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PTA50: Celebrating 50 Years of the PTA

Monday, February 25, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: APTANJ
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In Honor of Physical Therapist Assistants, here are 50 Fun Facts about PTAs

1.)    The APTA first started thinking of PTAs in the 1940s when PTs were in high demand due to war injuries and break outs of polio.

2.)    The House of Delegates approved “Training and Utilization of Physical Therapy Aides and Assistance” in 1967.

3.)    The first PTA programs were Miami-Dade Community College and St. Mary’s Junior College in Minnesota (now St. Catherine University).

4.)    The first PTA programs graduated 15 students its first year.

5.)    There are 393 accredited PTA programs in the United States today.

6.)    PTAs were granted affiliate APTA membership in 1973.

7.)    In 1983, the Affiliate Special Interest Group (ASIG) was created, laying base for the PTA Caucus.

8.)    In 2006, the PTA Caucus had their first meeting.

9.)    In 1992, the House of Delegates voted to give PTAs the opportunity to hold chapter and section officer positions.

10.) In 2004, the APTA established the Recognition of Advanced Proficiency for the PTA which was succeeded in 2016 by the PTA Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP) program.

11.) In 1974, the PTA was added by the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education as a health care occupation.

12.) In 1983, only 37 states included PTA in their practice act.  Today all 50 states include PTAs in their practice acts.

13.) The Bureau of Labor Statistics project that PTA employment will grow 31% between 2017 and 2026.

14.) The Median PTA salary in 2017 was $57,430 - a far cry from the median 1977 salary of $9,000.

15.) The first PTA student to receive the APTA Minority Scholarship Award was Karen Aitken-Douyon from Essex County College.

16.) The First PTA to receive the APTA’s FA Davis Award for Outstanding PTA Educator was Barbara Behrens from Mercer County Community College, in 2000.

17.) PTA first stood for physical therapy assistant and was later changed to physical therapist assistant to make it clear the PTAs assist the PTs.

18.) The states with the most PTA programs are Texas, Florida, and Ohio.

19.) 65% of PTA students are female.

20.) There are 2 Bachelors of Science (B.S) in Physical therapist Assistant online degree programs currently- Pima Medical Institute and Provo College.

21.) There are 2 educational bridge programs from PTA to DPT- The University of Findlay in OH and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX.

22.) 33% of PTAs work in private outpatient offices followed by 17% in SNF facilities.

23.) There are 7 Advanced Proficiency Pathways for the PTA:  Acute care, Cardiovascular and pulmonary, geriatric, oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics, and wound management.

24.) There are 4 accredited PTA programs in NJ- Essex County College, Mercer County Community College, Union County College and Rowan at Gloucester County College (pending CAPTE approval).

25.) In NJ, PTAs are licensed and regulated by the NJ State Board of PT Examiners.

26.) The NJ PTA Caucus representative is Rebecca Horton, PTA, BSPTA.

27.) There are currently 103 PTA members in APTANJ

28.) It costs $290.00 to be a PTA member of the APTA ($190.00 national dues and $100.00 state dues)

29.) APTA section dues are 50% less for PTAs than PTs.

30.) Essex County College was the first college in NJ to offer a PTA program in 1973.

31.) In NJ a PT can supervise up to 2 PTAs at a time

32.) PTAs require general supervision in NJ.

33.) There are nearly 1,800 licensed PTAs in NJ.

34.) Most PTAs in the United States are second career members (%)

35.) In 2015 the median age of PTAs was 37.6 years old.

36.) NJ is the 2nd highest paying state for PTAs in the country.

37.) PTA education is usually 5 semesters completed in 18 months.

38.) CAPTE includes joint mobilization in the entry-level education of the PTA.

39.) There are over 90,000 PTAs employed in the United States

40.) PTAs are eligible to attend any APTA conference

41.) PTA Caucus consists of 1 representative per state, one chief delegate and 4 delegates.

42.) PTA can work in any setting related to the physical therapy field- acute care, post acute care, outpatient, wellness, etc.

43.)  There are national recognition awards for PTAs including:  Outstanding PTA Award, Outstanding PT/PTA Team Award, and the F.A. Davis Award for Outstanding PTA Educator.

44.) There is a PTA representative position on the NJ State Board of PT Examiners.

45.)  St. Mary’s College in Minneapolis is the only PTA school in the country to offer special facilities to teach PTA students with blindness or visual impairment.

46.) 25% of PTA curriculum is clinical education

47.) PTAs have the same continuing education credits as PTs in NJ- 30 hours every 2 years.

48.) PTA programs are accredited by CAPTE.

49.) The average cost of PTA education is approximately $15,000 (in-county tuition and fee estimate).

50.) PTAs follow the guiding principles set forth to achieve the APTA vision of “Transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”


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