The physical therapist assistant will be required to have an associate’s degree in order to be recognized as a practicing practitioner in this field. In other words, the student will have to go through an accredited school in order to be awarded this kind of degree. The physical therapist aide though, does not need to go through this kind of training.
All he needs to prove is expertise in the field and a certificate showing that he has a high school diploma. The physical therapy assistant schools offer a range of courses that give the student theoretical skills pertaining to the practices of therapy. Most of the physical therapy assistant schools will give the following units mentioned below.
Introduction to physical therapy
This unit gives the student an overview about the philosophical and organizational view of physical therapy. It introduces him to the course as a frame to refer to in some of the treatments in hospitals. In addition, it starts to emphasize on the importance of quality and professionalism in the sector, and gives the student pointers concerning the ethical values he should keep as a physical therapist assistant.
This is also an introductory unit showing the different kinds of diseases that the student will come across in his career. The unit reveals how they are manifested and gives an overview as to how the diseases can be treated. Most of the diseases are linked with the body’s cardiovascular system, the nervous system and a human being’s musculoskeletal organs.
Basic health care skills
The training therapist assistant is introduced to some of the skills he will need to know in order to act as a care professional. He is given an in-depth view about some of the equipment, such as the wheelchair, and is also equipped with knowledge on the mechanism of the body, gait training, first aid, etc. The student is introduced to techniques such as massaging and is shown ways of how to identify the structure of the anatomy. This will include stretched joints, ranges in the motion of the different parts of the body and different kinds of postures.
In this unit, the student learns to handle skills concerning observations and ways of noting them on paper. He is also shown ways of interviewing patients and how to record small notes after real time observation. Various documents in the physical therapy jobs will include plans for treatment, assessment reports, progress reports and summary notes.
PTA patient care
This is yet another unique unit in the course taken. In most cases, an assistant will be exposed to patients who experience various kinds of emotional imbalances caused by disease. The unit trains the student to read past the imbalances and creates ways of taking care of such patients. It also shows of ways to handle the aged, disabled and mentally unfit or incapacitated patients.
These and many more units are taught in the physical therapy schools that we have around our colleges. By the time the student leaves the facility, he should be fully equipped to handle a myriad of challenges that the supervising physical therapist would give to him.