Being a physical therapist assistant is not an easy job.
However, if you like to help others and consider a new career path, here you can learn more about becoming a physical therapist assistant in Hawaii.
Your job duties will include:
- Helping patients through therapeutic exercise
- Providing patients with functional training in self-care
- Teaching patients various airway clearance techniques
- Handling patient documentation
Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant
These professionals cannot perform their duties without a license.
In this state, this document is issued by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Board of Physical Therapy.
The first step to obtaining the license is to enroll and graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program.
The program can be attended in or out of state, but it has to be in person.
You should obtain an associate’s degree like the ones below:
- Physical Therapist Assistant – Associate of Science (AS)
- Physical Therapist Assistant – Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Other degrees in the field are also accepted.
Higher degrees will help you secure better-paying positions.
These are the most commonly studied topics by future physical therapist assistants:
- Behavioral sciences
- Therapeutic exercise
- Fitness and personal training
- Clinical pathology
- Exercise physiology
- Professional ethics
- Medical terminology
The program is designed with classroom education hours, lab hours as well as an internship period.
Generally, your school can facilitate your access to an internship.
Once you graduate, you’re ready to apply for the license exam.
The exam you’re supposed to take is the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs, offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
The website of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has an application form that you’ll print and fill out.
You also need to attach these documents to the application:
- A $50 check, payable to “Commerce and Consumer Affairs”
- School transcripts, proving your education,
- It must show the date of graduation
Candidates for the National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs have to register with the FSBPT.
The Authorization to Test (ATT) letter should arrive in 15 working days.
The ATT has limited validity, and if you miss the deadline you’ll have to re-register.
The exam is taken through Prometric and it costs $400.
Prometric will charge another fee of $70 when scheduling the exam.
The topics of the NPTE will cover:
- Therapeutic Modalities
- PT Data Collection
- Safety and Protection
- Equipment and Devices
- Professional Responsibilities
To increase your chances of getting the minimum passing score of 600, make sure to:
- Use the online practice exam and assessment tool (PEAT)
- Study the NPTE Candidate Handbook.
Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information
There are many facilities where you can find employment as a physical therapist assistant.
- Inpatient rehabilitation centers
- Outpatient clinic
The best employers in this state include the following facilities:
- Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy Associates
- Club Rehab in Kailua Kona and Mauka
- Kona Community Hospital in Kealakekua
- Life Care Center of Kona in Kailua-Kona
- Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku
- North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea
- Oceanside Hawaii Assisted Living & Memory Care in Hauula
- OrthoSport Hawaii Physical Therapy & Aquatic Rehabilitation in Honolulu
- Physical Therapy Hawaii in Kapolei
- PT Hawaii in Waipahu
- Rebound Hawaii – Physical Therapy & Massage Therapy in Kapolei
- Shriners Hospitals for Children in Honolulu
- South Kona Physical Therapy & Functional Fitness in Captain Cook
Your salary will depend greatly on how much experience you have, where you work, and the degree you have.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information
On December 31 of even-numbered years, the licenses of all physical therapist assistants will expire.
The Department will send an email to all physical therapist assistants, before the expiry date.
The email will contain detailed information on what you need to do to renew and maintain your license as a physical therapist assistant.
The “renewal” section of the website of the Department also has info about this aspect, that you need to read.