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From PTA to PA?

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Hi all,



I'm currently a practicing PTA working in a SNF as well as a Joint replacement center at a hospital and am planning on going back to school very soon. I am in a bit of a dilemma trying to figure out whether I should go to PA or PT school. I have been unable to make up my mind for about a year now, so decided I would turn to this forum for some feedback from you professionals out there in the field. I am trying to weigh the differences of each profession. One of the cons of the PT field is the heavy lifting. I don't want to be providing PT at the age of 50 when i'll be needing it myself. After having been in the field for about two years I have noticed it is quite taxing on the body to be moving 200-300 lb pt's to move them in and out of bed and get them through their PT sessions. I would like to hear from you PA's out there about your opinion of what you like and dislike about your job. I would also like to know a little about starting salary, benefits, hours, caseload, flexibility and what kind of setting you practice in. Lastly, I would like to know what type of bachelors degree you used to gain acceptance in to your program as well as any extra curricular activities you did to make you a stronger candidate for the application process. Any feedback will be much appreciated.






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shadow both, the jobs are very different. PAs are medical providers like docs and see a full range of pathology, perform exams, order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, etc while PTs focus on musculoskelatal issues.

there were several PTAs in my pa class and they all did very well. most ended up going into ortho after graduation.

look around at various threads here on the forum to get a general idea of what is going on with the profession.

starting salaries for PAs and PTs overlap but the higher end PA salaries are higher than most PTs who don't own their own practice. a typical pa 1 year out of school makes around 90k. em/ortho/surgical/derm pa's can make significantly more with experience.

I work in emergency medicine and work 11, 12, and 24 hour shifts. shorter shifts are available elsewhere but I prefer smaller/rural facilities where I can call all the shots as a solo provider. I get a full benefits package with retirement, etc and make a good salary well over 100k/yr.

my pre-pa education was in medical anthropology(bachelors level) and my prior HCE was as an er tech and paramedic.

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