Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant in Idaho
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) help patients who have lost some of their mobility due to surgery, injury or illness. They work with physical therapists to implement treatment plans that typically include assistance with walking, stretching, exercising and practicing balance. Successful PTAs are patient, good communicators and experts in the human body.
The license application process begins with receiving your high school diploma or GED. Then, you can enroll in a physical therapist assistant program, which generally culminates in an Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assisting degree or an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assisting degree. Your program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE) to qualify you for the National Physical Therapy Exam.
You will be asked to submit school transcripts, confirmation of clinical practice hours and recommendation letters from professors when you complete your PTA license application. If you are applying for a license transfer from another state, you may be issued a temporary Idaho license at this time.
Once your application and the necessary fees have been submitted, you may take the National Physical Therapy Examination. Failure to pass the test after two attempts will necessitate additional coursework before you can take the test again. After you pass the test, you will receive your license.
Idaho PTA licenses expire every year. To renew your license, you must complete 16 continuing competency hours and submit proof of that training if requested.
Idaho PTA Schools
Physical therapist assistant degree programs typically consist of in-class and clinical instruction. Students in Idaho can consider the following schools:
- Idaho State University. Idaho State’s five-semester program includes theory, laboratory and clinical education. They accept just 20 students per year in order to provide individualized attention.
- College of Western Idaho. At the College of Western Idaho, students learn basic principles of science and PTA skills. The two-year program includes clinical and classroom training.
Salary and Career Outlook Estimates
The Projections Managing Partnership estimates that jobs for physical therapist assistants in Idaho will increase by 28.6 percent during the 10 years from 2016 to 2026. The average annual salary for PTAs in the state is $43,920, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Working as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Idaho
Physical therapist assistants are asked to be flexible, managing fast-paced schedules and working with new people each day. Good listening skills, clear communication and strong attention to detail will be invaluable assets. Physical therapist assistants can work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals, as well as in schools or private practices. They may find full-time, part-time and sometimes contract work. While jobs are most readily available in large cities like Boise, PTAs can find work throughout the state.