In Oregon, the demand for physical therapist assistants is increasing with no signs of slowing down soon.
They are needed in many settings:
- Rehab centers
- Various clinics
In this article we’ll tell you what it takes to become a physical therapist assistant in Oregon, so don’t stop reading!
Earning Your License as a Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapist assistants need a license to be allowed to work.
Such a license is issued by the Oregon Physical Therapist Licensing Board.
The Board requires candidates to first go through formal education first, and earn a degree in the field.
Acceptable degrees are offered at CAPTE-accredited schools and include the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS) among others.
The schools will have a variety of admission requirements as well.
They commonly ask for:
- Immunization records,
- Drug screen results,
- Federal and state background check results
Once accepted, you’ll have to learn about:
- Medical Terminology
- Applied Kinesiology I and II
- PT Interventions – Orthopedic Dysfunctions
- PT Interventions – Neurological Dysfunctions
- PT Interventions – Complex Medical Dysfunctions
- PT and Older Adults
Additionally, you’ll have to complete an internship as well.
Those who graduate can apply for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapist assistants.
Everyone who scores over 600 on this test will be issued a license.
To apply, you’ll need:
- The application form
- Fill out the questionnaire on the application
- A 2×2 recent photo
- The licensing fee of $162 as a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order
The documents must be sent to the Board in Portland.
Candidates have to also answer correctly all the 25 questions on the jurisprudence exam.
Additionally, your school will have to send a Certificate of Professional Education on your behalf.
You’ll need to register with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) for the exam.
At the time of your registration, you’ll need to pay the exam fee of $400.
Individuals can request a temporary practice permit.
For this, they’ll need to pay the $50 for it, send an application, pass the jurisprudence exam, and even have a letter from their employer.
The permit is only valid for 90 days.
The NPTE is organized at the Prometric centers and there’s an additional $70 fee to pay.
The exam lasts for 4 hours and the 200 questions cover topics like:
- Equipment & Devices;
- Therapeutic Modalities
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
- Physical Therapy Data Collection
- Safety & Protection;
- Professional Responsibilities;
Physical Therapist Assistant Employment and Salary Information
If you don’t want to run an independent private practice as a licensed PT, you can find a job at one of the following health centers:
- Coast Fork Nursing Center – Cottage Grove
- Infinity Rehab – Keiser, Portland
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service at the VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics – White City
- Good Samaritan Eugene Village – Eugene
If you earned a bachelor’s degree or accumulated some experience, you can earn a higher salary.
Salaries are also higher in most larger cities across the state.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Physical Therapist Assistant License Renewal Information
Every even-numbered year, on March 31, the physical therapist assistant licenses will expire.
The renewal period is between January 1 and March 31 those who fail to renew by April 1 need to stop practicing immediately.
During each renewal period, the physical therapist assistants need to complete 24 hours of continuing education.
Those who obtained their license in the second year only need to complete 12 hours.
One of these hours must cover the Pain Management Module.
These organizations have all the classes you can take:
- American Physical Therapy Association
- Oregon Physical Therapy Association
Chapter 35 of the Oregon Administrative Rules has all the details of the required and accepted classes you can take to meet this renewal requirement.