PTA glorified exercise instructor?

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Dannarosanna in Raeford, North Carolina

44 months ago

Please don't take this as an offense, but every time I have utilized physical therapy, snowboard and ski injury, the PTA just showed me how to do some exercises. They explained a few things, but mainly showed me what do and observed my doing it. I know you guys have an intense program which to attend, but I worry that if I were to peruse this field that I would be doing the trainer gig. I would be open to read about a typical day as a PTA. Thanks much

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J Rotten in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

It's possible you're confusing licensed PTA's (physical therapist assistants) with non-licensed pt "aides" or "techs". However some clinics do have PTA's who just do exercise training, depends on the facility. PTA's can perform joint mobs, soft tissue work, gait training, etc. just like PT's can. So to answer your question- no you won't be stuck doing the personal trainer gig if you don't want to be.

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T in San Diego, California

44 months ago

Honestly, I agree with you Danna. Personal trainers COULD do what PTAs do, but they dont get paid the same. PTAs and even PTs do kinda the same thing as athletic trainers but PTAs and PTs are MUCH MUCH more knowledgeable. That knowledge is what makes them different. Plus trainers dont have to do all that paperwork, evals and stuff.

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J Rotten in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

Personal trainers (ESPECIALLY most of the ones at places like 24 Hour Fitness, Ballys etc) aren't trained in many areas including modalities, various pathologies and how they effect treatment, and a boatload of other topics that apply to physical therapy. Bad personal trainers are the cause of probably 10% of the patients my outpatient clinic sees. As for AT's- they serve a purpose, but taping is their area of expertise, also not trained in many areas of PT (though are way better tapers than most PTA's and PT's i've worked with- I was lucky enough to have a PTA-AT as a CI and learned a ton from her).
Myself personally- have had my CSCS a while, taking my PTA boards very soon. The personal trainer knowledge I had going into my PTA program definitely made some parts of the classes a breeze, other classes like Neuro and Pathologies were all brand new to me though.

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Mike in Waterloo, Illinois

43 months ago

You all may want to go check out the requirements for becoming an athletic trainer. They are much more stringent than a PTA. And when it comes to orthopedics, athletic trainers rival many others in the field. Taping is not "their area of expertise" and actually athletic trainers have a deep background in rehabilitation of injury. The reason athletic trainers don't get reimbursed through insurance is strictly political.

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Future PTA in Gilbert, Arizona

43 months ago

^Well that, and they aren't trained therapists.

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Mike in Waterloo, Illinois

43 months ago

Athletic Trainers have much of the same rehabilitation background as a PT and a PTA. One of the biggest differences is that athletic trainers take their patients from the injury all the way back to advanced activities such as athletics. PTs get them back to ADLs.

Next month I am getting trained in the Graston Technique. That will complement my rehab programs that are largely functional exercises rather than table-top exercises.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

Mike in Waterloo, Illinois said: Athletic Trainers have much of the same rehabilitation background as a PT and a PTA. One of the biggest differences is that athletic trainers take their patients from the injury all the way back to advanced activities such as athletics. PTs get them back to ADLs.

Actually I know a few athletic trainers and others with AT BS degrees. AT's rehab mostly athlete's from STABLE up to advanced activities. For instance, when an AT does MMT they don't do it to grade muscles or do therapeutic exercise (like PT and OT). They do it to test the strength against MORE than normal resistance, which is a hell of a lot different from going from a T muscle up to a 5 grade... OTs and PTs are trained to handle much more delicate, complex issues than an AT is. ATs actually are mostly trained in athletic injuries. Their programs have little to no emphasis on neurological conditions or any serious physical trauma or pathology. For instance, what is an AT going to do in a hospital setting for someone who just got their leg or arm amputated besides wrapping up the nub? Do they know about prosthetic training?

