In as few as 20 months, students can graduate from an accredited physical therapist assistant program and be ready for physical therapist assisting jobs throughout the nation. Before embarking on a formal program to become a physical therapist assistant, it is important for prospective students to assess their personal and professional goals to make sure their expectations are well suited for the realities of the position.
Individuals with a flexible, adaptable work style are ideal, considering that physical therapist assistants work directly under physical therapists who rely on them to carry out treatment plans for their patients. One reality of the position is that you are working with individuals who are recovering from injuries and illness, people who need the care and patience that only a health care provider can give. Because you are working with individuals who are oftentimes experiencing pain, physical therapist assistants need to enter the field with strong interpersonal skills and an innate willingness to serve.
Preferred work environment is another important consideration to make before committing to physical therapist training and the career at large. Most physical therapist assistants work in individual physical therapy clinics, hospitals, homes for the elderly, rehab centers and for professional sports teams. Depending on where you work, you might be asked to accompany physical therapists with home visits as well. Another important consideration to make is how physically demanding this position is, as physical therapist assistants are on their feet throughout appointments, setting up equipment and oftentimes using their bodies while carrying out exercises with patients.
Physical therapist training is certainly not as time intensive compared to other health care professions, but the amount of time spent in school is still an important consideration to make. Concorde’s program for physical therapist assisting provides students with real-life experiences, allowing students to build their resumes before they even graduate.