How to Get a Job as a Physical Therapist Assistant
Real-world clinical experience can be a big help in getting a foot in the door. Internships that start during school are the best introduction to a practice that could become an employer, says Nancy Greenawald, the program coordinator of the physical therapist assistant program at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Md. “The place where they do their clinical internship can say, ‘Is this someone who we’d like to have work with us?’”
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|Stress Level||fair Average|
What is the Job Like?
Many PTAs work in hospitals or private practices. Most jobs are full-time, although part-time options are sometimes available. Some practices are adding evening and weekend hours to accommodate patients. Other settings, like orthopedic practices and skilled nursing facilities, are seeing more demand for PTAs. Physical therapy is a “hands-on” job that can include therapeutic exercise, massage or treatments such as electrotherapy and ultrasound. PTAs spend much of the day on their feet and may be required to lift and move patients. They also need to educate patients on strategies for healthier lifestyles and keep careful records, since they will need to follow a therapist’s treatment plan. “The job’s not done until the paperwork is done,” Greenawald notes.
Last updated by Emily Brandon.