Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapy Assistants in Lancaster, California
Physical therapy assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Lancaster, California. There are currently 3,600 jobs for physical therapy assistants in California and this is projected to grow by 36% to 4,900 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for physical therapy assistants are expected to grow by about 33.3%. In general, physical therapy assistants assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.
The income of a physical therapy assistant is about $27 per hour or $56,690 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 per hour or $46,140 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Therapy, people working as physical therapy assistants in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Physical Therapy nationally. Jobs in this field include: physical therapy assistant , licensed physical therapist assistant , and rehabilitation aide.
The Lancaster area is home to 210 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Lancaster where you can get a degree as a physical therapy assistant. The most common level of education for physical therapy assistants is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a physical therapy assistant if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Physical Therapy Assistant
In general, physical therapy assistants assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. They also may, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist.
Physical therapy assistants instruct, motivate, safeguard and assist patients as they practice exercises and functional efforts. They also talk with physical therapy staff or others to consider and evaluate patient data for planning and coordinating treatment. Equally important, physical therapy assistants have to help clients to dress or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces and slings. They are often called upon to communicate with caregivers and family members about patient therapeutic efforts and treatment plans. They are expected to attend or conduct continuing education courses or in-service efforts. Finally, physical therapy assistants fit patients for orthopedic braces and supportive devices, such as crutches.
Every day, physical therapy assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.
It is important for physical therapy assistants to observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress, and furnish results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes. They are often called upon to transport clients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them in line with positioning requirements. They also monitor operation of apparatus and record use of apparatus and administration of treatment. They are sometimes expected to administer traction to relieve neck and back pain, using intermittent and static traction apparatus. Somewhat less frequently, physical therapy assistants are also expected to administer active and passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, and heat, light and electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.
Physical therapy assistants sometimes are asked to clean work areas and check apparatus after treatment. And finally, they sometimes have to perform postural drainage, percussions and vibrations, and teach deep breathing exercises to treat respiratory conditions.
Like many other jobs, physical therapy assistants must have a strong concern for others and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lancaster include:
- Massage Therapist. Massage customers for hygienic or remedial purposes.
- Physical Therapy Aide. Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Physical Therapy Assistant Training
Meridian Institute - Los Angeles, CA
Meridian Institute, 4201 Wilshire Blvd Ste 515, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Meridian Institute is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 30 students. Meridian Institute has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated three students in 2008.
Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA
Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.
ICDC College - Los Angeles, CA
ICDC College, 5422 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. ICDC College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,750 students. ICDC College has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated 122 students in 2008.
Adelante Career Institute - Van Nuys, CA
Adelante Career Institute, 14547 Titus, Suite 100, Van Nuys, CA 91402. Adelante Career Institute is a small school located in Van Nuys, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 95 students and an admission rate of 89%. Adelante Career Institute has a less than one year program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.
Certification in Sports Medicine: The ABP in collaboration with the American Boards of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine offers a certificate of added qualifications in sports medicine.
For more information, see the American Board of Pediatrics website.
AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.
For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Physical Therapy Board of California, 1418 Howe Avenue, Suite 16, Sacramento, CA 95825-3204
Phone: (916) 263-2550
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Physical Therapy Board of California
LOCATION INFORMATION: Lancaster, California
Lancaster is situated in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 145,469, which has grown by 22.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lancaster, 130, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Lancaster cost $144,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Lancaster, down from eight hundred six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Lancaster are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 15.8% of Lancaster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Lancaster is 17.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Lancaster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.
Lancaster is home to the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter Number 5 and the Lancaster City Hall as well as Mays Field and Mariposa Park. Shopping centers in the area include Antelope Valley Center Shopping Center, Antelope Valley Plaza Shopping Center and West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Lancaster can choose from Best Western Antelope Valley I, Aloha Motel and Bonaire Motel for temporary stays in the area.