APTA Accredited PTA to PT Programs
There are bridge programs that were developed when the Physical Therapy degree is still at the Bachelor level. Physical therapy education now has graduate level programs (Master’s and Doctoral degrees) and the undergraduate course credits that a student has acquired from a PTA curriculum can’t be applied to these graduate programs. To seek out accredited PTA to PT programs, you may want to seek out the CAPTE website.
There are, however, more and more PTA programs that are developing communication agreements with Bachelor Degree programs with other colleges and universities. This means that being a physical therapy assistant can open doors to other health-related Bachelor degrees – not just Physical Therapy. This means that you can become a registered nurse, an anesthesiologist, even a doctor if you’re already a PTA. You can also advance your PTA career by specializing in other physical therapy areas such as administration, business or education.
But if you are particularly interested in becoming a physical therapist, then you should look for bridge programs that can let you accomplish your educational goal. Remember that as a PTA, your daily activities revolve around patient assistance and rehabilitation. Most of these patients include those that suffer from debilitating diseases and those who met accidents. You will encounter more of this when you become a physical therapist but there is a little difference that you have to familiarize yourself with.
Remember also that transferring from a PTA to PT career doesn’t mean that all the courses you took up on your PTA course will be credited. Taking up Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy is a completely different course from an Associate’s Degree – being a physical therapy assistant isn’t a stepping stone to becoming a licensed physical therapist.
The Role of Accreditation in PTA to PT Programs
CAPTE stands for The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. This is the organization that gives accreditations to physical therapy programs, ensuring that the curriculums offered are of high quality. Keep in mind that CAPTE-accredited PTA to PT programs produce graduates that are competent to serve the public.
Since 1928, education programs that prepare physical therapists to practice their professions have been recognized. The American Physical Therapy Association or APTA published in June 1928, all the approved programs for physical therapy. It was then that standards were given and the quality of curriculums was measured. Now you know why it is important to seek out PTA to PT programs that have accreditations because this can guarantee that you will get the highest quality of education plus you won’t have any issues with regard to shifting your profession in the near future.
A licensed physical therapy assistant is required to complete a two-year degree and the mandatory State Licensure exam before he can begin his profession. He can choose from the 276 PTA programs and when he decides to become a PT, he can proceed to take a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy.
Additional Tasks for Physical Therapists
Keep in mind that physical therapists are legally licensed to do all of the tasks that a physical therapist assistant can do. But PTs have the choice to concentrate on administrative or leadership tasks. They are also the ones who should formulate the correct rehabilitative therapies or treatments for patients who suffered from debilitating circumstances. The PTA is the one that can be tasked to administer these treatments, not to plan them. So if you’re wondering whether the physical therapist is a notch higher than the PTA career, the answer is yes. Do PTs earn more? The answer is another resounding yes.