Why so little opportunity for PTAs to pursue the DPT?

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Lee in Cumberland, Maryland

57 months ago

Just wondering what the rationale is. It only seems logical to allow PTAs, people who have experience in the field, advance over others that have only superficial volunteer experience. So what's the rationale? It seems to defy logic.

Also would anyone have any ideas to why there are only two PTA to DPT transitional programs?

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Hannah in Royal Oak, Michigan

57 months ago

You have to make opportunities! I don't believe you can rely on the PTA Associate of Science to get you anywhere. You don't have to have your DPT or Master's. I worked in an outpatient clinic that was run by a pta. My manager at my current job is a pta. They furthered their education so they could be more competitive. I think they both have a BS in Kinesiology.

And just my 2 cents.....Why is it necessary to have so many DPT transitional programs? You should decide ahead of time which you want to go for, therefore you won't waste any time.

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Lee in Cumberland, Maryland

57 months ago

For the record I'm not a PTA or a DPT for that matter. So I have no reason to complain. I also wasn't looking for a lecture, just some ideas. I appreciate the response but you didn't provide any insight regarding the questions. I didn't say it was necessary to have more DPT transitional programs. I asked why there are only two in the country. There's always a reason. I also find it interesting that PTAs have to apply just like any other applicant to DPT programs. It seems to me some classes/ clinical time could be cut back. It would seem logical to provide more opportunities for the PTA to progress to the DPT to help meet the demand as oppose to relying on international PTs to help fill positions and the demand void.

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Lee in Cumberland, Maryland

57 months ago

PTAs have hands-on patient care experience while volunteers (potential DPT students) only observe (for the most part). Wouldn't it be better to have a DPT that actually understands the profession as opposed to possibly some med school reject that knows really nothing about PT? Hope that's clearer.

Well I guess you did give me an answer didn't you albeit hidden in defensive tones. That's fine. In other words lack of demand for PTAs wanted to pursue PT because there are other opportunities for PTAs. Thanks for the contribution. Anyone else agree or disagree with this?

I do find it interesting that you state that 1) PTAs are fine being PTAs and don't want to be DPTs and then 2) all PTAs would advance to pursue the DPT if these programs existed all in the same post. mmmm?

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Hannah in Royal Oak, Michigan

57 months ago

There are PTA's who are fine being just that. I work with plenty who are satisfied with just being pta's. However, if it was easier to transition to a DPT, maybe many would take that opportunity. But it just doesn't exist in most areas.

And as far as the volunteer thing, my best friend is DPT and she worked all through undergrad as a rehab tech. She had "hands-on patient care experience". You have to complete clinicals for both PT and PTA, so I think everyone would have that "hands-on patient care experience", correct?

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Lee in Cumberland, Maryland

57 months ago

Not all PT students have had experience as a tech prior to beginning PT school. Most only observe/volunteer in which they are very limited with what they can actually do because of liability reasons. I hope that this once again makes the point clearer. The point is PTAs would have a better prospective on the profession than a volunteer/observer (not an aide.) That is only my opinion though so you don't have to agree. This post is asking a very direct question really. It's asking peoples thoughts on the issue.

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Nick in Colorado Springs, Colorado

57 months ago

Wow Lee is dominating this discussion! Sorry Hannah but give it up your being out of line! +1 to Lee!

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Nick in Colorado Springs, Colorado

57 months ago

The problem is you lost your argument the second you revealed yourself as special. So...sorry I dont argue with the special folk.

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Tom in AZ in Chandler, Arizona

57 months ago

I believe the schooling requirements are much less for PTA's than PT's. Some people may not want to go the extra years of schooling or need income coming in sooner, so they opt for the PTA path. Most people do not become a nurse with the longer term vision of becoming a doctor and thats just fine, we need them both. I'm sure if a PTA wants to go get more formal schooling then they can continue their schooling and get a BS degree and apply for the DPT program. Most PTA's only have a two year degree program completed and would need a few more years to get their BS/BA degree in order to start a DPT program.

