If you like to help people recover from injuries, perhaps you’d like to become a physical therapist assistant.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about the steps you’ll have to take, to become a physical therapist assistant in Alabama.
A physical therapist assistant must be registered with the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy.
For this, you’ll need a degree and a license.
Article Table of Contents
Earning the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Degree
The degree you need is an associate’s degree from a school with:
- Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
- Approval from the Alabama Board of Physical Therapy
You can obtain one of these degrees, but not only:
- Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
- Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Science (AS)
You should be studying topics like:
- Medical terminology
- Physical therapy issues and trends
- Therapeutic procedures
- Functional anatomy and kinesiology
- Kinesiology lab
- Human anatomy and physiology
Your classes will also need to include 630 or 650 hours of clinical work.
Once your coursework and clinical work hours are completed, you can get your degree.
Physical Therapist Assistant Application by Examination
After you receive your degree, you can apply to the Board to take the exam to obtain your license.
- To download and fill in the application form
- To pay the application fee -$150
- 2 character References (two)
- Completed Certification of Physical Therapy Education (CPTE)
- Official Transcripts
You’ll have to mail these documents to the Alabama Board.
You can take the exam only if you receive a letter of approval.
The passing score is 600 and the exam covers these topics:
- Physical Therapy Data Collection (20.7%)
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment (28%)
- Interventions (30.7%)
- Equipment & Devices & Therapeutic Modalities (14.7%)
- Safety and Protection (6.0%)
The FSBPT will send your results directly to the Alabama Board 5 days after the exam, though you can also request a copy.
To be allowed to work, you’ll also need to take and pass the jurisprudence exam as well.
This exam is taken through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and you’ll register for it on the site of this institution.
The fee associated with this exam is $50 and you can take it only if you receive the Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from FSBPT.
The exam is administered by Prometric and you’ll have to schedule the date online.
When you do this, you’ll be required to pay an additional fee of $25 to schedule the exam.
You’ll have 1 hour to answer 50 questions covering the following topics:
- Legislative Intent
- Definition of Physical
- Therapy/Practice of Physical Therapy
- Definition of Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist Assistant, & Support Personnel
- Board Powers and Duties to Regulate Practice
- Qualifications for Licensure/Examination/Licensure by Endorsement
- Use of Titles and Lawful Practice
- Grounds for Disciplinary Action
- Disciplinary Actions: Penalties
- Rights of Consumers/Public Records
The passing score for this exam is still 600.
Physical Therapist Assistant Salary Information
The demand for physical therapist assistants in Alabama is high, as in this state we can find the second-highest concentration of such professionals.
If you want to have a higher average salary, getting hired in a larger city can be helpful.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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You can find employment in one of the following settings, and not only:
- Nursing homes,
- Outpatient centers
- Sub-acute facilities
- Rehabilitation centers
You can also try obtaining a certificate or a bachelor’s degree, not just an associate’s.
The higher degree you have, the better career chances you’ll have.
Remember that this license also needs to be renewed every year by October 1st.
For this you’ll need:
- $93 – the renewal fee
- Prove completion of 10 Board-approved contact hours of continuing education
- A license renewal form
Every 5 years you’ll also need to complete 2 hours of continuing education related to physical therapy jurisprudence.
Both the Practice Act and the Administrative Code must be covered in these 2 hours.
You must keep a record of all the classes you take for a minimum period of 5 years, as the Board might ask about them.
To accumulate these hours, you can perform activities such as:
- Complete the academic coursework related to physical therapy
- Participate in a related clinical residency or fellowship program
- Earn a PTA specialty certification
- Publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal
- Teach a course on physical therapy