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Medication Aide vs Physical Therapy Technician

Medication Aide vs Physical Therapy Technician

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Key Points:

  • Medication Aides help patients with their medications; Physical Therapy Technicians assist physical therapists in providing treatment.
  • Medication Aides typically earn less than Physical Therapy Technicians.
  • Both jobs are in demand.
  • Medication Aides can often complete their training online, while Physical Therapy Technicians usually require in-person training.
  • Medication Aide training is generally less expensive and shorter than for Physical Therapy Technicians.

Before diving into the specifics, it is important to understand the roles of a Medication Aide and a Physical Therapy Technician. While both professions are in the healthcare industry, their job responsibilities and areas of expertise differ. Let's take a closer look at each profession.

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What is a Medication Aide and Physical Therapy Technician?

A Medication Aide, also known as a Medication Technician or Medication Assistant, is a healthcare professional who assists nurses with medication administration. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse and are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the correct medications at the right time. Medication Aides may work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

On the other hand, a Physical Therapy Technician, also known as a Physical Therapist Assistant, is a healthcare professional who works closely with physical therapists to help patients recover from injuries or illnesses. They assist in implementing treatment plans, monitoring patients' progress, and providing hands-on therapy interventions. Physical Therapy Technicians typically work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or outpatient clinics.

Difference between a Medication Aide and Physical Therapy Technician

While both Medication Aides and Physical Therapy Technicians work in the healthcare field, there are significant differences between their roles and responsibilities. Here are some key distinctions:

Medication Aide:

  • Administers medications to patients as prescribed by healthcare providers.
  • Monitors patients for any adverse reactions or side effects.
  • Assists with documentation and record-keeping related to medication administration.
  • Provides emotional support and companionship to patients.
  • Works closely with nurses to ensure patient safety and well-being.

Physical Therapy Technician:

  • Assists physical therapists in implementing treatment plans.
  • Provides hands-on therapy interventions, such as applying heat or cold packs, assisting with exercises, and teaching patients how to use assistive devices.
  • Monitors patients' progress and reports any changes to the physical therapist.
  • Educates patients and their families on proper techniques for exercises and activities.
  • Assists with documentation and record-keeping related to patient care.

Medication Aide vs Physical Therapy Technician: Job Description

The job descriptions of Medication Aides and Physical Therapy Technicians highlight their specific roles and responsibilities in the healthcare field. Here is a closer look at what each profession entails:

Medication Aide: Medication Aides play a crucial role in ensuring that patients receive their medications accurately and on time. Their job responsibilities include:

  • Administering medications to patients according to prescribed dosages and schedules.
  • Observing and monitoring patients for any adverse reactions or side effects.
  • Assisting with documentation and record-keeping related to medication administration.
  • Providing emotional support and companionship to patients.
  • Collaborating with nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety and well-being.

Physical Therapy Technician: Physical Therapy Technicians work closely with physical therapists to provide hands-on care to patients. Their job responsibilities include:

  • Assisting in implementing treatment plans developed by physical therapists.
  • Providing hands-on therapy interventions, such as applying heat or cold packs, assisting with exercises, and teaching patients how to use assistive devices.
  • Monitoring patients' progress and reporting any changes or concerns to the physical therapist.
  • Educating patients and their families on proper techniques for exercises and activities.
  • Assisting with documentation and record-keeping related to patient care.

Medication Aide vs Physical Therapy Technician: Education and Training

The educational requirements for becoming a Medication Aide and a Physical Therapy Technician differ. Here's what you need to know:

Medication Aide: To become a Medication Aide, individuals typically need to complete a state-approved medication aide training program. The length of these programs can vary but is often around 40 to 80 hours. After completing the training program, prospective Medication Aides must pass a competency exam to become certified. Some states may also require additional training or certification, such as CPR certification.

Physical Therapy Technician: Becoming a Physical Therapy Technician usually requires completion of an associate degree program in physical therapy assisting. These programs typically take around two years to complete and include both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience. After graduating from an accredited program, individuals must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam for Physical Therapist Assistants to become licensed.

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Medication Aide vs Physical Therapy Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

The career outlook and salary potential for Medication Aides and Physical Therapy Technicians can vary. Here's a look at the current trends in these professions:

Medication Aide: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of medication aides is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for medication aides is expected to increase as the elderly population continues to grow. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for medication aides was $30,720.

Physical Therapy Technician: The BLS projects that the employment of physical therapist assistants will grow 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for physical therapy services, particularly among the aging population. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for physical therapist assistants was $59,770.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare field can be both rewarding and fulfilling. Whether you decide to become a Medication Aide or a Physical Therapy Technician, you will play a valuable role in helping patients receive the care they need. Consider your interests, skills, and educational preferences when making your decision, and remember that continuing education and professional development opportunities are available in both professions to help you advance your career.

Dreambound offers programs in multiple locations. For in-depth information on the intricacies of these two vocations, their prerequisites, and steps to join, explore the following blogs:

Blessed Joy Amarga
Written by
Blessed Joy Amarga

Blessed Joy Amarga is part of the Growth and Sales teams at Dreambound. She helps bring in new leads, increasing the number of people at the top of the sales funnel, and supporting the team in creating graphics to boost social media engagement. Blessed is also a Licensed Architect. Outside work, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places for her vlog.

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