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miferre in New York, New York

56 months ago

I completely agree with Tom. DPT requires more schooling. If a PTA wants to be a DPT one should go and get the education required. Regarding the PTA x a volunteer candidate discussion I think the volunteer does not have the experience a PTA has however, the volunteer has the BS degree required to apply for a DPT program and many candidates still have to take extra credits in order to meet the requirements. therefore, it's unrealistic to think that just because PTA's have clinical experience and a 2 years associate degree they should have preference to enter a DPT program.
P.S there are many amazing PT's and DPT's that were not PTA prior to enter the program so previous experience does not mean anything. And there are many amazing PTA's that become DPTs and some don't it's a matter of choice and years one is willing to spend in school.

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sarahdance in Glendale, California

56 months ago

Hi Lee,

Where in the country are these two transition programs from PTA to DPT? I'm a PTA and I'm interested.

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asmaticasiatic2 in Muskegon, Michigan

56 months ago

I'm 32 years old and visit this forum from time to time; to make a long story short and just got accepted to the PTA program where I live, if all goes well I will be graduating in spring 2011. I have considered long term goals of obtaining my DPT and have looked into the two bridge programs, and have heard of a third one starting in Michigan in the near future. Since I've gone back to school my goal was to obtain my DPT as soon as possible but now I've reevaluated and have decided to take my time and enjoy life as a PTA first and slowly work on getting some type of bachlor degree ( have 80 business/prelaw credits along with pta associates by then) to further my career and put myself in position for one of the bridge programs if I choose that route. Hopefully by then there will be more options for all of us....

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asmaticasiatic2 in Muskegon, Michigan

56 months ago

sorry about all the spelling mistakes, but brain is fried right now from trying to understand neuroanatomy....

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Lee in Cumberland, Maryland

56 months ago

Sarahdance I believe one is in ohio and the other in california. It's on the APTA.org website.

Basically for my original question I think I do actually have an answer. I was just trying to get a second opinion to confirm it. I think what it really comes down to is money. Education is big business and so is the DPT. They still have plenty of demand to fill the seats. 200 apps for 30 seats is like 200 customers fighting over 30 burgers. Even the transitional programs are basically a stretched out PT program. There is no transferable credits and you'll be essentially starting over like everyone else.

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Gregg in Bedford, New Hampshire

42 months ago

Hi Lee,
I have recently applied to the PTA program in one of the schools in NH. They have an agreement with a DPT program at another school in NH, where the credits you earn in the PTA program will transfer into their curriculum.You enter as a JR towards your BS. As I understand it one typically applies to the DPT in their JR. year. I have not made the descision which way I want to go the PTA or DPT route, but it is nice to know my credits will transfer.
My question what are the opportunities finanically for both? DPT makes more I understand but do they make enough more to warrent the extra time and money involved in persuing the DPT? I am 43 (will be 44 in a few months) and just starting the school path. I have been a LMT for 15 years and a Certified Rolfer for 2 and would like to utilize my hands on skill as well as develop new skills. So 2 years for the PTA then 4 more for the DPT I will be 50 upon completion with over $100,000 in debt, when I get hired as a new DPT.PTA or DPT at my age is my question.

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Sarahdance in Los Angeles, California

42 months ago

Gregg,

By all means go to DPT school. It is worth an extra 2 years of school. DPTs in Calif start at 78K and PTAs can't ever get higher than 48K because there is a cap. The hours are the same. You have more job opportunities and you can supervise aides. You will learn more and you'll have more pwer and more job satisfaction.

I have been a PTA for 16 years. I am 55 years old and seriously considering DPT school.

Good luck,

Sarah

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Gregg in Bedford, New Hampshire

42 months ago

Thanks for the encouragement Sarah. I have been leaning towards the DPT. Good Luck to you as well.
Gregg

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IanCam in Boise, Idaho

40 months ago

This may be getting away from the post's main question from Lee, however I stumbled upon this forum and would hopefully like to get an opinion or two. I am entering my junior year of college, I am a senior by credits though. By 2013 I will have my BS. I want to pursue the DPT, but the competition is tough and I'm afraid I'll only have around a 3.6 when I graduate. I have been considering becoming a PTA, and after experience in the field (the actual hands-on kind, not the student observatory kind) I would apply to a DPT program. I'm doing all my prerequisites now so I don't have to go back to school to complete anything, all I will have to do will be to enter the DPT. I feel like with the knowledge and experience I'll have as a PTA, the DPT program will be much easier. Which is my biggest fear, that I'll fail out of a DPT program. Does anyone have any comments or advice? Hopefully from current PTA's or DPT's?

