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PTAwesome

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I've applied to PTA school and will get my acceptance/rejection letter in the mail any day now (cross your fingers for me!). I've done 40 hours of observation work and one question I've asked everyone and received mixed answers on is just how specialized a PTA can become. I realize that the kind of ConEd (and the kinds of advancements) a PTA can get is by default on a different level than that of a PT, but some PTs seem to suggest that ConEd as a PTA isn't even worth it and that they basically expand your training on stuff you learned in school. One of the PTs I worked with was especially condescending in her attitude regarding PTAs and flat out told me to go to school to be a DPT because PTAs were nothing more than techs with a salary.

To be more direct, I'm interested in the field of women's health and I'm wondering if a PTA can become licensed or certified in working specifically with patients seeking help for gynecological disorder. Does anyone have any experience on this? Thanks for any input.
 

noyceguy

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I've applied to PTA school and will get my acceptance/rejection letter in the mail any day now (cross your fingers for me!). I've done 40 hours of observation work and one question I've asked everyone and received mixed answers on is just how specialized a PTA can become. I realize that the kind of ConEd (and the kinds of advancements) a PTA can get is by default on a different level than that of a PT, but some PTs seem to suggest that ConEd as a PTA isn't even worth it and that they basically expand your training on stuff you learned in school. One of the PTs I worked with was especially condescending in her attitude regarding PTAs and flat out told me to go to school to be a DPT because PTAs were nothing more than techs with a salary.

To be more direct, I'm interested in the field of women's health and I'm wondering if a PTA can become licensed or certified in working specifically with patients seeking help for gynecological disorder. Does anyone have any experience on this? Thanks for any input.

Not sure about women's health but for orthopedics, advanced training and board certification are only for PTs.
 

PTAwesome

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Thank you both. I'll shoot an email off to the APTA and when I get a response I'll post it here.
 

PTAwesome

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http://www.womenshealthapta.org

Email them. They will guide you.

I took this advice and just heard back from them. This is their reply:

Unfortunately there are limited resources for PTA students interested in women's health. As far as PTA involvement in women's health, we allow you to take the CAPP Pelvic level 1 and the OB Fundamentals course. But you are only able to treat urinary incontinence and weakness in the pelvic floor according to your scope of practice. You can become a section member once you are a student.

This is a real bummer to me, but at least I know now just how far I can expect to go as a PTA.

If anyone here has any input, experience, or advice pertaining to the PTA's potential role in women's health I'd love to hear anything there is to say about it. Thanks to Azimuthal for your advice about emailing the APTA.
 
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truthseeker

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chances are you will need to find a PT that is specialized in the area that you are interested in and work with them. I am not aware of PTA advanced credentials but if you work in a women's health clinic, for example, the PT you work with may have a specialized credential and so you will by default see more of those patients and your CE classes will be geared in that direction as will the PT you work with.
 

PTAwesome

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Thanks for the feedback, truthseeker, every little bit of knowledge imparted is helpful. I know for a fact that I want to work in the field of physical therapy, but I'm not yet completely clear on the "rules" of the game (particularly what a PTA can and cannot do and what one needs to do to successfully move in the direction they wish to in terms of specialization and continuing education). I know laws are not static and that much of the knowledge I've yet to acquire will come with time. I learned last week that I have been accepted into the PTA program I applied to and I'm bursting with excitement to get going (I was passed over in my first attempt over a year ago, I'm absolutely blessed and grateful for having been one of 24 applicants selected out of the 150+ submitted this cycle).

I'm a former PT patient with pelvic pain issues that were greatly improved through interventions and education administered by a physical therapist who specialized in women's health. I contacted that PT to ask for her advice. She referred me to Herman and Wallace and with a little searching I found something incredible: a PTA named Elisa Marchand is the first PTA to become a Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner in the United States--and she lives less than 2 hours away from me! If I was bouncing off the walls with excitement when I got my acceptance letter, you better believe I'm doing back flips now! I intend to contact Mrs. Marchand as well as Herman and Wallace and learn what I can about moving forward with the goal of being a successful student and eventually focusing on the pelvic rehab section of PT.

I'm very open to any more in put, specific or general, about the involvement of PTAs in women's health and if I learn anything that may be helpful to this area I'll be sure to report it back here.
 
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PTAwesome

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I have another update:
I just got a different email from someone else associated with the Women's Section of the APTA. Their message reads in part:

[...] licensed PTA's will be able to take our educational courses in OB and Pelvic Health beginning this year, so you will be able to take courses within this specialty. Also, please stay tuned for a blog post on our PTA Educational Statement that will be released in the upcoming weeks

This is pretty great news and sounds significant regarding the PTA's role in pelvic health-specific physical rehabilitation. Stay tuned, I guess!
 
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PelvicHealthPTA

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Hello! I've been a pelvic health PTA for the past year now and am currently in the process of persuading my work to pay for my Herman and Wallace pelvic health classes. You will be interested to read this article below. Via Herman and Wallace PTA's are able to obtain their Pelvic Health Practicioner Certifications. Read this article for more details!:)
https://hermanwallace.com/blog/the-role-of-the-pta
 
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PTAwesome

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Thank you, PelvicHealthPTA!
I followed up on the post I made in July and a few months ago I had the incredible opportunity to shadow the very woman in the article you linked me to. It was a heartening experience to meet, direct questions to, and observe her and the staff at their incredible clinic, and the experience propelled me through my first semester in my PTA program (semester 2 starts in two weeks!). I cannot adequately express my gratitude to Elisa Marchand and the group at McKenna Physical Therapy for the inspiration they have provided.

As a result, I reached out to Herman and Wallace with interest in attending a Pelvic Floor Level 1 course. I explained that I was a PTA student in my first semester of schooling and asked when the soonest I could attend a course would be. Their response was as follows:

Thank you for reaching out. We allow students who are in their third year of a program to attend our courses, so you'll need to wait a little while before you can sign up. We'll look forward to your participation in a course in a couple years!

So I'm not clear, but I guess I'll need to be completely done with school and perhaps even have a year of on-the-job experience under my belt before I can participate. Has that been your experience, PelvicHealthPTA?
In any case, thank you for responding to the thread and thank you for the information you shared. Pelvic PT, particularly the role of the PTA in pelvic health PT, seems a subject that can be difficult to gather information and resources on. It can be discouraging at times. Thanks for the boost of encouragement you provide simply by doing what you do as a pelvic health PTA!
 

starrsgirl

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Thank you, PelvicHealthPTA!
I followed up on the post I made in July and a few months ago I had the incredible opportunity to shadow the very woman in the article you linked me to. It was a heartening experience to meet, direct questions to, and observe her and the staff at their incredible clinic, and the experience propelled me through my first semester in my PTA program (semester 2 starts in two weeks!). I cannot adequately express my gratitude to Elisa Marchand and the group at McKenna Physical Therapy for the inspiration they have provided.

As a result, I reached out to Herman and Wallace with interest in attending a Pelvic Floor Level 1 course. I explained that I was a PTA student in my first semester of schooling and asked when the soonest I could attend a course would be. Their response was as follows:



So I'm not clear, but I guess I'll need to be completely done with school and perhaps even have a year of on-the-job experience under my belt before I can participate. Has that been your experience, PelvicHealthPTA?
In any case, thank you for responding to the thread and thank you for the information you shared. Pelvic PT, particularly the role of the PTA in pelvic health PT, seems a subject that can be difficult to gather information and resources on. It can be discouraging at times. Thanks for the boost of encouragement you provide simply by doing what you do as a pelvic health PTA!

I would call Herman and Wallace. I'm a PT student who will attend one of their courses before I graduate. I also ran into some really strange wording that didn't make sense in my case either. The emails I received back also didn't answer my questions (seems like they just cut and copy from the online information)....but I called and talked to someone in person and they were able to clarify once they understood my specific situation.
 

PTAwesome

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I would call Herman and Wallace. I'm a PT student who will attend one of their courses before I graduate. I also ran into some really strange wording that didn't make sense in my case either. The emails I received back also didn't answer my questions (seems like they just cut and copy from the online information)....but I called and talked to someone in person and they were able to clarify once they understood my specific situation.

Thank you for sharing your experience and for your advice! I've found a number on the official website and will give them a call. I'll definitely update with whatever information I procure.
 

2020PTA

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Thank you for sharing your experience and for your advice! I've found a number on the official website and will give them a call. I'll definitely update with whatever information I procure.
This may be a long shot since it’s been so many years, but just wanted an update on your journey or any resources as I’m a new grad/licensed PTA very interested in this field!
 
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