Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapy Assistants in Boston, Massachusetts
Physical therapy assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Currently, 2,000 people work as physical therapy assistants in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow by 27% to about 2,530 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.
Physical therapy assistants earn about $22 hourly or $47,750 yearly on average in Massachusetts and about $22 hourly or $46,140 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for physical therapy assistants are better than in the overall category of Physical Therapy in Massachusetts, and better than the overall Physical Therapy category nationally. People working as physical therapy assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: physical therapy technican, rehabilitation aide, and licensed physical therapist assistant .
There are 151 schools of higher education in the Boston area, including three within twenty-five miles of Boston 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 Boston 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
North Shore Community College - Danvers, MA
North Shore Community College, 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923-0840. North Shore Community College is a medium sized college located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,223 students. North Shore Community College has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.
Bay State College - Boston, MA
Bay State College, 122 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116. Bay State College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 732 students and an admission rate of 78%. Bay State College has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated thirteen students in 2008.
Massachusetts Bay Community College - Wellesley Hills, MA
Massachusetts Bay Community College, 50 Oakland St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481-5399. Massachusetts Bay Community College is a medium sized college located in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,975 students. Massachusetts Bay Community College has an associate's degree program in Physical Therapist Assistant which graduated three 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 THERAPY ASSISTANT
Licensing agency: Board of Registration of Allied Health Professions
Address: 239 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617) 727-3071
Website: Board of Registration of Allied Health Professions
LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.
Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.