How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in New Hampshire – NH

New Hampshire is one of the most historic States in the Nation. In addition to being the site of America's Stonehenge, a 4,000 year-old megalithic structure, it is home to the first free public library in the United States. New Hampshire's history is enough to attract history buffs and anthropology fanatics, but the growing opportunity for Physical Therapist Assistants is also something to ponder. With senior citizens dominating 13 percent of its population and a large percentage of people nearing retirement (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/33000.html), New Hampshire will need people to help its growing senior population heal from trauma, ailments, and surgeries.

Steps to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant in New Hampshire

Since Physical Therapist Assistants work in close contact with patients, the State of New Hampshire requires that all PTAs be “of good moral character,” meaning that they have not committed any crimes relating to drugs, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, battery, theft, or anything that resembles those crimes.  This statute is in effect throughout an individual's career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Any evidence of violent crime can give the Office of Allied Health Professions and the admitting community college reason to deny an applicant.

Applicants should also be in good general health and current with their rubella, tuberculosis, varicella, mumps, measles, tetanus, and hepatitis b vaccinations. Most community colleges will require them to get a physical examination and start a vaccination schedule six months before they begin a Physical Therapist Assistant program.

Physical Therapist Assistants are required to have an Associate's degree, which means that they must also have a high school diploma or GED. Students should have a strong background in English, mathematics, communications, health, and psychology by the time they leave high school. They should also place heavy emphasis on human biology, and take every opportunity to learn about human anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology.

Students should choose New Hampshire physical therapy assistant training programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and the American Physical Therapy Association. These programs are a prerequisite for the National Physical Therapist Examination, which regulates entry into the profession.

Students seeking an education in New Hampshire should look elsewhere, since there are currently no accredited programs in the State. Any of New England's States can provide students with solid Associate's degree programs, creating well-rounded individuals who can provide patients with quality care as a result of their strong biology, physical therapy, and liberal arts education.

The National Physical Therapy Examination is one of the final steps to becoming a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in New Hampshire. The purpose of the exam is to measure an applicant's knowledge of the profession's core concepts, and determine whether they are ready to practice. Students should prepare for NPTE by reviewing all their anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, musculoskeletal pathology, orthotics, and therapeutic exercise materials. They should also refresh their memory of ethical issues that are relevant to the profession.

State licensure
Applicants must provide the State with a notarized criminal background check, official transcript from a CAPTE-accredited program, official NPTE test scores, an application, and an application fee. Official forms must be sent directly from the student's community college or technical school and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, which regulates the NPTE exam. Applicants must also show proof of continuing competency for a period of one year before they file.

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