JOI Rehab Clinicians
By Robert Lim, PTA
Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute currently has 12 rehabilitation centers conveniently located throughout Northeast Florida. At these 12 locations, we currently employ:
- Licensed Physical Therapists (PT)
- Physical Therapist Assistants(PTA)
- Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC, LAT)
- Licensed/registered Occupational Therapists (OTL/R)
- Certified Hand Therapists (CHT).
You may be wondering what are the differences between each of them? In other words, we will answer that question in this article.
Physical Therapists (PT) are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who currently have medical problems. This can include other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in daily life. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques.
The goal is to promote the ability to move, decrease pain, improve function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists evaluate and diagnose movement dysfunction and use interventions to treat patient/clients. Interventions may include therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy, assistive devices, and modalities.
How do you become a PT?
The American Physical Therapy Association’s accrediting body, the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), accredits entry-level academic programs in physical therapy. Currently, only graduate degree physical therapist programs are accredited. Physical Therapists need to first have a degree, such as a Bachelors of Physical Therapy, Master of Physical Therapy, Masters of Science of Physical Therapy, and/or Doctorate of Physical Therapy. In other words, PT’s are highly skilled health care clinicians.
All states regulate the practice of physical therapy. Typical requirements for physical therapists include graduation from an accredited physical therapy education program. They then need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. Finally, they need to meet the state requirements, such as jurisprudence exams. A number of States require continuing education as a condition of maintaining licensure.
Physical Therapist Assistants
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA) help physical therapists to provide treatment that improves patient mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or lessens physical disabilities. Physical therapist assistants assist physical therapists in providing care. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they provide exercise, instruction, and deliver therapeutic methods. These include electrical stimulation, mechanical traction, ultrasound, massage, gait and balance training.
What are PTA’s?
Physical therapist assistants recording of a patient’s response to treatment and reporting the outcome of each treatment to a physical therapist. All physical therapist assistants earn an associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program. Most states require licensing for physical therapist assistants. The American Physical Therapy Association’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education accredits postsecondary physical therapy assistant programs.
Most states regulate physical therapist assistants through licensure, registration, or certification. Most states require physical therapist assistants to graduate from an accredited education program. They must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam. Some states may require physical therapy assistants to pass state exams. Many states also require continuing education credits for physical therapist assistants to maintain licensure.
In this paragraph, we will describe what an Occupational Therapist does. An Occupational Therapist is a health care worker who helps their patients through the therapeutic exercises and modalities. They also help patients to return to their normal activities of daily living. Common occupational therapy interventions include;
- Pediatric patients with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations
- Adult patients recovering from injury to improve function, strength and endurance
- Providing ADL training for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes
- Providing splints and other assistive devices
At JOI Rehab, our Occupational Therapists focus on the upper extremity rehab and splinting.
A Certified Hand Therapist is a PT or OT who passes a National Exam by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission. Finally, in order to take the exam they must have minimum of three years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy.
Certified Athletic Trainers
Athletic Trainers (ATC) help prevent and treat injuries for people of all ages. Their patients and clients include everyone from professional athletes to industrial workers. Recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professionals. In addition, Certified Athletic Trainers specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of muscle and bone injuries and illnesses.
Certified Athletic Trainers are usually one of the first healthcare providers on the scene when injuries occur. Therefore, they must be able to recognize, evaluate, and assess injuries and provide immediate care when needed. Athletic Trainers should not be confused with fitness trainers or personal trainers. ATC’s are licensed and classified as healthcare workers.
What do ATC’s Do?
Athletic trainers try to prevent injuries by educating people on how to reduce their risk for injuries. The also advise clients on the proper use of equipment and exercises to improve balance and strength. As well as provide home exercises and therapy programs. They also help apply protective or injury-preventive devices, such as tape, bandages, and braces.
Athletic trainers may work under the direction of a licensed physician, or in cooperation with other healthcare providers. A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement, but many athletic trainers have obtained a masters or doctoral degree. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is a requirement for almost all jobs as an athletic trainer.
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, almost 70 percent of athletic trainers have a masters degree or higher. Athletic trainers may need a master’s or higher degree to be eligible for some positions. Especially those in colleges and universities, and to increase their advancement opportunities.
Presently, 47 States require ATC’s to have a license or registration. This requires certification from the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). For BOC certification, athletic trainers need a bachelors or masters degree from an accredited athletic training program. They also must pass a rigorous examination. To retain certification, they must continue taking education courses and adhere to the BOC standards of practice.
In conclusion, I hope we were able to describe the various clinicians who work at JOI Rehab. Lastly, we are so proud of all of our clinicians who are dedicated to getting you well.