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PTA97 in Michigan City, Indiana

38 months ago

Sarahdance, is what you stated really true? In California, as a PTA, you can only make 48K due to a cap? If that's true you should consider moving to Indiana. I live near Chicago, have 13 years experience as a PTA, and make 60K now. Our practice act also allows me to supervise aides/techs. I am also able to have off site supervision by my P.T., thus sometimes they aren't even in the facility. I like the autonomy. My employer is just getting into ECF management, and hopefully soon I will be a rehab manager making much more than that. So basically, just stating that PTA's are capable of making much more than 48K. It's all in flexiblity, and working in different environments (acute inpatient, outpatient, wound care, etc). I have chosen to stay a PTA because by the time I pay off student loans, etc. I feel it is financially beneficial.

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Melissa Dianne in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

38 months ago

PTA97 in Michigan City, Indiana said: Sarahdance, is what you stated really true? In California, as a PTA, you can only make 48K due to a cap? If that's true you should consider moving to Indiana. I live near Chicago, have 13 years experience as a PTA, and make 60K now. Our practice act also allows me to supervise aides/techs. I am also able to have off site supervision by my P.T., thus sometimes they aren't even in the facility. I like the autonomy. My employer is just getting into ECF management, and hopefully soon I will be a rehab manager making much more than that. So basically, just stating that PTA's are capable of making much more than 48K. It's all in flexiblity, and working in different environments (acute inpatient, outpatient, wound care, etc). I have chosen to stay a PTA because by the time I pay off student loans, etc. I feel it is financially beneficial.

PTA97,

What type of facility are you currently working in, and for how long? Also, you say you've worked in different environments, which ones and for how many years each? From your experience, which environment do you recommend a new PTA to begin with and why? I'm also interested in becoming a rehab manager/director as a long-term goal.

Thanks for the insight!

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TNPTA in Pulaski, Tennessee

38 months ago

I have discussed this with the PTAs in the center that I work in and they are also interested in the transition to DPT. One particular PTA has worked for over 14 years in this center. He feels he is qualified to transition with schooling to the DPT status. I totally agree. Why does he want to do this? Why do I want to do this? MONEY!!We have both worked in the field for several years. Enough years to know that most BS PTs transitioned into DPT by on the job CEUs for the Masters and then schooling for the remaining DPT. Our CEUs count for the same amount of credits so why shouldn't that count for something? New PTAs should have to return to school to finish out the required schooling but us older PTAs should be allowed to count our CEUs just like PTs did a few years ago. The questions still remains though. As a PTA with a Doctorate, will I get paid more? or at least enough to warrant the DPT schooling expense in the long run.

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Garren Carmichael in Sherman, Texas

38 months ago

A PTA is an integral part of the rehab team. It's a different occupation and you should read the practice act that states the relationship between the PT and PTA. Just because you're a PTA doesnt mean that going through a DPT transition will be easy. In fact, as a PTA with years of experience away from the classroom you're at a disadvantage because so many offices are used to doing things a certain way, leaving treatment to seem black and white when it's a huge gray area. The only reason to really transition from PTA to DPT is to increase your responsibility, title, and pay. That comment from TNPTA stating "New PTAs should have to return to school to finish out the required schooling but us older PTAs should be allowed to count our CEUs just like PTs did a few years ago" should really think hard about what he/she said. You cannot seriously expect to just get grandfathered into being a PT based on CEUs or everyone would be doing it to skip getting their bachelors. Its two different occupations within the same field and if you were to get a Doctorate, you'd no longer be a PTA but a DPT so yeah the pay would be more, but with the new healthcare plan out cutting costs, you'd think the more safe and cost effective occupation would be a PTA. You can still get a Bacc. in Kinesiology to increase your knowledge base and achieve better communication with a PT and patient/client, but don't do it just because getting it will increase your pay. If you want to be a DPT do it, but do it for more than a pay increase because PTAs still make better than a decent living in comparison with other healthcare jobs.

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turtleblues78 in Durand, Michigan

38 months ago

PTA97 in Michigan City, Indiana said: Sarahdance, is what you stated really true? In California, as a PTA, you can only make 48K due to a cap? If that's true you should consider moving to Indiana. I live near Chicago, have 13 years experience as a PTA, and make 60K now. Our practice act also allows me to supervise aides/techs. I am also able to have off site supervision by my P.T., thus sometimes they aren't even in the facility. I like the autonomy. My employer is just getting into ECF management, and hopefully soon I will be a rehab manager making much more than that. So basically, just stating that PTA's are capable of making much more than 48K. It's all in flexiblity, and working in different environments (acute inpatient, outpatient, wound care, etc). I have chosen to stay a PTA because by the time I pay off student loans, etc. I feel it is financially beneficial.

what kind of setting do you work in?

