Dreambound
Blog

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN/LPN) license

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Physical Therapy Technician

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Physical Therapy Technician

Want personalized recommendations?

Let's match you to the right program

Talk to Skipper
coach

Key Points:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care; Physical Therapy Technicians (PTTs) assist physical therapists in providing treatment and rehabilitation.
  • LVNs typically earn higher salaries than PTTs, with the average pay for LVNs being higher than the average pay for PTTs.
  • The demand for both LVNs and PTTs is expected to grow.
  • LVNs require more extensive training, usually a 1-year certificate or diploma program, while PTTs may only need a few months of on-the-job training or a certificate program.
  • LVN training programs tend to be more expensive and take longer to complete compared to PTT training.

In the field of healthcare, there are various roles and positions that play a crucial role in providing quality care to patients. Two such positions are Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and Physical Therapy Technician. While both of these roles are important, they have distinct differences in terms of job responsibilities, education requirements, and career outlook. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and a Physical Therapy Technician, as well as provide an overview of their job descriptions, education and training requirements, and career outlook.

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

What is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Physical Therapy Technician?

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN):

A Licensed Vocational Nurse, also known as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in some states, is a healthcare professional who provides basic nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. They work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics, and are responsible for monitoring patients' vital signs, administering medications, and assisting with daily activities, such as bathing and dressing. LVNs also provide emotional support and education to patients and their families.

Physical Therapy Technician:

A Physical Therapy Technician is a healthcare professional who assists physical therapists in providing rehabilitative services to patients. They work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private clinics, and are responsible for helping patients perform exercises and activities under the guidance of a physical therapist. Physical Therapy Technicians also assist with setting up equipment, preparing treatment areas, and documenting patient progress.

Difference between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Physical Therapy Technician

While both Licensed Vocational Nurses and Physical Therapy Technicians work in the healthcare industry and have the common goal of helping patients, there are several key differences between these two roles:

  1. Scope of Practice: Licensed Vocational Nurses have a wider scope of practice compared to Physical Therapy Technicians. LVNs are trained to provide basic nursing care, administer medications, and assist with medical procedures, while Physical Therapy Technicians primarily assist physical therapists in providing rehabilitative services.

  2. Supervision: Licensed Vocational Nurses work under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians, while Physical Therapy Technicians work under the supervision of physical therapists. LVNs have more autonomy in their practice compared to Physical Therapy Technicians.

  3. Patient Population: Licensed Vocational Nurses work with a diverse patient population, including individuals of all ages and with various medical conditions. Physical Therapy Technicians primarily work with patients who require physical rehabilitation, such as those recovering from injuries or surgeries.

  4. Job Responsibilities: Licensed Vocational Nurses are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including administering medications, monitoring patients' health, and providing emotional support. Physical Therapy Technicians primarily assist with therapy sessions, set up equipment, and document patient progress.

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Physical Therapy Technician: Job Description

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Job Description:

  • Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by healthcare providers.
  • Monitor patients' vital signs and report any changes to the supervising nurse or physician.
  • Assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement patient care plans.
  • Provide emotional support and education to patients and their families.
  • Document patient information and maintain accurate medical records.

Physical Therapy Technician Job Description:

  • Assist physical therapists in implementing treatment plans for patients.
  • Set up equipment and prepare treatment areas for therapy sessions.
  • Instruct and assist patients in performing exercises and activities.
  • Monitor patients' progress during therapy sessions and report any changes to the physical therapist.
  • Document patient progress and maintain accurate records.
  • Clean and maintain therapy equipment.

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Physical Therapy Technician: Education and Training

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Education and Training:

  • Complete a state-approved vocational nursing program, which typically takes about one year to complete.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed.
  • Some states may require additional certifications or continuing education to maintain licensure.
  • LVNs may also choose to pursue further education and become Registered Nurses (RNs) by completing an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in nursing.

Physical Therapy Technician Education and Training:

  • Complete a physical therapy technician program, which can range from several months to one year in duration.
  • Some programs may require a high school diploma or equivalent for admission.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians may also choose to pursue additional certifications, such as becoming a Certified Physical Therapy Technician (CPTT), to enhance their job prospects.

Get courses selected just for you

Try our powerful search engine

Try it now

Article continues after recommendations

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Physical Therapy Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Career Outlook and Salary:

  • The career outlook for Licensed Vocational Nurses is promising, with a projected job growth of 9% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The median annual wage for LVNs was $48,820 in May 2020.
  • Employment opportunities for LVNs can be found in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare agencies.

Physical Therapy Technician Career Outlook and Salary:

  • The career outlook for Physical Therapy Technicians is also promising, with a projected job growth of 33% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The median annual wage for Physical Therapy Technicians was $27,520 in May 2020.
  • Employment opportunities for Physical Therapy Technicians can be found in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private clinics.

Final Thoughts

Licensed Vocational Nursing and Physical Therapy Technician are both rewarding career paths in the healthcare industry. While both roles involve providing care and support to patients, they have distinct differences in terms of job responsibilities, education requirements, and career outlook. Understanding these differences can help individuals make an informed decision about which career path aligns with their interests and goals. Whether you choose to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse or a Physical Therapy Technician, both roles offer opportunities to make a positive impact in the lives of patients and contribute to the healthcare field.

Dreambound ensures accessibility to its educational programs by offering them in diverse locations. For a detailed exploration of the exciting opportunities within these two vocations, we encourage you to visit:

Marce Arnejo
Written by
Marce Arnejo

Marce Arnejo is part of the Sales team at Dreambound. Her role involves seeking out schools and institutions to provide valuable opportunities for students seeking a career in the healthcare sector. Beyond her professional life, Marce is passionate about music and gaming. She finds joy in exploring various genres of music and using gaming to unwind and immerse herself in virtual worlds. Her diverse interests enrich her personal life and contribute to her work by bringing new ideas and creativity.

Share this post: