It can be very rewarding having jobs working with the elderly, especially as a physical therapy assistant. You should definitely learn more about the work of such professionals, the work setting and the patients. This will help you decide whether such a career is right for you or not.
What does a physical therapy assistant do? On the job, you will work alongside a physical therapist. You will assist them in providing therapeutic treatment to patients with mobility problems and injuries and traumas. Many of the patients have temporary or permanent disabilities. Under the direction and supervision of the therapist, you will perform various duties. These include helping patients exercise, giving them massages, performing electrical stimulation and mechanical traction therapy and giving instructions.
PTA Workplace Settings for Jobs Working With the Elderly
As a physical therapy assistant will you have jobs working only with the elderly? This depends on the work setting you choose, but most physical therapy assistants work primarily with elderly individuals who have chronic medical conditions and permanent disabilities in settings such a nursing home. In addition, the elderly are at higher risk of injuries and diseases, so you can expect to provide temporary therapeutic treatment primarily to senior citizens. Elderly care is an aspect of the career that many physical therapy assistants will job search for. Still, as highlighted earlier, the work setting plays an important factor. If you work in a hospital, you may have more patients of different ages in comparison with working in the office of a therapist or in a nursing care facility.
Is working with the elderly hard? As a physical therapy assistant, you can expect to work with patients who have mobility problems, irrespective of their age. That is why you should have good physical stamina and strength to aid them during the therapy, if necessary. Apart from this, it may be more difficult to provide therapy to elderly patients who have other physical problems. In such cases, the patients will need closer monitoring and extra care. Communicating with elderly patients is not as difficult as you probably think. Besides, you will undergo psychology training as part of your associate degree program for becoming a physical therapy assistant.
Typical PTA Wages
How much can you expect to earn? The mean annual salary of a physical therapy assistant, according to the latest official statistical data, is $48,590. The mean hourly wage is $23.36. Depending on the company you work for, will determine the wages. The remuneration is the highest in nursing care facility and in the home health care services industry. However, the number of employed professionals in both sectors is significantly lower compared to the percentage of assistants working in the offices of physical therapists and in hospitals. Your salary will be determined by other factors, such as years of experience and location. With the aging population in the nation, there will be a great demand for professional jobs working with the elderly.
Will you get high satisfaction being hired at jobs working with the elderly? It is rewarding to help people in need and to see them getting better and getting their normal lives back. However, the work involves a lot of physical activity, as said earlier, as well as skills and knowledge. In addition, you may expect to have a more flexible work schedule to meet the needs and requirements of patients.
Overall, now you know what it is like for a physical therapy assistant to work with the elderly. You can readily make an educated decision whether to pursues this career path. Jobs working with the elderly take a certain type of personality and caring, it fits the profile of a what a physical therapy assistant is.