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Pt Aide Job

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Kin 2010

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Wondering if anyone has some advice. I'm taking a year off and plan on applying to physical therapy school in the fall. I have found a therapy tech job with a Chiropractor who works with a M.D...It's full time and they use traction and vibration therapy along with showing patients exercises...They do claim that they can rehydrate the disc. The pay is better and it is full-time. The only reason I worry about pay and hours is because I have to pay back undergrad student loans soon. Physical therapy aide jobs are all less than 10 hours a week....would this look bad when applying to physical therapy schools? It is still patient experience. My alternative would be to personal train and tech for a physical therapist on the side?
 

Almost

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The most important thing to consider is that PT schools almost undoubtedly with expect 2 things from an applicant:

1) Referrals from a PT. A chiro and MD are nice supplements if they take them, but you will almost assuredly need PT referrals.

2) Observation (volunteer or work) of a PT. Once again, even if you are seeing similar modalities of treatment, it won't equate in their eyes.

I took time off to do everything you just mention. I personal trained for 2 years, 1 year in a chiro's office doing passive and active rehab, and and then 1.5 years as a pt tech in an acute care setting. Though in my eyes they were all valuable in helping me decide and apply to pt school, ultimately you will need those 2 points above. If you are sure that you intend on applying next year, you need to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

Just my 2 cents, I hope it helps.
 

PT2014

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When you input your letters of recommendation, or experience hours, the PT has to input there state license #, which an MD or DC won't have.
 

Kin 2010

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Sorry I did not clarify...I already have 100 hours in Physical Therapy Observation that I completed while in Undergrad...I'm graduated now and wondering if I should pass up this job to get more PT hours in my time off?
 

ptootles

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Sorry I did not clarify...I already have 100 hours in Physical Therapy Observation that I completed while in Undergrad...I'm graduated now and wondering if I should pass up this job to get more PT hours in my time off?
I think if those 100 hours are in several different settings and if those 100 hours meet the minimum observation hours for the school(s) you're applying to and if the PT aide job isn't going to add anything different in terms of settings (i.e. to show a larger varienty of PT experiences) then go with the job that pays more or that you're more interested in. I've been a PT aide/tech for four years and while I like to think those thousands of hours of observation made my application look really good, it's the variety of PT observation settings that schools want to see.
 

Almost

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You sound financially motivated to pick the full-time, higher paying position. This makes sense to me, but I would keep a few things mind. If you can enhance your application with another setting, like the previous poster said, or just with more exposure in a paid role, this could pay off in the long run. For instance, if you can increase the odds of getting into a cheaper, state school, then the lower income over one year will be offset by the cheaper tuition you may get.

On the flip side, the income from personal training takes time to accumulate because of the time in building a steady clientele. If you go that route, be prepared to not make much at the beginning or even possibly at the end when you are transitioning your clients to other trainers and not get any new ones.

Which ever way you go, good luck.
 

Kin 2010

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Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate the input! The 100 hours span over 5 different settings. I did 4 different outpatient and 1 inpatient.
 

karma1031

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I'd highly recommend getting more PT hours. A lot of schools have minimum hour requirements for each setting. For example, some schools require minimum of 25 hours in three different settings, while other schools require a minimum of 50 hours of inpatient setting. Also, it's important to get as much PT exposure as possible so you could decide if PT is the right career for you. It also helps to work as a PT aide because you would gain experience working with patients and understand how a PT clinic runs its business.
 

Almost

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Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate the input! The 100 hours span over 5 different settings. I did 4 different outpatient and 1 inpatient.

When you are applying, schools will only consider those 4 outpatient clinics as 1 setting. So you'd technically have 2. For what it's worth, I think they would also be curious as to why you didn't diversify more, being that you took the time to go to 4 different places for outpatient but never did acute care. If you have the time, I would suggest observing in acute care too, b/c increasing your range of exposure will help on paper in your app and help your knowledge during the interviews.
 
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