Career in physical therapy vs. nursing.. - page 2

Thoughts, experiences, advice, anything?... Read More

  1. by   NRSKarenRN
    physical therapist licensure now requires minimum of masters degree and moving to doctorate by year 2020.



    physical therapists

    all states require physical therapists to pass a licensure exam before they can practice, after graduating from an accredited physical therapist educational program.
    according to the american physical therapy association, there were 205 accredited physical therapist programs in 2004. of the accredited programs, 94 offered master’s degrees, and 111 offered doctoral degrees. all physical therapist programs seeking accreditation are required to offer degrees at the master’s degree level and above, in accordance with the commission on accreditation in physical therapy education.


    american physical therapy association (apta)

    vision statement
    by 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function, and health.

    --------

    because our professional colleagues are all moving to higher degree levels (pt, ot, st) nursing needs to move to minimum of bsn level to keep pace and be viewed as professional career.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 29, '06
  2. by   PhysTher2008
    Quote from TeleRNer
    I'm sorry to burst any bubbles on PTs but their job is very monotonous; especially range of motion exercises and hard on one's joints to perform on a daily basis and boring.
    However, I have known some amazing PTs get people up in a chair quick PTs that have me awed by their skill...but I still question if their back is complaining to them at night..

    OK OK us nurses suffer back troubles too(ie transfering patients/pulling them up in bed), but we don't spend all our time doing monotanous strenous physical work, do we?!!! ever work ortho?
    As a doctor of physical therapy student, I just wanted to clear up the fact that physical therapy is probably the LEAST monotonous job. There are so many fields and areas to go into and the daily work is never the same. The only people that do the traditional "Range of motion" exercises with the patients are the PT's that work in inpatient settings which is only 12% of PT's. PT assistants (PTA's) are usually the ones that do the "monotonous" exercises with the patients. There are so many areas to go into including sports medicine, primary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, cardiopulmonary, orthopedics, private practice, and so many others. Also, it gives us a chance to open our own private practice clinic and become successful business people as well. There are so many opportunities growing in our field and I cannot wait to finish school to see what the future holds!!!

    I bet some of you are wondering why a PT student was looking on a nursing website, but my Mom is heading to nursing school possibly and I was helping her out! If anyone is interested in a career in physical therapy I HIGHLY recommend it. It requires a master's degree at least (but we are moving toward 100% of the profession having a Doctorate by 2020). A bachelors degree with pre-reqs are required before applying to the masters or doctorate program. As a current student, I can tell you that it is very difficult to get in and the program is VERY intense. The rewards however are so great. The salaries and demands are rising rapidly, the job schedules are great, and the opportunities are amazing. I hope this clears any confusion about physical therapy!
  3. by   user9876
    Quote from PhysTher2008
    As a doctor of physical therapy student, I just wanted to clear up the fact that physical therapy is probably the LEAST monotonous job. There are so many fields and areas to go into and the daily work is never the same. The only people that do the traditional "Range of motion" exercises with the patients are the PT's that work in inpatient settings which is only 12% of PT's. PT assistants (PTA's) are usually the ones that do the "monotonous" exercises with the patients. There are so many areas to go into including sports medicine, primary care, pediatrics, geriatrics, cardiopulmonary, orthopedics, private practice, and so many others. Also, it gives us a chance to open our own private practice clinic and become successful business people as well. There are so many opportunities growing in our field and I cannot wait to finish school to see what the future holds!!!

    I bet some of you are wondering why a PT student was looking on a nursing website, but my Mom is heading to nursing school possibly and I was helping her out! If anyone is interested in a career in physical therapy I HIGHLY recommend it. It requires a master's degree at least (but we are moving toward 100% of the profession having a Doctorate by 2020). A bachelors degree with pre-reqs are required before applying to the masters or doctorate program. As a current student, I can tell you that it is very difficult to get in and the program is VERY intense. The rewards however are so great. The salaries and demands are rising rapidly, the job schedules are great, and the opportunities are amazing. I hope this clears any confusion about physical therapy!

    wow, thanks very much! i have a question though... only 12% of PTs work at hospitals? and those are the one who do the monotonous exercises? it would seem the opposite to me...that PTAs would be doing that in the hospital. maybe i'm confused. but in the hospital, don't they do wound care, neonates, ortho, and everything else.. since they are staff PTs? could you clear this up for me? thanks.... oh, and would you think PT school is a lot more intense than nursing school?
  4. by   PhysTher2008
    Quote from aph401
    wow, thanks very much! i have a question though... only 12% of PTs work at hospitals? and those are the one who do the monotonous exercises? it would seem the opposite to me...that PTAs would be doing that in the hospital. maybe i'm confused. but in the hospital, don't they do wound care, neonates, ortho, and everything else.. since they are staff PTs? could you clear this up for me? thanks.... oh, and would you think PT school is a lot more intense than nursing school?
    12% of PT's work in the INPATIENT setting of the hospitals, but various other types of PT's work in the outpatient clinics and other various clinics in hospital systems. This is a statistic that was given to us in school, so I am pretty sure that is it accurate. What you said is correct...PT's do wound care, peds, neonatal, ortho, etc in the hospital, but still most PT's do not work in the inpatient setting. The 12% of PT's that work in the inpatient setting are divided among the various inpatient areas. I guess that is why there is such a demand for PT's in the hospital setting! PTA's do alot of the monotonous work in all settings, but what I meant was that the inpatient PT's have the most monotonous job of the various PT practice settings. There are very few things that the PT does with regards to long term care of the patient in the inpatient setting. I feel that working with a patient over a longer period of time is more rewarding such as in an outpatient, sports, or home setting (in my opinion). As for the difficulty factor...PT school is VERY intense. Our program is 3 years, year round, with 11 months of clinical experiences incorporated in the cirriculum. We take an average of 20-23 hours per semester of very intense classes. There is no possible way to hold a job while in school (due to time constraints), and it takes up most of my time outside of the classroom as well. It takes ALOT of dedication. I am not sure if it is more difficult than nursing school because I do not have any first hand experience with that area. My mom is about to start nursing school so I will have more feedback then! Good luck with your choices! Hope this helps. :-)
  5. by   LoveMyBugs
    I am only a pre-nursing student, however I am a parent of a child who receives p.t. and o.t. in the private setting and in school. Watching what he does looks like fun. So depending on the type of PT you go into, kind of like nursing there are sports, peds, and nursing homes. I know that my son's PT in his school told me that she works in nursing homes on the weekend to make up the pay difference.
  6. by   PhysTher2008
    Quote from ivanaBEEaRN
    I am only a pre-nursing student, however I am a parent of a child who receives p.t. and o.t. in the private setting and in school. Watching what he does looks like fun. So depending on the type of PT you go into, kind of like nursing there are sports, peds, and nursing homes. I know that my son's PT in his school told me that she works in nursing homes on the weekend to make up the pay difference.
    That is great! I want to do pediatrics...actually my first 5 month clinical is in pediatrics! I love working with kids...they are such great patients I know that the school PT's get paid much less (almost like a teacher's salary because the school district is paying them). Salaries also depend on the state work in as well as the company you work for. There is a huge range of salaries, so it takes some research to find the right job with the right pay and benefits.
  7. by   user9876
    Quote from PhysTher2008
    12% of PT's work in the INPATIENT setting of the hospitals, but various other types of PT's work in the outpatient clinics and other various clinics in hospital systems. This is a statistic that was given to us in school, so I am pretty sure that is it accurate. What you said is correct...PT's do wound care, peds, neonatal, ortho, etc in the hospital, but still most PT's do not work in the inpatient setting. The 12% of PT's that work in the inpatient setting are divided among the various inpatient areas. I guess that is why there is such a demand for PT's in the hospital setting! PTA's do alot of the monotonous work in all settings, but what I meant was that the inpatient PT's have the most monotonous job of the various PT practice settings. There are very few things that the PT does with regards to long term care of the patient in the inpatient setting. I feel that working with a patient over a longer period of time is more rewarding such as in an outpatient, sports, or home setting (in my opinion). As for the difficulty factor...PT school is VERY intense. Our program is 3 years, year round, with 11 months of clinical experiences incorporated in the cirriculum. We take an average of 20-23 hours per semester of very intense classes. There is no possible way to hold a job while in school (due to time constraints), and it takes up most of my time outside of the classroom as well. It takes ALOT of dedication. I am not sure if it is more difficult than nursing school because I do not have any first hand experience with that area. My mom is about to start nursing school so I will have more feedback then! Good luck with your choices! Hope this helps. :-)

    thank you so much for you help!! it seems to me like working in the inpatient setting would be more diverse since you are all over the hospital working with all different groups. however, that's just my opinion, but i think that's what i would personally be interested in. what has your school told you the salaries will be like? do you think they will rise as the move continues toward a doctorate?
  8. by   gonzo1
    I am a RN who has a PTA degree. I graduated from PTA school in 97 and after working as a PTA for about 4 years decided to go on to RN school. Both fields have much to offer. Personally, I have bonded with nursing and am very glad I made the switch. PM me and I can give you more detailed info. And by the way. I am not the only rn that switched from pt, I know of at least 3 in my area.
    I kept my PTA license but don't work in the field much anymore, being drawn more to nursing. work in an ER. PT education is of course much more expensive than nursing, and I would not recommend PTA school because the level of education for PT is changing and as a PTA you will not have as much job opportunity.
  9. by   user9876
    thanks... I'm sending you a PM!
  10. by   LouRN92
    My husband is a Physical Therapist. There is a big difference between a PT Aide and a PT. He is master's prepared, although his partner has a doctorate. When my husband graduated it was harder to get into PT school than into Medical School.
    I have never seen someone love their job as much as he does! He works homehealth, Outpatient, in the hospital and in the local school.
    I'd definitely reccommend it as a career having watched him.
    But it was expensive... and it was an intense program.
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    PT's in my homecare agency make $50.00 a visit...usually lasts 30-45 min. They all love the home care arena. Worked with some fantastic folks who've made great difference in patients lives. Profession I've encouraged many to persue...shortage in all areas of country too due to limited schools.
  12. by   user9876
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    PT's in my homecare agency make $50.00 a visit...usually lasts 30-45 min. They all love the home care arena. Worked with some fantastic folks who've made great difference in patients lives. Profession I've encouraged many to persue...shortage in all areas of country too due to limited schools.
    would you say PTs make more than nurses? as new grads and with experience?
  13. by   user9876
    does anyone know this?

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