Being a physical therapist assistant means you like helping others recover.
If you want to know more about how you can become a physical therapist assistant in Mississippi, read on!
Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant
As a physical therapist assistant, you’ll have to follow the rules set by the Mississippi State Board of Physical Therapy (MSBPT).
This means you’ll have to earn a license after you earn a degree from a school offering a program accredited by CAPTE.
The most popular degrees in this field are:
- Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)
- Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AS)
You will have to attend academic work as well as clinical learning experiences.
Depending on where you enroll, your classes will be different, but expect to learn the following:
- Medical Conditions & Pathology
- Therapeutic Modalities
- Pathophysiological Conditions
- Physical Therapy Seminar
- Health Care Experience I & II
- Clinical Education I – IV
You should know that in Mississippi you’re expected to pass a background check before starting your internship.
Those who fail this check won’t be able to continue their studies.
Passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is the stepping stone to getting your license as a PTA.
To take this exam you’ll need to:
- Submit an application
- Pass a current background check
- Attach a passport-style photo
- Pay the $300 license fee to the Board
- Complete the jurisprudence exam found int he application
- Show proof you’re a US citizen
- Have a valid social security number
The background check is based on your fingerprints and you’ll have t pay a fee of $50.
You can request a temporary PTA license that will expire after 90 days.
Candidates have to register for the NPTE-PTA using the website of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
At the time of your registration, you’ll have to pay a fee of $400.
Then you’ll receive instructions on how to schedule the test with Prometric.
Prometric charges another fee of $70 to proctor the exam.
The passing score is 600, and you need to answer 200 questions that cover these topics:
- Physical Therapy Data Collection
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
- Non-System Domains
The license will be issued in a maximum of 7 days after the Board receives your score and only if you passed.
Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information
In 2015, some of the best employers of physical therapist assistants in Mississippi were:
- Therapy Management Corporation – Laurel
- Tara Therapy, LLC – Tupelo
- Deaconess Homecare – Natchez
- Promise Healthcare – Vicksburg
- Gentiva Health Services, Inc. – Flowood
- InSearch Medical – Jackson
- Aegis Therapies – Batesville
These are the types of facilities you can work for once you earned your license:
- Various types of clinics
- Inpatient rehab facilities
If you obtain a related bachelor’s degree or accumulate more experience, you can earn more.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information
Just like in many other states, in Mississippi, you’ll have to renew your license every 2 years.
The renewal date is based on the first letter of your last name, as follows:
- A – L have a licensure period of July 1 through June 30 of even-numbered years
- M – Z have a licensure period of July 1 through June 30 of odd-numbered years
The renewal process involves filling out an application and paying a fee of $475.
You’re also expected to continue your education every 2 years.
Unlike most other states in Mississippi, the Board set strict rules related to this aspect.
The rules are:
- Accumulating 24 contact hours (CH) or 2.4 Continuing Education Units (CEU)
- CH and CEU will not carry over
- At least 6 CH or .6 CEU must relate to in-clinic physical therapy
- A maximum of 12 CH or 1.2 CEU can be accumulated through online programs
- At least 2 hours of ethics must be included
The Board may randomly audit the accumulated hours.
Physical therapist assistants in Mississippi can list their licenses as inactive for up to 6 years.
If after 6 years they don’t renew, their license will expire.
The renewal process after 6 years is described above.