If you are considering starting a new career, you can easily become a physical therapy assistant.
In order to learn more, have a look at this guide about the licensing process in Virginia.
Earning the Physical Therapist Assistant License in Virginia
Before starting the career of your dreams, you will need to get a license for which you have to train.
In Virginia, you can train if you enroll in a program that is accredited by CAPTE and approved by the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy.
The easiest way to get certified is by getting a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or an Associate of Science (AS) degree.
The licenses in Virginia are offered through the state’s Board of Physical Therapy.
The programs require a number of hours of theory classes as well as practice.
The clinical practice hours are usually completed in a clinic or another health-related facility.
These clinics usually ask for a background check and a CPR training course.
You will also be supervised by a certified physical therapy assistant.
Theory hours include subjects such as:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Orientation to Health Care
- Nutrition and Diet Therapy
- Therapeutic Procedures
- Musculoskeletal Structure and Function
- Medical Reporting
- Kinesiology for the physical therapy assistant
- Pathological Conditions
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Rehabilitation Procedures
In Virginia, you will need to complete between 14 and 16 weeks of clinical practice totaling 660 hours.
Some of the clinics where you can practice in Virginia are:
- Carillion Clinic –Roanoke
- Momentum Physical Therapy – Gainesville
- Virginia Hospital Center – Arlington
- Sentara Leigh Hospital – Virginia Beach
- Children’s Hospital of Richmond – Glen Allen Therapy Center
You will first have to register for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for physical therapy assistants.
You sign up for this exam through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
In order to be eligible for the exam, you have to send in some documents and pay a $400 fee.
The documents include:
- The physical therapist assistant application found online
- Official school transcripts
- A Letter of Completion (directly from your school)
- A recent 2×2 photograph
- The jurisprudence exam
- The $100, representing the application fee
After you submit all the required documents, you will receive an answer from the Board in about 10 days.
You will get an Authorization to Test (ATT) from the FSBTP after the application you submit is approved.
You can take the written exam after you make an appointment with Prometric.
Prometric requires a $70 fee, after which you can take the exam that consists of 200 questions.
The subjects include:
- Physical Therapy Data Collection
- Diseases/Conditions that Impact Effective Treatment
- Equipment & Devices & Therapeutic Modalities
- Safety and Protection; Professional Responsibilities
- Cardiovascular/Pulmonary & Lymphatic Systems
- Integumentary System
- Metabolic & Endocrine Systems
- Gastrointestinal System
- Genitourinary System
- Musculoskeletal System
- Neuromuscular & Nervous Systems
You will need to score at least 600 in order to pass the exam.
Employment and Salary Information for Physical Therapist Assistants in Virginia
In this state, physical therapy assistant jobs are becoming more and more popular.
More than 800 physical therapy assistant jobs are projected to open between 2012 and 2022.
Some of the facilities hiring physical therapy assistants in Virginia include:
- Rehabilitation Associates – Virginia Beach
- Glen Allen Physical Therapy – Glen Allen
- Virginia Healthcare Services – Richmond
- Sentara Healthcare – Virginia Beach
- HealthSouth – Richmond
- Princess Anne Health & Rehab Center – Virginia Beach
- Intrepid USA – CHESTER
- Norfolk Healthcare Center – Norfolk
- Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center – Richmond
- Genesis Rehabilitation Services – Virginia Beach
- Inova Fairfax Hospital – Falls Church
- Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital – Richmond
Salaries are higher, on average, in cities like Arlington, Alexandria, and Richmond.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Additional Information for Physical Therapist Assistants in Virginia
In this state, you will have to renew your license every year.
The first time you renew it, you do not have to attend any extra education hours.
However, the second time, you need to finish 30 additional hours of class.
The continuing education hours have to be completed in facilities accredited by the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy.