Questions for PTA's

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Brandi in Modesto, California

62 months ago

I have heard so many great things about the job. I have also shadowed a few times and LOVED it!

Are there any negative aspects to the job? Do you encounter a lot of foul smells or unpleasant situations that nurses would encounter?

Also what are the pay rates in California? Where do you make most the money? In-patient, out-patient, home health, traveling?

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PTA11 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

62 months ago

Every job / career has pros and cons.

In acute care/inpatient you encounter MRSA, C-Diff, VRE, the list goes on - fecal matter, urine, blood, ulcers/wounds, body secretions, etc etc etc

These patients are usually seeing OT, PT, respiratory, speech and will cough up some real powerful stuff if you know what I mean. It's pretty nasty. They may be incontinent and the PT/PTA may need to clean them up, They may be on swallow precautions and need everything thickened or chopped up or even mixed because they can't swallow.
Some people do emit strong BO from body and head, or wounds and sometimes you have to have them very close to you - for positioning, transfers, therex, everything so it's hard to avoid. Many patients are just not stable or strong enough to stand and shower, or it may not be their normal routine period and they just don't want to shower. They prefer baths here and there.

you may need to do HEAVY lifting in acute care inpatient or even SNF (skilled nursing facility) for obvious reasons. Not as much lifting in OP but you are required to be fast. You only get 20-30 min. per patient and sometimes they double book you where as in inpt or SNFs you usually get 45min - 1 hr.

There usually isn't one area where you make more money at least not in MASS - they all pretty much pay the same around 20 bucks an hour reg. employee for a new grad and per diem 23-25. The exception is home health but you are usually hired after 1 year experience.

In outpatient you may be cleaner but you are on a productivity scale which means you need to be treating patients the time you are there otherwise sign out. It is money driven - even for non-for-profits. They need money in order to pay you.

That being said, it is very rewarding and once you find your niche you will not mind all the other unpleasant stuff that comes with it.

hope that helps - good luck

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Brandi in Modesto, California

61 months ago

PTA11 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts said: Every job / career has pros and cons.

In acute care/inpatient you encounter MRSA, C-Diff, VRE, the list goes on - fecal matter, urine, blood, ulcers/wounds, body secretions, etc etc etc

These patients are usually seeing OT, PT, respiratory, speech and will cough up some real powerful stuff if you know what I mean. It's pretty nasty. They may be incontinent and the PT/PTA may need to clean them up, They may be on swallow precautions and need everything thickened or chopped up or even mixed because they can't swallow.
Some people do emit strong BO from body and head, or wounds and sometimes you have to have them very close to you - for positioning, transfers, therex, everything so it's hard to avoid. Many patients are just not stable or strong enough to stand and shower, or it may not be their normal routine period and they just don't want to shower. They prefer baths here and there.

you may need to do HEAVY lifting in acute care inpatient or even SNF (skilled nursing facility) for obvious reasons. Not as much lifting in OP but you are required to be fast. You only get 20-30 min. per patient and sometimes they double book you where as in inpt or SNFs you usually get 45min - 1 hr.

There usually isn't one area where you make more money at least not in MASS - they all pretty much pay the same around 20 bucks an hour reg. employee for a new grad and per diem 23-25. The exception is home health but you are usually hired after 1 year experience.

In outpatient you may be cleaner but you are on a productivity scale which means you need to be treating patients the time you are there otherwise sign out. It is money driven - even for non-for-profits. They need money in order to pay you.

That being said, it is very rewarding and once you find your niche you will not mind all the other unpleasant stuff that comes with it.

hope that helps - good luck

Thank you so much! Great info!

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homa from NY. in Saint James, New York

55 months ago

PTA11 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts said: Every job / career has pros and cons.

In acute care/inpatient you encounter MRSA, C-Diff, VRE, the list goes on - fecal matter, urine, blood, ulcers/wounds, body secretions, etc etc etc

These patients are usually seeing OT, PT, respiratory, speech and will cough up some real powerful stuff if you know what I mean. It's pretty nasty. They may be incontinent and the PT/PTA may need to clean them up, They may be on swallow precautions and need everything thickened or chopped up or even mixed because they can't swallow.
Some people do emit strong BO from body and head, or wounds and sometimes you have to have them very close to you - for positioning, transfers, therex, everything so it's hard to avoid. Many patients are just not stable or strong enough to stand and shower, or it may not be their normal routine period and they just don't want to shower. They prefer baths here and there.

you may need to do HEAVY lifting in acute care inpatient or even SNF (skilled nursing facility) for obvious reasons. Not as much lifting in OP but you are required to be fast. You only get 20-30 min. per patient and sometimes they double book you where as in inpt or SNFs you usually get 45min - 1 hr.

There usually isn't one area where you make more money at least not in MASS - they all pretty much pay the same around 20 bucks an hour reg. employee for a new grad and per diem 23-25. The exception is home health but you are usually hired after 1 year experience.

In outpatient you may be cleaner but you are on a productivity scale which means you need to be treating patients the time you are there otherwise sign out. It is money driven - even for non-for-profits. They need money in order to pay you.

That being said, it is very rewarding and once you find your niche you will not mind all the other unpleasant stuff that comes with it.

hope that helps - good luck

thanks nice information.

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Matt in Bellingham, Washington

55 months ago

Hello Everyone-

I live in Bellingham WA. I'm really interested in the PTA program my local community college offers. I have a few question-

If anyone can give me some input that would be great! Thanks!

- What typically is the age group you will work with in Home Care?
- Average salary in Whatcom County? Skagit County? (I live an hour away from Seattle WA.)or pay rate per visit in Home care?
- What are some good agencies to find job posting for home care? or job posting in all environments? (Clinics, Hospitals etc.)
- On average how many patients a day would you see in home care?
- what is a typical schedules working as a PTA in home care? 9am-5pm type of schedule? weekends?
- Is it easy to find full-time work in home care as a PTA? and guaranteed full- time status?

I am really excited about this program. Also, I'm interested in working in all area. To be honest, my least favorite would probably be working with elderly. I probably would enjoy the younger crowd. But, I am absolutely open to all environments.

Thanks.

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Diana in Bay Shore, New York

55 months ago

Heyy. I recently graduated with a bachelors degree in education. i am second guessing my career choice and started looking into PTA. Before i make a huge decision i have a few question.. if anyone can help me with.. Would it be taking a step backwards if i decided to go for PTA? What type of schooling ?? because im in new york and cant find any school around here that have PTA programs.. i only see PT aids. is there a difference?? I would appreciate any feedback because im really stuck right now with what i to do.

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Jeremiah Fredrick in Florida

55 months ago

Diana, I would not consider it a step back. I've got several friends with degrees from AS all the way up to MS and many of them are working in fields they DID NOT graduate to work in. Have a BA/BS would only make you more marketable as a PTA. Considering you should have all of your pre-req's completed (minus a handful of PTA specific courses Physics, Intro to PT ect) you should be able to enroll in the next available class. Programs typically start 1 a year (fall) and last about 13 months. I've seen them 8 months through other programs. Just ensure that the program is accredited prior to signing up. PT aide is not a licensed worker, they are very helpful and widely used but as far as I know there is no certification or schooling for that position. Pay varies all over the place from PT aides..maybe $8 hourly up to $13 (ball park). Starting PTA's vary as well but naturally they are typically earning $18-$30 hourly. Hope this helps...

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Diana in Bay Shore, New York

55 months ago

Jeremiah Fredrick in Florida said: Diana, I would not consider it a step back. I've got several friends with degrees from AS all the way up to MS and many of them are working in fields they DID NOT graduate to work in. Have a BA/BS would only make you more marketable as a PTA. Considering you should have all of your pre-req's completed (minus a handful of PTA specific courses Physics, Intro to PT ect) you should be able to enroll in the next available class. Programs typically start 1 a year (fall) and last about 13 months. I've seen them 8 months through other programs. Just ensure that the program is accredited prior to signing up. PT aide is not a licensed worker, they are very helpful and widely used but as far as I know there is no certification or schooling for that position. Pay varies all over the place from PT aides..maybe $8 hourly up to $13 (ball park). Starting PTA's vary as well but naturally they are typically earning $18-$30 hourly. Hope this helps...

Thank you so much for the help

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Brandon Chaplin in Albany, Georgia

55 months ago

I'm already pre-PTA which as you know means that I'm still finishing the prerequisites. I have the good grades and good GPA down. But my school only excepts 20 out of 75-100 applicants. There are more standards I have to meet such as shadowing PT's or PTA's (with at least 40 Hrs) and getting letters of recommendation. I already know several PT's and that already is a great help to me. But can any of you answer how I might drastically improve my chances? I want to stick out. I really want this!

Thank you.

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PTAnow in Powder Springs, Georgia

55 months ago

Brandon Chaplin in Albany, Georgia said: I'm already pre-PTA which as you know means that I'm still finishing the prerequisites. I have the good grades and good GPA down. But my school only excepts 20 out of 75-100 applicants. There are more standards I have to meet such as shadowing PT's or PTA's (with at least 40 Hrs) and getting letters of recommendation. I already know several PT's and that already is a great help to me. But can any of you answer how I might drastically improve my chances? I want to stick out. I really want this!

Thank you.

Hi I graduated fron the school in Albany. needless to say it is highly competitive the best way is to have very good grades, more than the required number of volunteer hours since the program attracts alot of former rehab aides, blow them away at the interview be very professional - in your dressing and presenation, have good communication skills while answering the questions. if u know PTs/PTAs in the albany area who can vouch that you are hard working, dependable, a serious student that will help because I can bet you the program director & assistant director knows them personally - the PT world is small every one knows everyone esp in a small town like Albany. Talk to PTAs around there they also probably graduated from that school and can give you more insights. I can tell you it is a great program and has a good board exam pass rate. Good Luck.

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Brandon Chaplin in Albany, Georgia

55 months ago

PTAnow in Powder Springs, Georgia said: Hi I graduated fron the school in Albany. needless to say it is highly competitive the best way is to have very good grades, more than the required number of volunteer hours since the program attracts alot of former rehab aides, blow them away at the interview be very professional - in your dressing and presenation, have good communication skills while answering the questions. if u know PTs/PTAs in the albany area who can vouch that you are hard working, dependable, a serious student that will help because I can bet you the program director & assistant director knows them personally - the PT world is small every one knows everyone esp in a small town like Albany. Talk to PTAs around there they also probably graduated from that school and can give you more insights. I can tell you it is a great program and has a good board exam pass rate. Good Luck.

Thank you very much! This was a better answer than I hoped for. May I ask you how many hours you volunteered? I thought about completing 40 hrs at a private clinic, 40 hrs at a hospital, 40 hrs at a nursing home, and whatever else there is that will give me variety. again, thank you so much for your help.

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PTA Jane in Macon, Georgia

55 months ago

I only completed the minimum, I think it was 40-80 hours I can't quite remember. However it was not as competitive as it is now actually they were struggling to fill the class for my year! Imagine that! But the more hours you do the better in my opinion. Those settings you mentioned cover basic settings maybe you can also do a Home Health one. I wish you all the very best Brandon.

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Brandon Chaplin in Albany, Georgia

55 months ago

Thank you very much, again! You are so lucky!

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