Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Programs

When searching for the right educational program for learning to become a physical therapy assistant, just as with any other study program, the quality of the course should be an important consideration.
While there are both short courses as short as 10 months, and full 2-year college courses available, what is most imperative is finding one that is accredited.
Only by doing so will students be able to enroll in schooling with the confidence that their program of choice is going to actually prepare them for their intended career.
The Importance of Enrollment in an Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Program
The main importance in getting an education from a physical therapy assistant program that is accredited is that the student can be certain they are being presented with correct, relevant information which will enable them to start a successful career as a PTA.
There are many different educational programs to choose from today, offered by colleges, vocational and business schools, both online and offline; not all of them offer the same quality of education, however.
Through accreditation with main the main governing associations that monitor course curriculums being sold to prepare prospective PTAs, students will know they are paying for the best information and education that is available to them, and in a format that will best prepare them for testing and/or licensure.
With an accredited program, study curriculums are created by these associations with students' futures in mind, and the understanding that proper training today will create the best-qualified professionals tomorrow.
They ensure that course writers are up to date on latest techniques, medical laws and requirements, and all pertinent information so that students are getting a relevant education.
While it is possible for those enrolled in non-accredited courses to become licensed, employers look at accreditation very favorably. To them, it is a way to gauge the education that an applicant has, and what kind of training they are likely to need before they can become a fully functioning member of the staff.
While it is possible for candidates to take their licensing exams or other necessary testing without having attended an accredited study course, employer consideration should definitely be recognized as a potential benefit.
Also, should the student wish to further their career in the future and go on to become a licensed physical therapist (PT), having attended an accredited program will ensure that as many credits as possible will count toward obtaining that more specified degree.
Recognizing an Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Program
In most cases, any type of educational program is likely to prominently state on their website and in their course information material that they are accredited, and whom with.
For a lesser-known course, or a program that does not specify directly, interested people can always inquire from accreditation bodies themselves whether or not a study course carries recognition or not.
In the US, the nationally recognized agency that monitors courses for educating to become a PTA is the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
There are currently 211 approved programs that hold this qualification in the US. In Canada there currently are no accredited programs for becoming a physical therapy assistant; students earn their title of PTA after passing a licensing examination only.
In the UK, while there are no "accredited" programs per se, there are educational courses that have been created in conjunction with the NHS to fulfill the necessary educational requirements for students to be eligible for employment as a physiotherapy assistant.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is a privately funded organization that helps guide and govern the available training courses, and offers approval to courses that fit their qualifications.
At this time there are 35 different universities and schools offering CSP Approved courses for physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants, and for physiotherapy assistants who are in need of more in-depth education in order to obtain specialty positions.
Although it may seem like any program with the same classes might be fine, it is highly recommended that students research to ensure that a program they are interested in is an accredited physical therapy assistant program before enrolling.
Doing so helps ensure that their tuition dollars are well spent on an approved, expertly crafted curriculum that will not only prepare them for licensing examinations, but look the best to prospective employers as well.
Becoming a physical therapy assistant is a fantastic career move, For more information on physical therapy like finding good PTA schools please visit our site now

The Basics About the National Physical Therapy Exam

The National Physical Therapy Exam (or NPTE) is the measuring stick by which all new physical therapy graduates are measured. To get into PT school, you had to overcome many course exams, and most schools require the GRE to even apply, but the NPTE is in a league of its own.

As of 2012, there are 24,848 students enrolled in 211 PT programs throughout the USA according to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Each of these students must graduate from a CAPTE accredited school and take and pass the NPTE in order to begin their career as an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy.

The NPTE is an exam that is designed to not just test the basic recall memory of PT students. From personal experience, I can tell you that the questions on the NPTE really stretch your skills of clinical reasoning and putting multiple subject materials into on problem. The entire exam is comprised of multiple choice questions that can trick even the most seasoned veterans.

Who Designs the NPTE?

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) creates and maintains the test in a fashion that is constantly updated and improved. The exam's purpose is to evaluate each potential clinician to make sure they have the basic skills required to practice effectively and safely. With an ever-growing body of evidence, it is increasingly important for the test to reflect current practices in the field of physical therapy.

