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Physical Therapist Assistant Schools In Louisiana

Guide to Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant in Louisiana

Physical therapy is a growing and robust part of the healthcare sector in America. Due to the increased emphasis on long-term rehabilitation, hospitals, outpatient care centers and convalescent homes are all making physical therapy an increasingly important part of their patient care strategy.

In addition, the current emphasis on sports and physical well-being in America has resulted in the use of physical therapy in sports medicine, weight loss therapy, and other elective procedures.

Physical Therapist Assistants in Louisiana

Currently, there are nearly 900 physical therapy assistants (PTAs) employed in Louisiana. In addition to currently employed PTAs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there will be a 46 percent increase in the number of until 2020.

When combined with employee attrition due to retirement and other factors, this ensures that newly licensed PTAs will have excellent employment prospects in Louisiana.

PTAs in Louisiana currently have an annual mean salary of over $45,000 dollars. This compares favorably with the national median wage of $49,000 when Louisiana’s generally lower than average cost of living is taken into account. In addition, experienced PTAs or those who have skill in high demand specialties will enjoy higher wages.

In addition, experienced PTAs or those who have skill in high demand specialties will enjoy higher wages.

The Duties of a PTA

PTAs work with doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals in helping to provide high-quality therapy to their patients.

In most cases, the PTA will provide individual patients with a physical therapy plan that is tailored for their specific needs.

The most common duties of a licensed PTA include the following:

  • Working with other medical professionals to develop a plan of physical therapy that takes the individual needs of the patient into account.
  • Assisting the patient in successfully carrying out the physical therapy in such a way as to maximize its benefit.
  • Evaluating the success of the physical therapy plan and reporting the results to the supervising physical therapist.
  • If the patient suffers from impaired mobility, the PTA will help train them in the safe and effective use of tools such as walkers and canes.
  • For patients that are living at home, the PTA will help instruct their caregivers in how to assist them in successfully carrying out their physical therapy.

Where do PTAs Work?

Licensed PTAs can enjoy a wide range of specific careers. While most PTAs currently work in ambulatory care facilities where they work with patients by appointment, hospitals and convalescent homes also employ a large number of PTAs. With the increasing number of elderly individuals in the United States, the number PTAs working in eldercare facilities is also expected to steadily increase.

With the increasing number of elderly individuals in the United States, the number PTAs working in eldercare facilities is also expected to steadily increase.

Finally, some PTAs specialize in providing in-home physical therapy for individuals who are unable to travel to a clinic on a regular basis.

In many cases, these PTAs work with the patient’s family or other caregivers in order to provide the best possible care. In-home PTA visits are a vital part of evaluating the patient’s progress and whether or not their physical therapy plan will have to be modified.

Becoming a PTA in Louisiana

In order to obtain a license in Louisiana, an individual wishing to be a PTA must complete the following steps:

Completing a Physical Therapy Assistant Program

Most physical therapy assistant programs are two-year programs that are offered by community colleges and vocational schools.

The coursework for these programs is a mixture of academic, laboratory and clinical work that is designed to prepare the student for life as a PTA.

Some schools may offer the opportunity for their students to become interns in order to obtain practical experience in a working environment.

In addition to full-time students, most PTA programs offer part-time options for those students who are currently working or otherwise unable to attend regularly scheduled classes. Part-time students can attend their classes on a schedule that allows them to complete the program at their own pace.

Finally, some classes may be taken online, although many PTA programs require that their students physically attend courses that have a lab or clinical component.

Louisiana only accepts programs that have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Because of this, the student should ensure that his or her program is currently in good standing with the CAPTE. Foreign PTA programs may be accepted if they can prove that they are substantially equal to a CAPTE accredited program.


The NPTE is a comprehensive national examination designed to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications to become a licensed PTA. The test consists of 250 questions broken up into five sections.

While a student can repeat the NPTE, failing to pass the exam the first time it is taken can result in a delay in obtaining a PTA’s license. Because of this, candidates should be certain that they are fully prepared to pass the test before taking it.

Reciprocal Licensure

If the candidate is already licensed in another state, like near-by Texas, he or she may be able to obtain licensure by reciprocity. In order to do so, the state they are currently licensed in must have standards equal to Louisiana’s licensure standards.

In addition, the state must also accept Louisiana PTAs desiring to obtain licensure by reciprocity. Anyone considering this path should contact the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board to determine if they are eligible for licensure by reciprocity.

Becoming a licensed PTA is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a financially and personally rewarding career in health care. With the rising need for skilled PTAs, this career is one that will continue to see robust growth, making it an ideal choice in today’s economy.

PTA Programs In Louisiana

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