Louisiana is a good state to start a career as a physical therapist assistant since these professionals are in high demand.
If you want to know more about this occupation, we prepared this guide with info on the education and steps you need to take.
Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant
Like in most states, future physical therapist assistants in Louisiana need to earn a license before starting working.
The licenses for these professionals are issued by the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board.
The first step towards a license is earning a degree in the field, similar to these:
- Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)
- Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assisting (AS)
The schools offering these degrees must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Keep in mind that admission into these schools and programs will differ, so you need to contact the school in advance.
Some of the most common classes or topics are:
- Health Care Communications
- Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology
- Pathophysiological Conditions
- Development Considerations
- The Health Care System
- Clinical Neurorehabilitation/Motor Control
Your program will need to include at least 16 weeks of internship as a supervised physical therapist assistant.
The license is issued to those who graduate from one of those courses and who also pass the national PTA exam.
Generally, only the candidates who meet these criteria can take the exam:
- At least 19 years old
- Be of good moral character
- Have graduated from a CAPTE-approved program for PTAs
- Be a US citizen
- Making the payment for the application fees
- Providing other specified documents
Your moral character will be determined with a background check performed by the FBI and the Louisiana State Police, based on your fingerprints.
This process may have additional associated fees.
The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is offered through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
The Federation charges $400 for the test that is taken at the Prometric testing centers.
Prometric also charges an additional fee of $70 for this test.
The exam lasts for 5 hours and a half and the passing score is 600.
The topics will cover:
- Safety & Protection;
- Professional Responsibilities;
- Physical Therapy Data Collection
- Equipment & Devices;
- Therapeutic Modalities
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
Those who pass the exam will receive their licenses in 7 days.
Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information
As mentioned, you’ll have no difficulty finding a job.
Some of the best employers in Louisiana are:
- Carrington Place of New Orleans – New Orleans
- Carrington Place of Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge
- Tara Therapy, LLC – Ruston
- MMO Rehabilitation & Wellness Hospital – Baton Rouge
- Ochsner Health System – New Orleans
- Moreau Physical Therapy – Baton Rouge
- Terrebonne General Medical Center – Houma
- Therapy Management Corporation – Baton Rouge
- Lafayette General Medical Center – Lafayette
- Amedisys, Inc. – Larose
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Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information
The license of a physical therapist assistant expires every 2 years, on April 30.
However, the expiry year will be based on your birth year:
- Those born in even-numbered years will renew in even-numbered years
- Those born in odd-numbered years will renew in odd-numbered years
The renewal fee is:
- $230 if you apply before March 31
- $400 if you apply between March 31 and April 30
If you do not send the renewal application by April 30, you will have to apply to have your license reinstated.
You need at least 30 hours of continuing education courses or activities approved by the Board between 2 renewal dates.
For the first renewal period, you may need only 15 hours, depending on when you got licensed.
The 30 hours of activities and courses must consist of:
- Jurisprudence – at least 2 contact hours
- Ethics or Professionalism – at least 2 contact hours
- Administrative – a maximum of 8 contact hours
- Clinical/preventative – at least 18 contact hours
- You can earn up to 6 hours by completing a Board-approved self-assessment tool
You can’t complete more than 15 hours of your continuing education online or at home.
Make sure to keep a good track of these classes as the Board audits them at random.