ATs are meant for ATHLETES, that is why they are ATHLETIC trainers. I highly doubt someone who just sustained a stroke and has weakness with a prognosis of full recovery would ever even consider an athletic trainer, they just don't have the skills for those kinds of serious issues. But I will say they do know a lot more about sports injuries (ankles, acl stuff etc). But just because they have their place in rehab doesn't mean you can compare them to therapists.

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Mike in Waterloo, Illinois

43 months ago

Orthopedically an athletic trainer is able to deal with many of the same things a PT or a PTA is.

And you are missing the point. If an athletic trainer is capable of handling athletic injuries (and many orthopedic injuries!) in an athletic training room, what makes them unqualified to do so in a clinical setting?

Politics and politics alone.

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Future PTA in Glendale, Arizona

43 months ago

^Mike, you're way off base dude. And even if you weren't, you're pretty unlikely to win converts here

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Mike in Millstadt, Illinois

43 months ago

Future PTA, how would you know I'm offbase? What experience do you have? And I realize I'm not likely to win any battles. But I will defend my profession when I see a mistruth..

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

So now its "orthopedically" almost as capable as PTs and PTAs? Why did you just soften your stance yet still act like your saying the same thing? lol that's illogical bro. Why is every profession always trying to 1 up everybody else? If you ATs were the same as PTs (or could do the same things) then one of the professions wouldn't exist... there is obviously a reason for both of you and a different skill set for both. There is nothing condescending about saying an AT cannot do the same things as a PTA... just like there's nothing wrong with saying PTAs can't do what ATs do. BTW I'm in OT school so I shouldn't even be arguing this but it just irritates me when people compare themselves to each other when they are in totally different professions with totally different goals in rehabilitation.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

THIS- "Athletic Trainers have much of the same rehabilitation background as a PT and a PTA. One of the biggest differences is that athletic trainers take their patients from the injury all the way back to advanced activities such as athletics. PTs get them back to ADLs."

and THIS- "Orthopedically an athletic trainer is able to deal with many of the same things a PT or a PTA is."

Are two very different declarations. If you are going to defend your profession then why are you changing your position? Why not give some proof that you're trained to do the "same thing" as PTAs?

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Mike in Waterloo, Illinois

43 months ago

"And when it comes to orthopedics, athletic trainers rival many others in the field. Taping is not "their area of expertise" and actually athletic trainers have a deep background in rehabilitation of injury."

Come on quote it all. You know where I added orthopedics FIRST. And I did state that there is a difference in goals as you quoted. When it comes to orthopedics (which is our specialty FYI) athletic trainers have the ability to do a lot of the same stuff a PT and PTA is capable of. Do the professions have individual strength and weaknesses? Well DUH.

But nobody here has yet explained WHY athletic trainers are not capable of performing orthopedic rehabilitation in an outpatient setting and be reimbursed for it. Obviously the profession is capable of performing excellent rehabilitation and our patients do things after rehab that many patients can't.

Luckily for me, I work in a clinic that understands this and utilizes athletic trainers as a part of the rehabilitation team.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

Of course you can perform "orthopedic" rehabilitation. But you cannot do it in the same manner or with the same injuries or even in the same settings as a therapist. This is the reason you are a "trainer" and not a "therapist". Why do you NOT seem to be able to understand the difference?

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

the WHY is because you are trained in sports injuries... ALL types of sports. You are trained as the first responders to these on the field injuries. You know many physical assessments/tests to see what it is that is injured and how to stabilize an athlete and even "diagnose" (since everybody who's not a doctor loves using that word lol) an injury... even though its usually just seeing if its a bone fracture, tendon strain or ligament sprain, which no doubt takes knowledge and skill but its not therapy. You are not trained to rehab someone from INJURY to advanced activities. You are trained to rehab someone from a STABLE FUNCTIONING injury to the sport they came from. ATs are mainly trained in what I've said and injury prevention... you know how to keep athletes from initial injury or further injury etc. basically you DO have an area of expertise. But please stop comparing and relating yourself to a licensed therapist, because you aren't one... its that simple.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

For example... when ATs do MMT they do not do it to grade a muscle. You also do more gross motor MMT, I haven't seen an AT yet do fine motor MMT on the hands or feet, or things incorporating advanced PNF techniques (not just moving in the diagonals) but using stretch reflex etc. those things are more therapeutic. Do you need more examples or can I stop typing?

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Mike in Columbia, Illinois

43 months ago

[quote]This is the reason you are a "trainer" and not a "therapist".

Yeah, sorry I'm not a dog trainer or a corporate trainer or even a personal trainer. I am an ATHLETIC TRAINER.

[quote]But you cannot do it in the same manner or with the same injuries or even in the same settings as a therapist

Last I checked, an ACL tear was an ACL tear whether the rehabilitation occurs in an athletic training room at the local school or in the outpatient clinic. Why are we qualified to do it in one and not the other again? Here's a hint: it's not education!

[quote]You know many physical assessments/tests to see what it is that is injured and how to stabilize an athlete and even "diagnose" (since everybody who's not a doctor loves using that word lol) an injury...

Yep, you're right we are qualified to do a thorough evaluation to determine the likely severity and nature of the injury and make a triage decision along with our ability to make return to play determinations. And last I checked, it was the PT world who had decided they needed to be "doctors;" not athletic trainers. Also, legally athletic trainers don't "diagnose;" we evaluate and assess.

[quote]You are not trained to rehab someone from INJURY to advanced activities. You are trained to rehab someone from a STABLE FUNCTIONING injury to the sport they came from. ATs are mainly trained in what I've said and injury prevention... you know how to keep athletes from initial injury or further injury etc.

Yep you're right; I can't handle rehabilitation after injury. LOL. ACL reconstruction, Tommy John surgery, rotator cuff surgery, etc. But I wouldn't let facts get in the way of your bias or anything.

Oh, and you better call the "manual therapy police" too.. Athletic Trainers, contrary to what many PTs think, do have that as a skillset as well.

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Mike in Columbia, Illinois

43 months ago

Oops.. guess I'm not very good at the whole quote thing ;)

But to finish here..

Athletic trainers also deal with general medical conditions in addition to orthopedic injuries. And lastly we are concussion experts. Yes-- a neurological condition!

I may not be a "licensed therapist" but I am a licensed healthcare provider educated and trained in rehabilitation. And it's funny, if I were to in Canada, I would be "therapist" even with my current degree and certification.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

1st, the simple fact that you consider a concussion an "neurological condition" says a lot. But I'm glad you don't use the word "diagnose", some of the ATs I know love using that word lol. And look at the things you are pointing out, ACL tears and rotator cuff stuff... that's my point. These are not complex problems. What would an AT do for someone with arthritis? nerve compression or nerve injury? My goal isn't to put down your profession, but you seem to lack the ability to differentiate skill sets. Why don't you try something, go and volunteer at an outpatient PT facility, come back and tell me how many "orthopedic" conditions you saw that you have no education or training in. Actually, why don't you take a job as an AT there and see how your caseload differentiates from a PT or hand therapist OT, you will be surprised bro.

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Future PTA in Gilbert, Arizona

43 months ago

Mike: Go away.

Best regards!

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

Lol yeah man this guy is clueless... he keeps acting like he is being attacked yet he can't even properly "defend" his profession. He keeps discussing sports and extremely common sports injuries, and then he gets butthurt when I say ATs only deal with sports! lol... what a clown.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

43 months ago

btw what the hell is a "concussion expert"? All you do is tell the athlete to go rest and monitor him for changes... the fact that you can recognize a concussion doesn't make you an "expert". If someone gets their head hit hard enough and gets a serious "concussion" where they start 2 spasm and end up being non-verbal with UE contractures what exactly are you going to do AT? Hand a ping pong paddle to their uninvolved arm? Just because u have a BS degree doesn't make you more knowledgeable than a PTA. I can guarantee you their 2 year program is harder than anything you ever had to learn... and I can call you "bro" if I want, its not an insult. I was actually trying to relate to you as a human being... but I guess now I'll just call you clown!

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MHpta in Ewa Beach, Hawaii

43 months ago

Dannarosanna in Raeford, North Carolina said: Please don't take this as an offense, but every time I have utilized physical therapy, snowboard and ski injury, the PTA just showed me how to do some exercises. They explained a few things, but mainly showed me what do and observed my doing it. I know you guys have an intense program which to attend, but I worry that if I were to peruse this field that I would be doing the trainer gig. I would be open to read about a typical day as a PTA. Thanks much

lol, funny thread. But I was just accepted into the PTA program on Oahu and while I did my required observation hours I notice at one clinic a PTA basically counted reps and made sure they had good form. At the other place the PTA was giving the patient an exercise, adjusting, making a new one - really looking like a PT (without the eval) so I think every place is different.

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Mike in Waterloo, Illinois

43 months ago

Let me know BigRoy when you join the real-world. In the mean time, I'll make sure and keep my athletes out of your clinic. Not that they need it anyway; with their non-injuries and all. And you're showing your true colors with regards to concussions as well--very well done!

Now if I may, I must go back to seeing my athletes and their "non-injuries" that I can evaluate. Well, there's one step over a PTA!

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BigRoy in San Pablo, California

43 months ago

lol this dude is seriously a clown. I can't help but laugh... oh and I'm not a PTA by the way, or a PT. You would know that if you comprehended anything I said

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ryan in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

40 months ago

Ok so if which one these great careers will be the best if I want to go to P.A school?

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Eric in Toronto, Ontario

38 months ago

Considering going to school for PTA, just a general questions. How bloody/gruesome/gross is the job on a 1-10 scale. I could handle toileting someone ... I could handle a bloody nose, Im not a complete puss, but I dont think I could stand looking at a half chopped off arm and tying the open end up.

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Breanna in Gilbert, Arizona

30 months ago

T in San Diego, California said: Honestly, I agree with you Danna. Personal trainers COULD do what PTAs do, but they dont get paid the same. PTAs and even PTs do kinda the same thing as athletic trainers but PTAs and PTs are MUCH MUCH more knowledgeable. That knowledge is what makes them different. Plus trainers dont have to do all that paperwork, evals and stuff.

I am wondering if you are getting your "trainers" confused. A personal Trainer does not have much education, especially on injury prevention. However, if you are strength and conditioning certified and are a personal trainer then you have to have a bachelors degree, which is much more than you need to be a PTA. Also, "athletic Trainers" are very different from personal trainers and PTA's in that they have to have a 4 year degree in kinesionlogy with an emphasis on Athletics and emergency medicine. They also have to be Licensed and Certified. The knolowedge base of an ATC (Athletic Training Certified) vastly supersedes that of a PTA. PTA's can't even take a history or treat with out supervision. PTA's are only an associates degree. Even with that being said, PTA's often get pain MUCH MUCH more than either ATC's or personal Trainers.

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Kevin in Miami, Florida

30 months ago

Breanna in Gilbert, Arizona said: I am wondering if you are getting your "trainers" confused. A personal Trainer does not have much education, especially on injury prevention. However, if you are strength and conditioning certified and are a personal trainer then you have to have a bachelors degree, which is much more than you need to be a PTA. Also, "athletic Trainers" are very different from personal trainers and PTA's in that they have to have a 4 year degree in kinesionlogy with an emphasis on Athletics and emergency medicine. They also have to be Licensed and Certified. The knolowedge base of an ATC (Athletic Training Certified) vastly supersedes that of a PTA. PTA's can't even take a history or treat with out supervision. PTA's are only an associates degree. Even with that being said, PTA's often get pain MUCH MUCH more than either ATC's or personal Trainers.

You cant just infer because the ATC is a bachelors that they know more. Anyone who is a PTA knows that it is NOT a 2 year degree, most of the time at least 2 semesters worth of classes are required to even apply for the PTA program. And then the rigor from program to program may differ also. You really dont get to your core classes anyways in athletic training till junior year anyways. From the first half you take the main science courses that aren't directly related for ex: biology 1 learn how Mendel cross bred pea plants... This information is not very transferable to athletic training. I'm not saying that one is better or harder than the other but to judge the knowledge of a person based solely on the number of years schooled is vastly incorrect. People on these forums need to understand that both professions specialize in certain areas and both have a great deal of knowledge in their area of expertise.

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Mike in Waterloo, Illinois

30 months ago

Kevin in Miami, Florida said: You cant just infer because the ATC is a bachelors that they know more. Anyone who is a PTA knows that it is NOT a 2 year degree, most of the time at least 2 semesters worth of classes are required to even apply for the PTA program. And then the rigor from program to program may differ also. [b]You really dont get to your core classes anyways in athletic training till junior year anyways. From the first half you take the main science courses that aren't directly related for ex: biology 1 learn how Mendel cross bred pea plants... This information is not very transferable to athletic training. [/b]I'm not saying that one is better or harder than the other but to judge the knowledge of a person based solely on the number of years schooled is vastly incorrect.

Interesting. I started my athletic training education the day I stepped foot on campus. I took classes specific to athletic training in my very first semester of college and throughout my college education. Heck, by the time I started my junior year of college, I had already assembled over 1500 hours of hands-on experience.

I never took a biology class either. I took two semesters of human anatomy and physiology plus a semester of each: chemistry, physics, exercise physiology, kinesiology, pathophysiology, and pharmocology. That's just the science classes and doesn't even go into the specific athletic training courses including three classes on orthopedic evaluation; rehabilitation, therapuetic modalities, and resistance training.

I think it's funny that PTAs want to claim that "basing knowledge of number of years of school is wrong" because they have less than athletic trainers, but PTs tell athletic trainers the reason they can't do this or that is because they "don't have enough education for it." It's just laughable

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Jenn in Wichita, Kansas

29 months ago

It saddens me to read this forum. Are we not all interested in helping our patients recover from injury and return to a pain free, fully functional lifestyle that is comparable to their previous level of function if not better? Be that person 2, 8, 18, 26, 46, or 86 yrs old? Having both experience in athletic training and physical therapy, I recogize the different aspects of both fields. Different being the key word. As a former athletic training student (accepted to an accredited program and attended for 3 yrs) and a PTA (accepted to an accredited program/graduated, passed the boards, now certified/licensed in two states) I can differentiate the curriculum that each professional had to complete through formal education. The curriculums of athletic trainers and physical therapist assistants are not comparable. To be either an athletic trainer or a physical therapist assistant, one has to have the standard requirements (GPA, generals, observation hours) both of which are very similar. After acceptance to a program, the professions differ significantly. Athletic trainers go through a formal curriculum that applys specifically to the athletic population, some of which is learned that can be applicable to other areas of health care. Physical therapist assistants also go through a formal curriculum that focuses on rehabilitation of various patient populations such as pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics, oncology, cardiac rehabilitation, various neurological conditions, among other things. Neither field is "better" than the other. I work in a clinic that employs MDs, CNAs, DPTs, RNs, ATCs, PTAs, LPNs, PAs, RTs, etc. We all work together! Yes, there are certain patient populations that each profession can work with (according to legislation and insurance and scope of practice) and that limits what each professional does...but we work together!!!...for QUALITY pt. care! (cont.)

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Jenn in Wichita, Kansas

29 months ago

I, a PTA, recognize the value of an athletic trainer's education when I see my co-worker athletic trainer working with a 17 yr. old athlete trying to recover so the athlete is able to continue his/her athletic career to earn a scholarship at a collegiate level, just as my athletic trainer co-worker can recognize the value of a PTA's education when they see me working with a stage 5 Parkinsons pt. on gait helping them to maintain their level of mobility and function. This said, everyone wants to earn a paycheck, but I entered the field of health care to help people. Every profession has their "specialty" and that needs to be recognized, but I think all health care professionals have the same goal and we needs to remember that. I entered the field of health care to help the athlete return to play and get their scholaship. I entered the field of health care to help the baby with developmental delays to have a full and happy life. I entered the field of health care to help people with stage 5 cancer, like my mother, live the rest of their life with satisfaction and dignity. I entered the health care field beacause I care. I care so much that I recognize when a person I'm treating would benefit by me referring them to the care of anoother health care professional...something that I believe is addressed in most health care professional's code of ethics. So I ask you, in the very begining, before you knew anything about specificity, curriculum, scope of practice or politics, why did you enter a profession in the health CARE field? Please consider this.

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Jenn in Wichita, Kansas

29 months ago

P.S. *need (from last reply)

P.P.S. In response to the title of this forum: A PTA is definitely NOT a glorified exercise instructor.

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LongIsland PTA in Levittown, New York

29 months ago

I work in an inpatient rehab center that employs PT's, PTA's(which I am) and OT's. It is a running joke with all of us that we sometimes feel like glorified counters or exercise instructors. Sometimes some of the patients are shocked to hear that the therapists went thru so much schooling to work in the field. If someone is confused/demented and needs help keeping track then so be it. If someone is young and alert and needs an occasional cue for form/posture or to maintain precautions then a word here and there helps without hovering over them. Every patient is different but it's easy to see the "glorified exercise instructor" viewpoint from someone who casually looks in on a session.

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Hoosier ATC in Fort Wayne, Indiana

26 months ago

T in San Diego, California said: Honestly, I agree with you Danna. Personal trainers COULD do what PTAs do, but they dont get paid the same. PTAs and even PTs do kinda the same thing as athletic trainers but PTAs and PTs are MUCH MUCH more knowledgeable. That knowledge is what makes them different. Plus trainers dont have to do all that paperwork, evals and stuff.

Apparently, you do not know much about ATCs. A PTA program is 2 years and an ATC program is 4 years and about 70% get their mastors. The comment about MUCH MUCH more knowledgeable is far from the truth. PTA's are strictly taught the rehab process where ATCs have to learn rehab, acute care, evaluation of injuries and much more. To be honest, with the new law about athletic trainers being able to be reimbursed, I do not see the PTAs being around much longer unless more schooling is required to obtain the credentials.

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RAFFMAN in Red Deer, Alberta

26 months ago

Hoosier,

While AT and PT/PTAs both work with people who have suffered sports injuries, the similarities between the two careers end there.

So if they are going to start getting rid of PTAs, Am I expecting ATs doing evaluation and treatment to a myelomengioecele kid in the pedia ward ? or probably they will start rehabilitating a burn injured patient who is needing a dopamine infusion while doing rehab?

ATs are bound to be around us because there are more sports related injuries in this world (thank God!) not neurological or severe unstable cases where medical attention are needed. Hospitalization in acute care are not just plain muscle or ligaments being torned apart. Most of the acute care patients being admitted have co morbid complex cases.

I do not see PTAs going away even with new laws or accreditations being made to ATs. I do not think ATs will even accept treating complex cases just like that.

Raffman,BSPT, BSN

Hoosier ATC in Fort Wayne, Indiana said: Apparently, you do not know much about ATCs. A PTA program is 2 years and an ATC program is 4 years and about 70% get their mastors. The comment about MUCH MUCH more knowledgeable is far from the truth. PTA's are strictly taught the rehab process where ATCs have to learn rehab, acute care, evaluation of injuries and much more. To be honest, with the new law about athletic trainers being able to be reimbursed, I do not see the PTAs being around much longer unless more schooling is required to obtain the credentials.

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Hoosier ATC in Fort Wayne, Indiana

26 months ago

This is strictly about PTA's, not PT's. The situations your talking about are dealt with by the PT, not the PTA, and when the PTA finally sees those patients with much more complicated problems, the PTA will be following the protocol made up by the PT which AT's are completely capable of.

It is hard for me to believe that a PTA with 2 years(required)education, is more capable to treat and rehab patients than an ATC with 4 years (required) education.

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RAFFMAN in Red Deer, Alberta

26 months ago

Yes you are definitely right that the PTA can not perform anything without a PT consent to a complex patient. But for sakes argument of strictly to PTAs, not PTs - lets take an alternate universe with NO LAWS but still have the REQUIRED EDUCATIONS.

Will the ATC able to perform and treat the complex patient in acute care with their required education ? NO for ALL

Will the PTA able to perform and treat the complex patient in acute care with their required education? YES

Will the PTA able to perform and treat clients being seen by the ATCs with their required education? YES to some especially if its sports related or neurological injury. But if it relates back to nutrition and such then I think ATC have more knowledge into that.

So you can see that PTAs can perform and function as an ATC with their required education. an ATC with their required education cant just function like of the PTA. All of us have different roles in the medical field. You cant just say one day a profession will start will to decimate. I do not think PTs will be happy to lose PTAs as having them makes their work easy and able to move on to see other patients.

I am talking based from my own experiences. I was trained as a PT, PTA, AT and an RN. I have seen my own transistion from each professions and its not easy. You need to keep your feet on the ground for you to able to perform your role. I cant say to my co worker RN when Im taking the role of an RN - that is not right to do that because according to PT point of view, it should be like this. I give my own reasons and knowledge based on my assuming role.

For me all are important roles whether your a PTA or an AT as long your goal is to help your patient reach his own potentials not your owns pocket potential.

Raffman, BSPT,BSN

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RAFFMAN in Red Deer, Alberta

26 months ago

and does not mean AT have 4 years and PTA have 2 years - ATs knowledge weighs more than the PTAs

I will take in my RN as an example coz I do not know the PTA program. I was educated as a PT but took a role of a PTA and AT while doing my credentials to become a PT.

When I took my nursing degree in Canada - most of our courses only lasted for 6 weeks instead of the 12 weeks. I asked the faculty why? They told me that in order to put in MORE courses they need to do that so it will fit in the 4 years program. So technically nursing degree should be more than 4 years but since the law requires it to be 4 then you need to modify the courses. Our teachers told us that a lot of these topics cant really cover it for 6 weeks so its our responsibilities to educate ourselves with our books and evidence based practice research. So for this I believe that the 2 years spent by PTAs have covered more topics thats why the program is so hard.

Raffman, BSPT, BSN

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lgd22 in Atlanta, Georgia

26 months ago

I think all have great responsibility and chance. AT, PTA and even Massage Therapists that are trained as Neuromuscular Therapist....

We all just want to help people feel better, walk again, have full ROM, ect. But one thing I'd like to say is a PTA may need a PT to administer, but has all the training and know how to do it! They are well trained..and lets not forget assistants to Doctors. So even though they may only have a 2yr degree, they have the knowledge to bridge to a Doctorate Program if they want...I selected PTA strictly because of the cost, plus I have certifications in the arena. I respect all...good luck in your futures!

LGD
CNMT,PTA,LMT,LPT

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Hoosier ATC in Fort Wayne, Indiana

26 months ago

OK, my apologizes for jumping the gun and attacking the profession. ATC's have just worked very hard to get where they are and do not like to be downplayed(sure PTAs have too). Agreed the main goal is the same and that is the health of individuals/patients/athletes. I understand all have roles in achieving this goal, so I say again that I am sorry for saying PTA's may disappear.

Want to say finally though that athletic trainers are way more than taping ankles, and rehabilitating muscular injuries. You here about ATC's saving people's lives all the time and have the knowledge to deal with more severe cases than people give us credit and many do decide to make the transition to further their education to become PT's or PA's.

Hope I did not offend anyone and hope all continue to strengthen their fields.

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Ryan23 in Hollywood, Florida

13 months ago

For those unclear of the academic requirements and job duties of an athletic trainer, there is some good information here. www.healthchill.com/fitness-careers/certified-athletic-trainer-requirements/

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