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Bridget in Auburn Hills, Michigan

33 months ago

Hi there. I am a LPTA with a BS in Exercise science. I have asked the same question. (I am hitting enter to see if this hits the blog and then I will continue with my comment).

Hannah in Royal Oak, Michigan said: There are PTA's who are fine being just that. I work with plenty who are satisfied with just being pta's. However, if it was easier to transition to a DPT, maybe many would take that opportunity. But it just doesn't exist in most areas.

And as far as the volunteer thing, my best friend is DPT and she worked all through undergrad as a rehab tech. She had "hands-on patient care experience". You have to complete clinicals for both PT and PTA, so I think everyone would have that "hands-on patient care experience", correct?

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

Hi there! I caught a little bit of the blog comments regarding your question about bridge or transition programs for a PTA to become a DPT. (Historically, a bachelor or masters degree. There is no real major difference that clinical experience that can’t make up for it!) I worked along side new DPT graduates that my PT supervisor wouldn’t leave alone in the clinic without me there to take care of it. I was only a PTA, but that tells you what the curriculum really prepares you for in the real world. Everything I say here is very specific and important. Only educated individuals need to attend to a response.
I noted that there were some comments to your question that had some tones that surprised you! I will begin to address your question and my beliefs surrounding the tone in the answers you received.

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

Hi there! I caught a little bit of the blog comments regarding your question about bridge or transition programs for a PTA to become a DPT. (Historically, a bachelor or masters degree. There is no real major difference that clinical experience that can’t make up for it!) I worked along side new DPT graduates that my PT supervisor wouldn’t leave alone in the clinic without me there to take care of it. I was only a PTA, but that tells you what the curriculum really prepares you for in the real world. Everything I say here is very specific and important. Only educated individuals need to attend to a response.

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

I noted that there were some comments to your question that had some tones that surprised you! I will begin to address your question and my beliefs surrounding the tone in the answers you received.
1.) MANY , not all, PTs think they are Gods and they push their weight around to prove it. In the end, they make an ass out of themselves and they really turn the stomach of other patient care professionals. The truth is that PTs or DPTs are always trying to prove themselves to all the physicians and the other health care providers. So, when these individuals are accomplished bachelor PTs, Master PTs or Doctoral PTs, they continue to throw their weight around. I found that the ones who are most comfortable with their knowledge and experience tend to do that less.

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

2.) Rest assured that any established PT who is comfortable with who they are and what they do will not need to make anyone feel inferior.
3.) I have asked the same question you did regarding programs for PTAs to become PTs. You never received a good answer. From the first couple messages of conversation, I believe you were addressed by a PT/DPT who thinks that they are too superior for a PTA to become a PT or earn a DPT.
4.) I agree that anyone with hands on experience is better suited to bridge to the status as a PT. In fact, in my career I have done a PTs job. Currently there is only one thing a PT can do that a PTA can’t legally. That is to perform the initial evaluation. After that, the patient’s care can totally be determined by the PTA.
5.)The PTA works under the direction of a PT just like the PA works under the direction of the MD. Do we look at a PA with only a master’s degree like they don’t have the knowledge base handle the demands of general patient care? NO!! We do not. PTAs are Licensed Physical Therapist Assistants. Notice that the title doesn’t state Therapy Assistant. PTAs are Therapists. Just like the utilization of the Physician assistant (PA).

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

6.) Don’t under estimate the PTA program curriculum either. It is very demanding. One of the main differences in the study for a PTA compared to PT is the pre-required course work prior to application. 1 year of physics, 1 year of chemistry and statistical math. In addition, one must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to application.
7.) The PTA program should be a 4 year degree due to its demands. In addition, it takes 1 year minimum to complete the pre-requisites to apply to any PTA program of study. Why are my comments relevant to this discussion and why do I think I know what I am talking about? (I would also invite the other party to counter me in this discussion because I actually know more than they can handle.)

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

1.)I am LPTA and I have been practicing for 13 years. I make top dollar in the PT world and truthfully, I don't think it is worth the time or money to pursue a higher degree to become a PT. If my purpose is to earn more money, I definitely wouldn't put forward another 150K to make if I am luck $5 more dollars an hour!! LOL
2.)Truth is this, all PT programs are loaded with same crap that is in the PTA program. Working towards a masters or doctoral PT degree is nothing but a “right of passage”. It is loaded with a whole lot of BullS and it doesn't truly prepare you for the real world. In comparison, the educational degree doesn’t have any worth compared to clinical experiences. So…. Yes, I completely agree that experienced PTAs have a lot more to offer than someone just going to PT school.

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

1.)I am LPTA and I have been practicing for 13 years. I make top dollar in the PT world and truthfully, I don't think it is worth the time or money to pursue a higher degree to become a PT. If my purpose is to earn more money, I definitely wouldn't put forward another 150K to make if I am luck $5 more dollars an hour!! LOL

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

2.)Truth is this, all PT programs are loaded with same crap that is in the PTA program. Working towards a masters or doctoral PT degree is nothing but a “right of passage”. It is loaded with a whole lot of BullS and it doesn't truly prepare you for the real world. In comparison, the educational degree doesn’t have any worth compared to clinical experiences. So…. Yes, I completely agree that experienced PTAs have a lot more to offer than someone just going to PT school.

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Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan

33 months ago

Why do I know what I am talking about?
1.) I pursued a DPT as a LPTA. Two colleges in the US offer the Bridge program. I went to the U of Findlay for 1 year of 2.5. The programs are accelerated and you go to campus to cram every other weekend. In fact, a degree under this program should have some extra letters behind the name for professional credentials. The programs are harder than the standard PT program, but the nice thing is that we must work in clinics at the same time.

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Bridget in Auburn Hills, Michigan

33 months ago

Bridget in Ypsilanti, Michigan said: Why do I know what I am talking about?
1.) I pursued a DPT as a LPTA. Two colleges in the US offer the Bridge program. I went to the U of Findlay for 1 year of 2.5. The programs are accelerated and you go to campus to cram every other weekend.

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

33 months ago

OK, I will give the disclaimer that I haven't read every single post, so this might've been covered already. The real reason there aren't more than 2 PTA to PT bridge programs is because the APTA's official position is that that involves a career change, not a "promotion". They don't look at it like going from LVN to RN.

The APTA will suppress the careers of PTA's until the end of time. That's why I quit them long ago. You have to give $$$ to both the APTA & your state chapter too. What a waste of money for PTA's. I was a member for quite some time & got nothing out of it. I wrote them a letter explaining why I was quitting & they mailed me some form letter saying they represent us, blah blah blah. Sorry for the rant...

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Garren.Carmichael in Sherman, Texas

33 months ago

@bluelineman: If we don't support the APTA then why should our delegates bother voting for us when Medicare says that they will only reimburse 1/2 what a clinic will get when a PTA does the work? They are also attempting to say that massage therapists and PT techs are qualified to perform your work at a cheaper reimbursed cut and it's YOUR PTA delegates are saying that your work requires YOUR clinical judgement because of YOUR formal education. Those decisions WILL affect you finding a job so while it's your decision to support your Association and Delegates, if they see that their membership is only 21-22% why should they care if you, and your degree, can find a job.

Moving on to why PTA's don't get a cut-in for DPT programs. It's because while it is in the same field it's a completely different occupation. There's only 2 transition programs last time I checked (one in Ohio and another in California), but you'd still have to have your bachelors in order to get in (which most, if not all, PTA credits won't apply to). People should be happy of their choise to be a PTA and it shouldn't be a "short-cut" to get an advanced degree.

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

33 months ago

Garren.Carmichael -

I could go around & around for hours on this. I was first an APTA member in the mid 1990's. I was a member for quite some time, constantly seeing them do less & less for PTA's. Basically, we were getting less & less each year for our money. Why would I continue to support an organization that gives me less each year? The APTA is very pro PT, not so much PTA. Don't get me wrong, I like & am friends with most of the PT's I've worked with, but as an organization, I feel like the PT's there want to suppress the PTA career field. I gave the APTA a chance for a long while, quit & came back, now quit again. They are not getting a dime more of my money until I see some major turnaround in their attitude towards PTA's.

