Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapy Assistants in Chicago, Illinois
For those living in the Chicago, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for physical therapy assistants. There are currently 2,810 working physical therapy assistants in Illinois; this should grow 48% to 4,160 working physical therapy assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for physical therapy assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 33.3% over the next eight years. Physical therapy assistants generally assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.
The income of a physical therapy assistant is about $23 hourly or $48,870 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 hourly or $46,140 annually on average. Earnings for physical therapy assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Physical Therapy in Illinois and better than general Physical Therapy category earnings nationally. Physical therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: physical therapy assistant , licensed physical therapist assistant , and physical therapy technican.
There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including four within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a physical therapy assistant. Given that the most common education level 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 Chicago 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
College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL
College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated nineteen students in 2008.
Morton College - Cicero, IL
Morton College, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804-4398. Morton College is a small college located in Cicero, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,959 students. Morton College has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated nineteen students in 2008.
Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN
Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated fifteen 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: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786
Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
REHABILITATION AIDE, PHYSICAL
Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Aid Bureau of Long Term Care
Address: 201 South Grand Avenue - East, Springfield, IL 62763-0001
Phone: (217) 524-7244
Website: Illinois Department of Public Aid Bureau of Long Term Care
LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.
The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.
Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.