Stephanie E. Guzman
South Texas College – Nursing & Allied Health
Stephanie E. Guzman
South Texas College – Nursing & Allied Health
Physical Therapy History and Purpose:
According to the Texas Physical Therapy Association, the profession of physical therapy was established in the aftermath of World War I. The purpose of the development of the profession was to alleviate trauma to wounded soldiers, and those who battle with mental illnesses to recover. Also in rebuilding their physical strength and mobility throughout their physique due to post surgery after being severely wounded. Physical Therapy is interpreted as the treatment of disease and injury by applying physical methods subordinate to medicine and surgery (Maxwell).
Purpose and Mission of American Physical Therapy Association:
The American Physical Therapy Association Mission Statement indicates that predominately the goal is to advance the profession’s role in aiding the public in the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of movement dysfunction and enhancement of physical health and abilities (Johnson).
Purpose and Mission of Texas Physical Therapy Association:
The purpose of the association is to enlighten society through the recognition that physical therapists are experienced in the field of work. Also, to advance the practice of physical therapy in enhancing movement, health and overall wellness of the citizens of Texas. The Mission Statement expressed by the association is to focus on improving intervention in motion, wellness, and health of the people throughout the community (Maxwell).
Purpose of the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners:
In compliance with the Texas board of examiners of physical therapy, the purpose of the board is to enforce the physical therapy practice act which was ordinated by the sixty-second Texas legislature in 1971, which also incorporated policies that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must carry out to practice in the state of Texas (ptot.texas.gov/page/act-and-rules).
Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant Education Comparison:
As stated by the American physical therapy association, the education of a physical therapist assistant is broken down into a two-year course or five Semesters including 16 weeks of clinical experience completed by a full-time student. According to the APTA, to acquire a Doctor of Physical Therapy, it takes three years to complete the program which consists of eighty percent taking place in lecture and in the lab, while twenty percent of the program is clinical hours and a bachelor’s degree is required in most cases. PT students spend on average 27.5 weeks in their final clinical experience (Gardner).
Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant Job Responsibility Comparison: According to the APTA, Physical Therapists responsibilities include diagnosing and managing movement dysfunction and enhancing physical and functional abilities. The goal is to restore, maintain and promote physical function and overall fitness and wellness to improve a patient’s quality of life. A PT also helps to prevent symptoms and the progression of impairments, diseases, any disorders or conditions and functional limitations relating to a patient’s health. Physical therapists automatically assume the leadership role in doing the initial examination, evaluation to establish a diagnosis, prognosis and plan of care. Only a physical therapist can establish the plan of care including intervention (treatment) and modifying it as needed and discharging a patient once the patient no longer needs therapy (Gardner, Role of a PT).
Physical therapist assistants work together under the direction and supervision of the PT in implementing treatment. Physical therapist assistants intervene once the evaluation, diagnosis and plan of care is established by the PT. A PTA can then begin treatment within following direction within the plan of care and can make modifications to the treatment as directed by the physical therapist to either adjust more comfortably for the patient or to implement according to the patient’s needs or situation. PTA’s also record data as it is required at all times and it is also relating to treatment which the PTA will refer it to the supervising PT in case adjustments are necessary. (Gardner, Role of PTA).
Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Comparison:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the difference in salary between a physical therapist and a physical therapist assistant is broken down between yearly and hourly. The hourly salary of a physical therapist is between $40 and $46 dollars an hour, also varying on the location of where a physical therapist may work. The yearly salary for a physical therapist is ranging between $84,000 and $96,000 a year (29-1123 Physical Therapists). The hourly and yearly salary for a physical therapist assistant has a distinct difference, at the minimum $25 an hour and at the max of closer to $32 dollars an hour. Yearly Salary for a PTA ranges between a low of $53,000 to a high $65,000 dollars a year (31-2021 Physical Therapist Assistants). The state of Texas is ranked at number 2 in the highest rate of employment ranging at around 20,000 for physical therapists and is at number 1 for physical therapist assistants averaging over 7,000 employed.
Projected Growth of Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Jobs:
According to the bureau of labor statistics, the projected job growth for physical therapists is on the rise as one of the fastest growing occupations at an increasing 28% estimated in 2016 all the way to 2026 (Fastest Growing Occupations: Occupational Outlook Handbook). The same goes for projected job growth of physical therapist assistants increasing at an estimated 31% from 2016 to 2026 (Fastest Growing Occupations: Occupational Outlook Handbook). Both areas of occupation in the health service category are very high in demand jobs.
Acute Care Physical Therapy:
In acute care, patients are admitted to a hospital for short-term care for an illness, surgery or recovering from trauma (Brightfind). The priority is to discharge the patient as soon as the patient’s medical condition is stable enough for the patient to be released.
Outpatient Physical Therapy:
In outpatient, its usually common for patients to visit a physical therapist in a clinic or office primarily to address orthopedic and neuromuscular injuries or impairments (Brightfind).
Skilled-nursing Physical Therapy:
In this setting, therapy is provided to patients who are admitted to a facility that usually cares for senior patients and provides long-term medical aid and rehabilitation. (Brightfind).
School-system Physical Therapy:
In this setting, physical therapy is provided in intervals within an academic environment, including preschool, elementary, high school or vocational school (Brightfind). Students receiving physical therapy within the school-based system are usually ranging between three to twenty-one years of age.
Home Health Physical Therapy
In this setting, physical therapy is provided in the patient’s home. While the majority of patients are seniors, pediatric patients with developmental disabilities and other conditions are also treated. Patients regardless of age who need treatment due to injury or other cases are also treated within home health (Brightfind). Patient Home care can be given within the patient’s home, the caregiver’s home, a hospital emergency room, a skilled nursing facility, hospice, or anywhere else in the community.
