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Toni Talks about PT Today

APTA Membership: Cost vs. Benefit

Published May 6, 2015 2:23 PM by Toni Patt

I've been reading the responses to my various blogs over the past few weeks. The responses seem to be echoing what I've been saying. Hardly anyone has had anything to say in support of the APTA. Many explain why they don't belong.

The general consensus is the APTA doesn't represent the majority of PTs and PTAs. No one wrote in support of its current focus on direct access. While no one specifically said it, there continue to be negative feelings about moving to a DPT. Concerns were voiced about cost, additional years of school and stagnant salaries that aren't enough to pay back school loans.

Many writers had other suggestions for the APTA on where to direct its attention and money. I can think of only two people I know who contribute to the APTA and TPTA. I've contributed to the TPTA but will not give the APTA anything. No one is going to donate money toward something they don't believe in. I wonder if it has occurred to anyone at the APTA that this might be a reason for the difficulty in raising funds.

The only positive comments I read were for the chapters and sections. Several people would join at the state level. In order to address the cost issue of membership, the APTA has developed some payment options. But I don't think cost of membership is the problem so much as the belief there is no benefit to membership. What are we really getting for that money? The majority of work is done by volunteers. If you're an elected official of the APTA or a section, you get some money toward expenses to attend CSM. Where does the rest go?

I make the same amount of money now that I did four years ago. That doesn't seem to concern the APTA. I've heard nothing from them addressing PT salaries. APTA membership is very low on the priority list for expenses. Of course that also goes back to the perceived value of membership.

I'm not encouraging anyone to belong. The sad truth is unless you work in outpatient, you don't seem to matter. That seems to be the image the APTA is creating for us. But then look at our leaders, who are either outpatient orthopedic, private practice or both. It shouldn't really surprise us. Even if someone with a different agenda made it to elected office, I doubt it would do much good. They would be one vote against everyone else.

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3 comments

Does anyone have Toni's contact information?

Grace Cardin, GRACE ENTERPRISES, LLC September 7, 2015 1:18 PM
Lisbon CT

I am not going to pay APTA if they are not going to make a Bridge program for PTA to DPT. Theres bridge programs for other professions, plus what does a personal trainer know about the clinical's and the advancement of rehabilitation? why is getting a BS in Exercise Science/Personal Trainer a Stepping stone while the Associate's in PTA is not? PTA's do the same exact thing as  PT but they can't evaluate or look at x-rays, or diagnose, but its closer and a stepping stone to being a PT because of the experience and working in a hospital versus a gym, I can't believe a Personal Trainer is equivalent to a PT, they don't take classes in physics, chemistry, pharmacology and yet they are more accepted than a PTA, bull, and APTA doesn't approve that, they just want ur money, and the say same thing over and over, and they say PTA is not a stepping stone, it is too, and you do have to start all over because they don't make a bridge program, if there was, it would be 2 years for PTA, then 3 years for PT, then thats it, then you wouldn't have to repeat all those classes, that is why the DPT is expensive, your repeating all those classes, bull,

is there a Physical Therapist who can advise me, I am 30 years old and I am thinking of PT school but they keep saying its so hard and have to take a GRE, and its discourage me , all they care about is high grades and high test scores, no experience, experience should be the top, that is how u get a job! a Degree doesn't defend who u are, its what you make of it and life experience, and clinical's, these schools need to have clinicians in the freshmen first semester first class, so that way, in 3-7 years, you that many years of experience, thus having a higher starting salary.

Marissa Lanza, Physical Therapy - Rehab Aide , Excel Physical Therapy June 1, 2015 2:08 PM
Marlborough MA

Nothing has changed on the website w regards to PTAs. When  I click on the PTA tab it shows the same pictures and articles from a year ago. Also, the monthly "PT IN MOTION" magazine has even gotten rid of their PTA section. Not really feeling support/representation from the APTA towards us lowly PTAs.

Over the last few months I've noticed that PTA's are mentioned less and less in both print and on website. Almost like we don't exist. Like there is no such thing as physical therapist assistants.

John braslow, PTA May 19, 2015 7:02 PM
Tampa FL

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