How To Pass the Physical Therapy Tech Certification Exam - MedCerts

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How To Pass the Physical Therapy Technician Certification Exam

Sometimes icing down an injury at home isn't enough—and that's where physical therapy comes in to save the day. Physical therapy technicians and aides (oftentimes referred to as ‘PTs’ or ‘PT techs’) work alongside other healthcare professionals to help patients relieve pain and improve mobility.

The career outlook for PT techs is promising—we're talking about a projected job growth of up to 29% by 2026, with a whopping 38,800 clinics and healthcare settings all across America offering these services. And with the baby boomer generation entering retirement age, the demand for physical therapy techs in the healthcare industry will likely skyrocket.

If you're ready to transition to a career as a physical therapy tech and make a real difference in peoples’ lives, here's what you need to know to get your Physical Therapy Technician Certification (PTTC) credentials.

    What Is A Physical Therapy Technician/Aide?

    Physical therapy technicians and physical therapist aides help ensure that patients receive necessary care and assistance after accidents, major surgeries, or minor procedures. Their primary responsibilities revolve around preparing the patient, therapy equipment, and the treatment area for physical therapeutic exercise sessions.

    PT technicians may also play a pivotal role in tasks, such as:

    • Evaluating patients' conditions

    • Taking medical histories

    • Assisting with patient intake

    • Organizing treatment schedules

    • Coordinating patient transfers

    • Maintaining comprehensive records for tracking patient progress

    • Administrative support & clerical duties

    • Managing supply orders

    • Participating in training sessions & therapeutic interventions

    Who Needs A Physical Therapy Technician Certification?

    A physical therapy technician certification is highly recommended if you aspire to pursue a career in physical therapy, sports medicine, or rehabilitation. It serves as an ideal pathway for pre-health students and professionals hoping to eventually become physical therapists or physical therapist assistants.

    Completing a PTTC certification program and earning your credentials helps you demonstrate your commitment to quality care and enables you to stand out as a qualified candidate in the field. Employers prefer candidates who hold certification when hiring in clinical settings, such as physical therapy offices.

    Steps To Earn Your Physical Therapy Technician Certification

    To earn your PTTC certification, you must first meet the prerequisites and then pass the physical therapy technician certification exam.

    Meet the prerequisite requirements

    The American Medical Certification Association (AMCA) is the issuing authority that sets the standards for the PTTC. Their only physical therapy technician education requirements are that you must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Candidates must be 18 years of age or older.

    Prepare for the PTTC exam

    ​​The PTTC exam evaluates a candidate's understanding of key concepts and principles. The PTTC exam lasts 2 hours and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

    To succeed on the exam, you'll need to know everything from the anatomy of the human body and therapeutic techniques to medical terms and specimen collection techniques.

    Here's a quick overview of each domain and some topics covered. You can find a complete PTTC exam blueprint here.

    Anatomy and Physiology (12%)

    • Describing the basic functions of each of the main body systems.

    Patient Care/Administrative (26%)

    • Charting

    • Demonstrating knowledge of vital signs

    • Demonstrating knowledge of proper wound care

    • Demonstrating knowledge of First Aid

    • Demonstrating knowledge of CPR

    Medical Law and Ethics (12%)

    • Maintaining confidentiality of privileged information on individuals

    • Valued diversity in the workplace

    • Interacting appropriately and professionally with other individuals

    • Discussing the major points of the Patient's Bill of Rights

    • Modeling professional appearance and appropriate behavior

    OSHA/Infection Control (4%)

    • Identifying policies and procedures for maintaining laboratory safety

    • Identifying the modes of transmission and methods of prevention

    • Identifying and properly labeling biohazard specimens

    • Defining and discussing the term nosocomial infections

    • Complying with regulations regarding safety practices

    Patient Prep/Positioning (8%)

    • Describing different body positioning

    • Defining the steps of patient preparation

    • Defining the different steps of patient examination

    Therapeutic Modalities (22%)

    • Demonstrate knowledge of proper use of heat in treatment

    • Cryotherapy

    • Demonstrate knowledge of proper use of crutches

    • Demonstrate knowledge of proper use of walkers

    • Demonstrate knowledge of proper use of parallel bars

    Medical Terminology (16%)

    • Medical prefixes

    • Medical suffixes

    • Root words

    • Cardiac and circulatory terminology

    Register for the PTTC exam

    To register for the PTTC (Physical Therapy Training and Certification) exam, you will need to visit the AMCA (American Medical Certification Association) website. There, you can create an account and access the registration process.

