Career and Education Opportunities for Physical Therapy Assistants in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for physical therapy assistants in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. There are currently 2,000 jobs for physical therapy assistants in Massachusetts and this is projected to grow 27% to about 2,530 jobs 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%. Physical therapy assistants generally assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.
Physical therapy assistants earn approximately $22 per hour or $47,750 per year on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $22 hourly or $46,140 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Therapy, people working as physical therapy assistants in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Physical Therapy nationally. Physical therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: rehabilitation aide, physical therapist assistant , and physical therapy technician.
There are 149 schools of higher education in the Cambridge area, including three within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree to start your career as a physical therapy assistant. The most common level of education for physical therapy assistants is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become 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 Cambridge 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: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.
Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.