How is the Test Administered?

The NPTE is administered through the chain of Prometric testing centers throughout the country. Each candidate must first obtain an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter that verifies that a student has completed the appropriate PT training. This registration can be performed at the FSBPT website.

How do I Register?

All registration must be completed through the FSBPTwebsite. The description can be a little confusing, so here goes the simplified version:

1- Obtain a licensure application from your state board of licensing. This link will take you to a page listing all the contact information of each state board. There is typically an application fee and a licensure fee (total approx. $100 depending on the state)

2- Officially register for the NPTE on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website

a. Fees as of 11/2012 are $370 for both the PT/PTA exams

b. Some states have fees for the Jurisprudence Exam, but most are free and "open-book" as a part of the state licensure application.

c. You must provide accurate information about who you are and where you went to school.

3- The state will then approve your eligibility for the exam and submit it to the FSBPT.

4- FSBPT will then send you an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter which you will use to actually schedule a testing date with a Prometric testing center to sit for the exam.

5- The NPTE is now using FIXED-DATE testing, meaning that you can only take the test on 4 possible dates.

6- Study Hard! If all goes well, and you pass with flying colors, FSBPT will transmit the score directly to the state where you applied. If you pass, the state will then issue you a license number and send you a physical copy within a couple of weeks. To find out faster, I called my state authority directly and was given my score.

What is a Passing Score?

This is probably the hardest question to answer. The short answer is 600/800.

The long answer is this:

The exam has 250 questions on it, but only 200 are scored. They add 50 extra questions to "test" their testability to make sure they are not too hard or too easy. When you are taking the test, THERE IS NO WAY to distinguish these unscored items from the scored questions. Therefore, answer every question like it counts!

Each question is then scaled into the perfect 800 score. The FSBPT then tweaks the passing score of 600 up or down to give some leeway for a test that is "too easy," or "too hard."

The bottom line is that you have no way of knowing if your test is "easy" or "hard," so I would recommend not worrying about the details. Just do your best and study all of the available material. Check for the current pass rates published by FSPBT.

Physical Therapy Continuing Education: Spinal Stabilization - Is It All About Transverse Abdominus?

In more recent times, physical therapy continuing education courses focusing on training the muscles of the spine have placed a huge emphasis on Transverse Abdominius. There are differing views on the importance of this muscle.

We recently interview a spine rehab expert to get his thoughts. This is what he said.

Interviewer: Well, if we talk a little more specifically about your work, can you describe your research findings on the roles of the different muscles in spine stabilization?

Spine Rehab Expert: I knew we had to get to that one. Well, you know, we've heard so much about muscles like how important it is to correct transverse abdominis pathology, and the multifidus is so important and whatnot. I think there's really a disconnect between the science and clinical practice. These muscles are no more important than any other muscles. I've already mentioned a couple of minutes ago that if you don't have quadratus lumborum you can't walk, and yet in the clinical discussion you never hear, well, very rarely would you hear a clinician talk about QL.

If you're going to carry an object, if you're going to plant a foot on the soccer pitch or the football field and change direction and run, if your pelvis collapses on the swing way side you'll be a very ineffective sportsman and you'll load up your back. So, there's an example where quadratus lumborum is absolutely crucial.

For lifting, when you go to Russia and you study their lifting culture, they put huge emphasis on latissimus dorsi. Very rarely do I hear lifters in North America, when they're pulling a bar, trying to bend the bar, external rotate through the shoulders and pull with latissimus dorsi, strapping and stiffening their back down to the sacrum, for example.

The role of the gluteal complex is enormous for hip extension, and particularly those who have back problems. We know those muscles tend, not in all but in a lot of people, tend to get inhibited.

So, the answer to the question is all of the muscles are important when it comes to spinal stability. They form a guide wire system that allows the spine to bear tremendous loads. It allows the spine to store and recover elastic energy when they're throwing an object or kicking or punching, for example. Or it might be just to simply pick your groceries out of the back of the car. So, all muscles are important. How they play together is crucial. You have to recognize these patterns, measure it, and train it appropriately. But, this emphasis on single muscles, well, I think that's dying out now as you probably have detected as you go to different meetings.