    The exam is available in both online and paper/pencil modalities, so you have the flexibility to choose the format that suits you best.

    As of September 1st, 2023, the cost of the exam is $119.00. However, MedCerts students don't have to pay the fee, as it's included in the price of tuition.

    Pass the PTTC exam

    Passing the exam and earning your certification validates your knowledge and skills and enhances your professional credibility and employability.

    It serves as a recognized credential that demonstrates your commitment to providing quality care and your readiness to assist physical therapists in delivering effective rehabilitation and treatment to patients.

    The PTTC exam has a 63% pass rate. So if you hope to succeed on your first try, it's recommended that you complete an accredited preparatory course.

    Prep With MedCerts: Online Physical Therapy Tech Courses

    The best part of these courses is that they require no prior experience or associate's degree, thus making them accessible to anyone. Upon completion of MedCerts' Physical Therapy Technician program, graduates will be fully equipped to tackle the Physical Therapy Technician/Aide Certification (PTTC) exam.

    They will also be prepared to take the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam, sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association. These comprehensive courses ensure that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in both the clinical and administrative aspects of the physical therapy field.

    Skills Gained

    In MedCerts’ program, you'll gain a comprehensive skill set that is crucial for success as a physical therapy technician, which includes:

    • Basic human anatomy and medical terminology

    • Healthcare regulations and laws, including HIPAA/HITECH, OSHA, CMS

    • Diagnosis and procedure codes, as well as Electronic Health Records (EHR) and related Practice Management systems

    • Best practices for maintaining a safe and sterile environment

    Program requirements

    To enroll in the certified physical therapy technician program, you will need to meet the following requirements, which include having:

    • Attained a high school diploma or its equivalent

    • Access to a reliable web browser and a stable internet connection

    • Completed the registration process and payment

    • Suitable psychomotor skills, hand-eye coordination, and finger agility

    • The ability to stand for extended periods

    Flexible, convenient virtual learning experience

    MedCerts offers on-demand, virtual learning. Accessible 24/7 through student portals, you can study and progress at your own pace. Enjoy the convenience of learning whenever and wherever it suits you best.

    PT Tech Salary & Career Pathways

    The field offers promising opportunities and competitive physical therapy tech pay, allowing you to build a rewarding and financially stable career.

    Physical therapy assistant salary: $49,000 - $60,000

    Physical therapy assistants are valuable members of the healthcare team who support physical therapists in helping patients improve their range of motion and manage pain. They assist patients in learning exercises and teach them how to use therapeutic equipment. Physical therapy assistants work in the office of a physical therapist or healthcare facilities.

    Physical therapy aide salary: $27,000 - $46,000

    Physical therapy aides are essential members of physical therapy support teams. As allied professionals, they assist physical therapists and technicians in aiding patients with disabling injuries or conditions. Their responsibilities include setting up treatment areas and equipment, performing clerical tasks, and assisting with patient movement.

    Rehabilitation aide salary: $30,000 - $45,000

    Rehabilitation aides are vital in assisting physical therapists and ensuring patients receive the best therapy experience. Their primary responsibilities include preparing and maintaining the work area and ensuring that equipment is clean and disinfected after each use in preparation for the next patient.

    Enroll Today: Online Physical Therapy Technician Certification Course

    Designed to provide you with all the knowledge and skills you need to succeed, our 18-week program will prepare you to achieve your PTTC (Physical Therapy Technician Certification).

    Take the first step towards a rewarding career as a Physical Therapy Technician by enrolling today in our comprehensive online PTCC certification course.

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    Published on July 12, 2023