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Old 12-10-2010, 05:20 PM
Location: Strasbourg, France
1,173 posts, read 2,716,640 times
Reputation: 766


Originally Posted by jlw3hd View Post
It sickens me to know that I worked as hard as I did to get my bachelors of science in nursing and I know several PTA's who only went to school for 2 years and are making more...Please expalin the reasoning behind this??? RN's have to do the PTA's job if they are not available and they have much more responsibility than PTA's... I know of a girl who flunked nursing school because she said it was "too difficult". She then decided on PTA school and said "PTA school compares nothing to RN school". She ended up making straight A's because she was use to the hard core studying and training that she was doing while in nursing school.....she now makes more money than me and I have a bachelor's....does this make any scence?
I think you answers can be found in the physicians reply above.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:21 PM
138 posts, read 234,299 times
Reputation: 91
I did not want to make a new thread but...

Can someone better explain to me the specific role of an OTA?

Can anyone recommend literature on better understand what an OTA and PTA do for a living?

Also can someone recommend literature on what you need to know as an OTA or PTA.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:44 PM
12,989 posts, read 11,999,945 times
Reputation: 11915
Assuming an OTA is an assistant for an occupational therapist, I am not sure how that would work. Good Occupational therapists are worth their weight in gold, especially if they have additional training in sensory processing disorder. My grandson OT is simply the best therapist he has ever had and he has had other OTs who were also excellent. None of our OTs had assistants working under them though, they worked directly with the patients.

Here's a website with information on OTAs

Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA)

The same is probably true for Physical Therapists.

The same website has info for PTAs too
Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Jobs / Career Information
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:05 PM
48 posts, read 76,646 times
Reputation: 90
I'm a speech path and have worked with all three professions you mention. All are pretty good careers IMHO. I'd go with the one you feel is the best fit for you, considering the training time, expense and what you enjoy doing. I agree with the doctor who mentioned that PT is a physically demanding job. I've known PTs and PTAs who had physical problems themselves by their 40s and 50s due to the jobs so mabey COTA would be an option to consider. I'm not sure that nursing still is in as much demand as it was a few years ago. Hope you find the best fit!
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:24 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
75,588 posts, read 78,229,287 times
Reputation: 24039
Nursing is also a very physically demanding job. You are on your feet almost all day long. I don't know how the hospital nurses work those 12 hour shifts. In hospital nursing, everything is the nurses' job. By that I mean, the nurse is the one to clean up the messes, start the IVs, track down missing food trays, and a lot of other things that the PT/OT can just say "I'll get a nurse to help you" when the patient complains.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:26 PM
Location: Exeter, NH
4,738 posts, read 3,119,953 times
Reputation: 4460
PT used to be a good career, but it isn't anymore. More assembly-line care with minimal staff, to make big profits for the company. Nursing is getting worse too, but probably hasn't been ruined as much.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:10 AM
72 posts, read 164,433 times
Reputation: 33
Hi! I am a physical therapist and LOVE my job. I work in an outpatient clinic. There are a lot of different settings to work in: hospital, SNF, neuro rehab, pediatric clinic, in schools, outpatient ortho, outpatient women's health, outpatient workers comp, workers comp inside companies, etc, etc. PT school is very competitive. I know a couple of people who went to medical school after not being accepted to PT school. We get to spend more time with patients as opposed to physicians. It is a very rewarding job. Yes, working in a hospital, SNF, or rehab setting can be very physically demanding. Don't want that? Then work in a clinic or school. PTA is also a good option. Much less competitive and of course faster - but less pay and you will be assisting someone.
I would not want to be an RN, just my opinion.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:19 PM
159 posts, read 215,507 times
Reputation: 233
I am currently an MOT student and so far I love it! I've always wanted to do rehab/therapy and feel that OT is my calling. I would definitely look into OT as an alternative. It's not as physically demanding as PT, but you will work very closely with them and SLP. Also most MOT programs are about 2-3 years long, including fieldwork. If you have a bachelor's, I'd pass on PTA or OTA, same time frame, more work, and less pay than PT and OT.

Good luck with whatever you do!
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:00 AM
Location: Lexington Ky
891 posts, read 2,363,685 times
Reputation: 485
Our community college offers a 2 year AA RN degree. All of the credits transfer to the university BSN program. This way you have the option to work part time at a good salary while finishing up the higher degree.
A friend of mine graduated with her AA RN last year and started out at $32 per hour in a hospital OR. She doesn't want to go into management so she has decided to not puruse her BSN. She says the salary difference in most hospital positions is not significant between a 2 year or a 4 year RN degree.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:43 PM
1 posts, read 3,005 times
Reputation: 11
I am in the same boat as Merlot. As much as I want to be a PTA, I am starting to think that the RN has the career advantage. The observation hours that I have completed have opened my eyes to exactly what AZRIVERFAN pointed out. Therefore, I can't see myself lifting a 300lb amputee when I am 50. I have met RN's who got hired RIGHT AWAY by pharmaceutical companies as sales reps; and making around 150k and up. Insurance companies hire RN"s to work as case managers. Which shows that RN's aren't limited to a clinical setting. All PTA's that I have met have brought up there fear of being sued. My PTA friends have also told me that they are starting to see co-workers being laid off, even people working PRN. A PTA friend has also told me that the Director of a PTA department at a college in that I currently attend (at age 44), that only 1 of their student from the last graduating class has found a job (I really don't get that). Thank you, because these forums have helped me see things from a different perspective. You may want to check out ONETonline.org, which is a Gov't website with career outlooks, projected job openings and pay scales in your state. As for me, at my age, I had better get it right this time.
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