PE Games - Pirate Booty

This PE Game is meant to be played in a Gym area and is a great game to help keep kids active during the summer months.


- Split the kids into two even teams.
- Place all of the hula hoops sporadically around the gym.
- Dump the balls out around the gym so that they are everywhere.
- Place the container in the middle of the center circle in the middle of the gym.
- One team goes into the center circle, they are the pirates.
- The other team can space out anywhere throughout the gym (they are the sailors), but cannot go in the center circle (the pirate ship), or in any of the hula hoops.
- The pirates' goal is to get as much gold (balls) back into their pirate ship as they can.
- A pirate is safe as long as he is inside the pirate ship (the big center circle).
- A pirate can only steal 1 piece of gold at a time (i.e. when a pirate leaves the center circle, he can only return with on ball, no matter how close or far he has to go to get it).
- If a pirate is tagged by a sailor once he has left the pirate ship, then the sailor has the right to take him to ANY PRISON he wants to (i.e. any hula hoop).
- A pirate who has been tagged must stay inside the hula hoop he is placed in until another pirate comes and tags him and walks him back to the pirate ship.
- If a pirate is trying to save another pirate from prison, said pirate must make it all the way from the pirate ship to the prisoner without getting tagged. The two pirates then must walk back together to the pirate ship, thus letting everyone know that they are being saved from prison.
- A pirate can either save a prisoner on a turn or get a piece of gold, but cannot do both.
- Pirates are not allowed to throw or kick the balls, and are only allowed to carry them back to the ship.
- Play until a specific number of balls have been collected, or for a specified amount of time.
- Have the kids switch roles frequently to keep it rolling, and don't be afraid to call "Jailbreak," if you see too many kids languishing in prison for too long!

Pirate Booty

- Pinnies to divide the kids into 2 even teams.
- A whole bunch of tennis balls (or whatever kind of balls that you have a lot of).
- 7 to 10 hula hoops.
- A container for the balls.

The Truth About Our Physical Education History

Remember high school gym class? You played volleyball, ran a mile on the track, and ducked before being hit in the face during a vigorous game of dodge ball? Physical education has been part of the educational scene for nearly 200 years. It is vital that students participate in physical education to keep their mind and body in peak learning condition. Currently, the childhood obesity rate is dangerously climbing to epidemic levels. Therefore, the focus on physical education is more important then ever before.

The question is how should physical education be conducted? First, take a look at physical education history. Physical education has evolved over the years. Physical education is defined as "instruction in the development and care of the body ranging from simple calisthenics exercises to a course of study providing training in hygiene, gymnastics, and the performance and management of athletic games (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)." This definition is broad because you can learn several topics ranging from the rules of basketball to sex education. It depends on the school policies of your state educational system.

Physical education was officially recognized in the United States in the early 1800's. Colleges and Universities began to offer physical education programs throughout the 1800's. Finally, in 1866 California was the first to mandate physical education. Many states followed this mandate within the next 30 years. The importance of training the body as well as the mind became prevalent in the educational system.

The 20th century brought varying levels of physical education to each state. Presidents such as Eisenhower and Kennedy promoted physical education and fitness. Children took the Presidential Fitness test each year to assess their physical fitness level. This arose from the need for U.S. students to be as physical fit as their European counterparts.

Controversial issues have played an integral role in physical education history. For example, in 1972 Title IX banned sexual discrimination in schools regarding sports and academics. This allowed female athletes to actively participate in team sports other than cheerleading with the financial and emotional support of the school system.

Another controversial issue is sexual education. It has been the subject of intense debate for many decades. Each state has specific guidelines about what will be taught and whether students can opt out of the sexual education program. Some states allow students to watch a video of a child being born while other states only discuss abstinence.

The official employment of physical education programs has a 200 year history which has become home to controversial issues, social reform, and overall child well being. Physical education will continue to evolve as the needs of the student population changes, societal attitudes fluctuate, and the flow of educational funds towards physical education is maintained.