Is 'ASPT' the Answer?
‘ASPT' should be the new designation for PTAs who have an associate's degree in physical therapy. The PTAs who have successfully challenged the testing and don't have a degree as a PTA should not be allowed to use this. These new letters will denote we have an associate's degree in physical therapy and will practice and be licensed as a physical therapist assistant.
This new degree designation may combat some insurances that have stipulations preventing PTAs from seeing their patients. If a degree in physical therapy is required to treat a patient, the ASPT will fill that role so PTAs may qualify. This new designation wouldn't change anything in regard to a state's practice act or interfere with supervision levels required.
Some may argue that a PTA's degree is physical therapy assist, or is it physical therapist assist? But that makes no sense. This would mean I'll tell people I have an associate's of applied science degree in physical therapist assistant. Or is my degree in physical therapy assisting? Maybe I should get my degree out of storage and take a peek. My wallet license says physical therapist assistant but that doesn't mean that is the degree earned.
We should look at the PT degree designations. There was a certificate as a PT, then a BSPT, an MPT, a MSPT, a DPT, a PhD PT etc. All of those denote the degree level earned, which makes them eligible to practice and become licensed as physical therapists. As a consumer of healthcare, all the levels of degrees for a physical therapist seem confusing. Maybe PT schools should add the habilitation degree and the higher doctorate degree for physical therapists too just to have some fun with the public.