Physical Therapist Assistant Jobs in Nevada
Patients who suffer pain or immobility as a result of illness, disability or injury sometimes require the services of physical therapy. By using exercises, stretching and massage, physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can provide relief to these patients under the instruction of licensed physical therapists (PTs).
PTAs care for conditions such as arthritis and post-surgery recovery using trained physical therapy techniques, and they can be found working in nursing homes, hospitals and physical therapy clinics. A valuable part of the healthcare team, they always administer treatment as determined by a PT.
Steps Required to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant
It’s a basic requirement that all physical therapist assistants finish high school (or earn their GED equivalent) and then complete their Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in physical therapy. Whether in Nevada or another state, all PTAs must also pass the national physical therapy exam (NPTE) before applying for state licensure. In Nevada, licenses are granted through the Nevada Physical Therapy Board.
More on Education Options
When it’s time to apply for a physical therapist assistant education program, make sure it’s accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE). Nevada schools offering quality programs include:
- College of Southern Nevada (CSN). This school’s five-semester PTA program results in an AAS degree in physical therapy and prepares graduates to take the NPTE. CSN has a 100 percent NPTE pass rate and a 100 percent employment rate for those who graduate from the program. Applicants must pass a background check, submit proof of immunizations and have valid health insurance, among other requirements.
- Pima Medical Institute. If you’re looking for an accelerated PTA program, this 18-month course of study may be for you. The Las Vegas branch of this school trains students throughout summer semesters to help them achieve their career goals at a faster pace.
More Licensing Requirements
The application process for Nevada physical therapist assistants requires the submission of fingerprints and official school transcripts by the issuing school. Applicants must also pass a Nevada jurisprudence exam, which tests one’s knowledge of state law governing the physical therapy practice in Nevada.
Rising Numbers of PTAs in Nevada
If you’re looking for a growing healthcare career, physical therapist assisting may be for you. Nevada physical therapist assistants are rising in number, with a 34.6 increase in employment predicted by 2026. Nevada PTA salaries are also strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting a median hourly income of $30.64 in 2017, compared with the national median income of $22.56 per hour.
Your Future as a Physical Therapist Assistant
Even though physical therapist assistants are in demand across the entire state of Nevada, the best area to find work is the Las Vegas area due to its large population. Physical therapist assistants in Las Vegas are also paid more than $10 higher than those in Reno, at an average of $32.73 per hour compared to $21.77.
If you want to help rehabilitate patients with physical conditions that cause them pain and immobility, a career in physical therapy assisting could be rewarding for you. With only about two years of school, you could be on the road to an exciting career in the physical therapy field.