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How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant PhotoMore people want to know how to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. This could be because they want to help people physically recover. It could be because they will eventually become physical therapists. Or it could be because they enjoy interacting with patients.

Education

It’s possible to become a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) with a high school diploma. From there, you’ll enter into a program where you’ll be taught the skills you need. The training usually involves classroom learning as well as more practical teaching sessions. You’ll also gain first aid knowledge and basic life saving skills.

Keep in mind though that competition for these positions may become more fierce. As the population gets older, there could be greater demand for these professionals. One thing you can do to help is focus on science classes in high school. This knowledge could be useful as a PTA.

Experience

If you want to have a better time applying, try to gain more experience. Even while studying, you can already look for work that will help with your skills. For example, you can offer to volunteer at a clinic. This will give you a better idea of the kind of care that patients need.

You can also check with physical therapists in your area. Perhaps one of them might have an opening for an intern. This would offer you firsthand experience of an actual practice. Also, if you do well, your boss could provide you with a good recommendation.

Physical fitness

The work of a PTA entails a lot of physical action. You will need to be strong and limber. As you help people who are undergoing rehabilitation, they will be relying on you. So your body has to be fit.

This is something that you can work on already on your own. Make sure to live a healthy lifestyle so you’ll be physically ready for the job. Also, you can volunteer in a nursing home or other care center. This will allow you to physically help people around, which will be useful preparation.

Social skills

Being a good PTA isn’t just about physical assistance. You also need to be able to get along with patients. In fact, if you can develop a good rapport with them, that would help. You need to be someone who encourages them.

So while you’re doing your internship or volunteering, look for opportunities to interact with patients. Get used to talking with them and listening to their concerns. Get a feel for what they’re going through and what you can say to help. This will be important later on as a PTA.

Physical therapist assistants may become more in demand as the population ages. Keep these tips in mind as you study and gain experience. These will help you land that job.