South Dakota has a strong need for physical therapist assistants.
They work in facilities such as:
- Home health agencies,
- Nursing homes
- Rehabilitation clinics
If you want to know what it takes to become a physical therapist assistant from South Dakota, this guide is for you!
Earning the Physical Therapist Assistant License in South Dakota
The physical therapist assistants in South Dakota are under the jurisdiction of the state’s Board of Medical & Osteopathic Examiners.
This means they need a license before being allowed to work.
The first step towards getting this credential is to graduate from a CAPTE-accredited school, with one of these degrees:
- Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)
- Associate of Health Science in Physical Therapist Assistant (AHS)
Each school offering such programs will have different admission requirements.
Some of the most common of them are:
- Having good grades in biology
- Having CPR certification
- Having a clean criminal background
- Having no addictions
You’ll be studying topics like these:
- Intro to PTA
- Fundamentals of PTA
- Ethics & Issues in PTA
- Professionalism in Healthcare
- Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Worker
- Medical Terminology
- Observation & Measurement
- Physical Agents & Massage
- Theories of Therapeutic Exercise
- Pathology for PTA
- Musculoskeletal Disorders and Treatment
- Neuroanatomy & Neurological Dysfunction
- Human Development & Pediatric Disorders
- Rehabilitation Procedures
Students in these programs also need to complete an internship of at least 18 weeks.
There are a number of clinics where you can complete the internship, such as:
- Prairie Rehabilitation – Sioux Falls, Brandon, Harrisburg, Hartford, Tea
- Regional Rehabilitation Institute – Rapid City
- The Physical Therapy Center – Rapid City
- Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center – Sioux Falls
- Sanford Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic – Sioux Falls
- Promotion Physical Therapy – Rapid City
- Black Hills Rehab Hospital – Rapid City
Upon graduation. you’ll have to apply with the Board to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs.
Scoring at least 600 on this exam means you’ll soon receive your license.
To apply, you need:
- An application form you fill out
- A passport-style photo
- The license fee of $60
- Official transcripts from the school
The school has to send the transcripts directly to the Board, for this document to be accepted.
The application can be completed online as well.
If you receive the approval letter, you can proceed.
You’ll then have to register with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) who offers this exam.
At the time of registration with the Federation, you’ll have to pay the exam fee of $400.
The exam is organized at the Prometric testing centers where you’ll need to pay an extra $70.
There are 200 questions on this exam and you have to answer them in 4 hours.
The topics cover:
- Safety & Protection; Professional Responsibilities; Research (6%)
- Interventions (30.7%)
- Equipment & Devices; Therapeutic Modalities (14.7%)
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment (28%)
- Physical Therapy Data Collection (20.7%)
Usually, you’ll have a deadline by which your application can be completed and by which you can take this exam.
The Federation prepared the candidates handbook and an online practice test to help everyone get a passing score.
Employment and Salary Information for Physical Therapist Assistants in South Dakota
In 2015, these were some of the best employers of physical therapist assistants in South Dakota:
- Aureus Medical Group – Mitchell
- The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society – Clear Lake
- Aegis Therapies – Rapid City, Huron, Tyndall, Sioux Falls, Ipswich, Wagner
- HCR ManorCare – Aberdeen
- Mitchell South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation – Mitchell
Generally, in cities like Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, or Mitchell, the average salaries are higher than the rest of the state.
If you try to obtain a bachelor’s degree in this field, your salary will also be higher.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Additional Information for Physical Therapist Assistants in South Dakota
The license of a physical therapist assistant from South Dakota expires every year, on December 31.
The Board mails instructions on how the renewal process goes, what the fees are, and any other requirements one has to meet.
Every year, you’re expected to complete 15 continuing education units that update your competency in physical therapy and practice.
The following organizations offer sponsored or approved courses:
- American Physical Therapy Association
- South Dakota Physical Therapy Association
- Hospitals or related institutions
- Colleges or universities
The Board runs random audits, so you’ll need to keep the records from the completed classes.