The goal of the physical therapy assistant is to restore mobility, increase fitness and reduce pain.
Neurological Physical Therapy
Neurology specifically deals with the treatment of all categories of disease that involve the peripheral, central and autonomic nervous systems. This also includes their blood vessels, coverings and effector tissue we call muscle. The neurological physical therapist assistant will be treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and stroke. Patients affected by this dysfunction often experience vision impairment, paralysis, difficulty walking, poor balance leading to a loss of independence.
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
The focus is on the cardiac and pulmonary systems in health and dysfunction, and covers the spectrum from acute to long-term conditions. Special emphasis is placed on health psychology and living a healthy lifestyle. Treating and rehabilitating patients with acute, chronic and critical care conditions must also take into consideration the special patient population, such as the elderly and pediatrics.
Future Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs & Careers
The bureau of labor indicates that physical therapy assistant jobs and employment opportunities are expected to increase faster than the average for all other occupations through at least 2014. The news magazine, US News and World Report identified this occupation as an “excellent career” in 2006. Demand for PTA’s is expected to increase as a result of the rapidly growing elderly population who are vulnerable to many debilitating and chronic conditions. The baby boomers are rapidly entering an age closely associated with heart attacks and strokes requiring cardiac therapy and physical rehab. This growth makes this field demanding which also leads to the average physical therapy assistant salary being one of the highest among entry level medical careers.
Additionally, the demand for rehabilitative care is expected to rise as advances in medical technology increase the survival of newborns with birth defects, save many trauma victims, and allow treatment of a variety of disabling conditions. An increase in physical therapy services is also associated with widespread interest in health promotion, as employers use physical therapy assistants to evaluate work sites and develop exercise programs for employees. PTA’s help by teaching employees safe work habits to reduce work injuries.
Physical Therapy Assistant Jobs Continue To Experience Rapid Growth
In 2005 the number of physical therapists was in the neighborhood of over 150,000. It can be conjectured that if each physical therapist hired a physical therapy assistant, you can do the math to see how explosive growth can be. Certainly you can claim that not all physical therapists hire assistants, but it is just as certain that many PT’s have more than one physical therapy assistant on their payroll.
More than 55% of PTA’s are employed in hospitals or a private practice. The balance of physical therapy assistant jobs— are located in outpatient rehab centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and offices or clinics of medical doctors to name a few.
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