How come a nurse with a 2 year degree can go on to become a nurse practitioner with a masters degree? That's a transition & is two different careers. My brother in law went from a 2 year RN degree to a masters CRNA. That's definitely two different careers & is a transitional degree program.

Not trying to come off as rude or anything, but these are two hot button topics for me.

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Future PTA in Bellevue, Washington

33 months ago

I think the poster who posted two comments above is standing on pretty shaky ground with their assertion that there shouldn't be "shortcuts" between degrees.

The fact is that if the programs overlap in content, then it isn't really a shortcut to suggest that the curriculum should reflect this knowledge and be time-adjusted accordingly. What we actually have currently is a "longcut", whereby PTA's are required to repeat content where knowledge has already been gained and practiced in the field.

There are plenty of other fields that offer progressive/staged degrees, including many in the medical field.

Another point to note is that the poster says PTA's should be "happy with their choice." Make no mistake, most PTA's are happy, but rightfully concerned about cuts which you yourself note are a real possibility. This sort of makes your point about being "happy" seem a tad self-righteous and arrogant. IMHO

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bluelineman in McKinney, Texas

33 months ago

I completely agree with Future PTA in Bellevue, Washington. The post you were referring to is basically an APTA talking point. That's exactly why I'm not a member anymore.

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PTA in Evanston, Wyoming

30 months ago

Hannah in Royal Oak, Michigan said: You have to make opportunities! I don't believe you can rely on the PTA Associate of Science to get you anywhere. You don't have to have your DPT or Master's. I worked in an outpatient clinic that was run by a pta. My manager at my current job is a pta. They furthered their education so they could be more competitive. I think they both have a BS in Kinesiology.

And just my 2 cents.....Why is it necessary to have so many DPT transitional programs? You should decide ahead of time which you want to go for, therefore you won't waste any time.

I think you should have thought about what you were saying ahead of time. Do you know how many college kids get useless degrees, at least a PTA degree allows them to get paid while they decide if spending 90,000$ to go to PT school is the right decision for them.

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HannahOHannah in Royal Oak, Michigan

30 months ago

PTA in Evanston, Wyoming said: I think you should have thought about what you were saying ahead of time. Do you know how many college kids get useless degrees, at least a PTA degree allows them to get paid while they decide if spending 90,000$ to go to PT school is the right decision for them.

Sure, but please UNDERSTAND my comments before trying to jump down my throat. I said my manager is a pta. I also said some pta's are happy being pta's and have no interest in furthering their education. HOWEVER, being that there are only 2 bridge programs and school is very expensive, I think it would be smart to just decide which program you'd be happier with, pta or DPT. Otherwise, you are wasting a lot of time and money, ESPECIALLY if you do not have a BS, only your AAS. Think about it and don't be so quick to agree with what everyone else is saying. I've worked in this field for many years and I see both sides of the argument.

People here apparently wanted to hear certain things, but that not necessarily being the truth. Also, some people got really inappropriate and out of line, when they claim to be in their 50's and can't correctly spell "imbecile".

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Norma in New York, New York

28 months ago

HannahOHannah in Royal Oak, Michigan said: Sure, but please UNDERSTAND my comments before trying to jump down my throat. I said my manager is a pta. I also said some pta's are happy being pta's and have no interest in furthering their education . HOWEVER, being that there are only 2 bridge programs and school is very expensive, I think it would be smart to just decide which program you'd be happier with, pta or DPT. Otherwise, you are wasting a lot of time and money, ESPECIALLY if you do not have a BS, only your AAS. Think about it and don't be so quick to agree with what everyone else is saying. I've worked in this field for many years and I see both sides of the argument.

People here apparently wanted to hear certain things, but that not necessarily being the truth. Also, some people got really inappropriate and out of line, when they claim to be in their 50's and can't correctly spell "imbecile".

ThaN YOU FOR YOU FORUM POSTING

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Norma in New York, New York

28 months ago

Hi Hannah, I am also working on becoming a PT assistant and eventually a DPT. This is my second career.Currently I'm starting as a PT aide and will be re-taking my pre-reqs to get higher grades. Thank you for the forum postings.

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HannahOHannah in Royal Oak, Michigan

28 months ago

Hi Norma! Good for you! That's A LOT of work and almost 10 years worth of schooling, but it's definitely your choice. Physical Therapy is an awesome field, regardless of if you're a PT, PTA or Tech/Aide.