Part II – Personal
Personal experience with physical therapy:
To be honest, I haven’t really had a direct personal involvement with physical therapy other than when a close friend of mine who is involved heavily in martial arts (Jiu-jitsu) injured his knee brutally about 6 months ago. He had just received surgery two weeks ago prior to receiving therapy to repair his torn meniscus and torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) from his injury. He had still been attending practice sessions and still working out regularly for the past 6 months until he decided to finally get a professional opinion since he wasn’t at first aware that he had injured himself. He had been living the past 6 months without any pain, he just heard some popping sounds often and assumed nothing of it until he went to get seen by a doctor. Which once the X-rays came in, he realized how badly he injured his knee. The doctor requested surgery immediately to slice a part of the ligament and tie it back together on both the ACL and meniscus. He then soon after spent the next two weeks in the recovery process, he was bedridden for the first week, he was in a lot of pain and couldn’t function as he normally would. He would spend the next two weeks primarily in bed, he cannot drive, and he is still learning to walk with crutches. It won’t be for another two months before he can start activities such as swimming, light jogging or fast walking. It won’t be for another 6 months before he can start slowly heading back into some light training for jiu-jitsu and it won’t be for 9 months to a year before he can officially go back and train strenuously. For the moment, he is learning to walk patiently without crutches but for very short distances.
Motivations for Obtaining a Physical Therapist Assistant license:
My primary motivation for choosing to obtain a PTA license is that I enjoy helping others, but I also enjoy helping others to reach their goals; I love to hear that grateful “Thank you” from a patient who is able to go home and go about their normal activities. I love knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life, a change. That is my main goal for desiring to attend the PTA program and for acquiring a license. I chose Physical therapy over another career such as nursing because I knew that for one nursing is a very competitive field and I knew I would have a better chance at acquiring a PTA license and I enjoy helping others in any way that I can to accomplish goals they set for themselves, I enjoy getting to know others and seeing others succeed, being able to function normally if not very close to it as they previously have prior to rehabilitation.
Once I obtain my degree and start working, I think I will enjoy the most that I have the ability to improve someone’s situation and that I can make a difference in these patients lives. I can assist them in returning to their normal daily activities as they normally would go about their day.
The least part of the job that I wouldn’t exactly adore is dealing with patients who might tend to be difficult at first, who might try to fight you on receiving treatment, but I know I will be able to handle it efficiently and gain their trust, trying to break the ice so that they can allow me to treat them.
I am apprehensive about treating patients who may or may not possess an infectious or contagious disease. But I know that I will handle the situation to the best of my ability by following all policies and protocols in protecting myself, the patient and potentially other patients or individuals in the workplace that I can come into contact with.
I spoke mostly with 2nd year students: Aaron Gonzalez, Val Gutierrez and Clarissa Yarrita. I also spoke with 1st year students: Franco Rodriguez, Jessica Oviedo and Jerry Arreazola. I learned from these students that prior to entering the program which I have about a year until next fall of 2019, it’s a smart idea to start saving money and putting it aside prior to the program since most students are unable to work since the program is a full-time job itself. I will be saving more money out of my paychecks at my current job, I will be putting money aside to last me through those next 2 years of school, money towards: food, gas, textbooks, club fees, clothing attire for the program, and other essentials. I also learned to pace myself and create a schedule for myself with a planner, dating exams and assignments and quizzes or study time for reading. I will expect to manage my time and plan ahead for study time and reading and other necessities. I am also preparing beforehand and while finishing up this intro class, I am already completing my hours needed forgoing entering the program, I am finishing up hospital hours and already going to begin clinical hours very soon before the spring semester, I look forward to completing my required hours. I am also looking into regularly attending sessions with a college success specialist to help me with advice on time management and dealing with stress.
My Personal Plan for Success:
I plan to make sure I make it a point to talk with my immediate family about how dedicated I intend to be in this program and how much it’ll take away from my personal life. I plan to adjust more of my time, my personal and home life to devoting myself to maintain my grades and completing this step in my life. I also plan to make a savings account specifically designated for college expenses whether it be for tuition, club due fees, clothing attire, textbooks or food and gas and other necessities in being a part of this full-time commitment. I also plan to remain organized with a planner and set up reminders on my personal cell phone to keep me up to date for what I have due or upcoming and speaking with a college success specialist as well as my parents about advice on time management. I figure this should help me in succeeding in finalizing my degree and acquiring my PTA license.
Personal Interview with a PTA student
www.ecptote.state.tx.usGardner, K. Role of a Physical Therapist. Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTCareers/RoleofaPT/
Kovács, R. (1942). Physical Therapy. The Scientific Monthly, 54(2), 155-161. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.southtexascollege.edu:2048/stable/17495
Brightfind, B. Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTCareers/OverviewMaxwell, L. Home. Retrieved from https://www.tpta.org/(2018, September 22). Retrieved from https://www.ptot.texas.gov/page/act-and-rulesGardner, K. Physical Therapist (PT) Education. Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTEducation/Gardner, K. Role of a Physical Therapist. Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTCareers/RoleofaPT/Gardner, K. Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTACareers/RoleofaPTA/31-2021 Physical Therapist Assistants. (2018, March 30). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes312021.htm29-1123 Physical Therapists. (2018, March 30). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htmFastest Growing Occupations: Occupational Outlook Handbook: (2018, April 13). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm