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PTA Blog Talk

Total PT Immersion

Published September 11, 2012 9:16 PM by Jason Marketti

As PTs and PTAs, we went through enough testing in school and yet we had to pass one more test to get that magical piece of paper from the licensing board. The problem is that to get that license to practice, we did not have to show any skills to the state board demonstrating that we knew what we were doing. Maybe the licensing board trusts the schools and clinical sites to provide the skills we need and they are only interested in whether we can read a test and deduce answers in a logical fashion.

Reading from a book and then taking a test is not too difficult. Doing ROM on a classmate or practicing gait on someone without multiple medical problems is kind of easy. I have a better way to train therapists. Total immersion programs. Like the way the nurses used to be trained -- eat, sleep and work at a hospital (or SNF) and while the student therapists are reading about a technique, they can apply it almost immediately. ROM can be applied any time of the day or night in an ICU with the patients and not everyone sleeps the whole night in a SNF. There are some patients up at 4 or 5 a.m. What a perfect time for some gait and exercise training.

And since the therapy profession is now at a doctorate level, the training received should accurately reflect this by true doctor training, i.e. living at a hospital and providing care just like the other doctor healthcare professions do. We would also get great reimbursement rates in a SNF with all the "Med A's." Imagine the minutes we could rack up before the sun rises. Well, that is, until all the healthcare changes take effect, but by then therapists would be influential in preventative therapy techniques like teaching patients ways to improve posture, reduce injury and live healthy lives prior to a discharge home.


Just need to correct you on one point that I will never forget in the testing done to get my PT license.... I DID (and all of my older NY colleagues did) have to demonstrate my (our) skills in the practical exam part of my(our) exam way back when! If the practical exam was failed... no license!

  To be honest since you are not a PT nor am I a DPT, neither of us can truly judge the DPT educational experience. As an older PT with many years of experience and continuing education, I earned every credit of my BS degree via hard work and I aced both my written and PRACTICAL part of my PT board exam many years ago! My experience and continued education have kept me updated in a wonderful field.

Jeanne September 11, 2012 8:08 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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