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turtleblues in Swartz Creek, Michigan

28 months ago

Hi,

I'm considering becoming a PTA. I currently have a good job and make good money, I know I would enjoy a career as a PTA, but am unsure if I can afford the pay cut. Since you are in Michigan, I was hoping you could give me some insight as to what the pay is for a starting and an experienced PTA in this state. Also, any thoughts on the new healthcare legislation (medicare reimbursement, etc)? Will the PTA field be effected?

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HannahOHannah in Royal Oak, Michigan

28 months ago

Turtleblues--the pay may differ from place to place, but I think the range for someone right out of school would be anywhere from $18-$25 per hour. This number should definitely increase as you gain more working experience, but it also depends on where you work (snf, outpatient, etc). You probably won't make as much in op, regardless of how many years you have under your belt.

As far as the healthcare reform, I honestly can't say too much. I haven't read up on it as much as I should. I believe there is definitely some pay issues with what medicare will pay when seen by an assistant and a licensed PT. I should read more into it though.

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Lynn in Inkster, Michigan

28 months ago

Hannah - can I email you and ask questions about HFCC's pta program? I start this August! I always appreciate your input and advice on this forum. Thanks! (Or here's mine: shelleyupnorth @ gmail.com

Hannah in Royal Oak, Michigan said: You have to make opportunities! I don't believe you can rely on the PTA Associate of Science to get you anywhere. You don't have to have your DPT or Master's. I worked in an outpatient clinic that was run by a pta. My manager at my current job is a pta. They furthered their education so they could be more competitive. I think they both have a BS in Kinesiology.

And just my 2 cents.....Why is it necessary to have so many DPT transitional programs? You should decide ahead of time which you want to go for, therefore you won't waste any time.

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HannahOHannah in Royal Oak, Michigan

28 months ago

Lynn in Inkster, Michigan said: Hannah - can I email you and ask questions about HFCC's pta program? I start this August! I always appreciate your input and advice on this forum. Thanks! (Or here's mine: shelleyupnorth @ gmail.com

Hi Lynn--Sure! My email is HulaGirl618 @ Hotmail.com

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Stephen in Salt Lake City, Utah

27 months ago

I have read almost all of the conversations that have been applied to PTA/PT's. first off, if you are not in the field it's hard to gauge the inspiration that is within those who want to be apart of the PT profession, this makes your arguments at this time less valuable and more opinionated. either way, that is ok. offense/passion can be taken and given accordingly.
Overall, i have a wife and 4 kids. i am currently a PTA. my whole approach is all strategic. i started off getting Massage Therapy degree. this degree helped me with hands on skills, but could not pay the bills. then i knew i had to go on to further my education. i completed the PTA degree as associate of science with 133 credits. This is enough credits to obtain a true (B) in science. i overall have done well for myself with this level of my professional abilities. now i have understood through the course of professionalism, that if you want to really look forward to helping people and understand the full realm of PT and display myself accordingly without having to worry about any unforeseeable setback within the PTA field of work AKA education, licensure, cost of living , family, restrictive career opportunities.I'm proceeding to the next level applying to the PTA/PT bridge program to obtain DPT degree. not only to remove all professional doubt/restrictions, but to officially stay on the top of the careered pay scale for PT's in the respective profession. I could not have gone in the beginning straight through to DPT because of personal possible setbacks that would have derailed the whole dream of becoming the best PT professional i could possibly be. i have family that have buzzed right through high school onto college with straight A's and high academic honors and became renowned professionals as civilians and military officers. yet for some reason i could not find that easy path mentally/physically.The long road to success provides the opportunity to greet success and to be the best PT.

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ppttaa in Buffalo, New York

27 months ago

as of now, higher education debt is a big concern

yes, a DPT may earn more, but their ROI is a lot longer than a PTA. generally there is an additional 4 yrs worth of school. for some individuals , this is not worth the extra cost. I think there should be more opportunities for PTA's to convert to DPT's. The coursework is similar and the training is near identical, just scaled down a bit (my school uses the same textbooks as the nearby DPT school).

if they should wish to pursue the DPT, they shouldn't have to start over essentially. They didn't do it when the converted BSPT, to MSPT, to DPT. and PTA's shouldn't either.

it makes no sense to "start over" for a DPT school for a PTA ... just a money grab.

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