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PALS vs Physical Therapy Technician

PALS vs Physical Therapy Technician

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When it comes to the field of healthcare, there are many different career paths to choose from. Two options that often get confused are PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) and Physical Therapy Technician. While both careers involve providing care to patients, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore what PALS and Physical Therapy Technicians do, the differences between the two roles, and the education and training required for each. We will also discuss the career outlook and salary potential for both positions.

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What is a PALS and Physical Therapy Technician?

Before we dive into the differences between PALS and Physical Therapy Technicians, let's first define what each of these roles entails:

PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support):

  • PALS is a specialized certification that healthcare professionals can obtain to provide emergency care to pediatric patients.
  • PALS providers are trained to recognize and respond to respiratory distress, shock, and cardiac arrest in children.
  • PALS certification is typically required for healthcare professionals who work in pediatric hospitals, emergency departments, and intensive care units.

Physical Therapy Technician:

  • Physical Therapy Technicians work under the supervision of Physical Therapists to help patients recover from injuries or illnesses.
  • They assist with exercises, modalities, and other therapeutic interventions.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians work with a wide range of patients, including those recovering from surgery, athletes rehabilitating from sports injuries, and individuals with chronic conditions.

Difference between a PALS and Physical Therapy Technician

While both PALS and Physical Therapy Technicians play a role in providing care to patients, there are several key differences between the two roles:

Scope of Practice:

  • PALS providers focus specifically on emergency care for pediatric patients.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians have a broader scope of practice and assist with various aspects of patient care, including exercise programs, modalities, and patient education.

Setting:

  • PALS providers typically work in hospitals, emergency departments, and intensive care units.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.

Age Group:

  • PALS providers primarily care for pediatric patients, from infancy to adolescence.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians work with patients of all ages, from children to older adults.

Training and Certification:

  • PALS certification is obtained through a specialized training course that focuses on emergency care for pediatric patients.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians typically need to complete a vocational training program or an associate degree in physical therapy assisting.

PALS vs Physical Therapy Technician: Job Description

Now that we have a better understanding of what PALS and Physical Therapy Technicians do, let's take a closer look at the job descriptions for each role:

PALS Job Description:

  • Provide emergency care to pediatric patients, including recognizing and responding to respiratory distress, shock, and cardiac arrest.
  • Collaborate with a team of healthcare professionals to stabilize and treat pediatric patients in emergency situations.
  • Monitor vital signs and administer medications as needed.
  • Communicate with patients' families and provide emotional support during difficult times.

Physical Therapy Technician Job Description:

  • Assist Physical Therapists in implementing treatment plans for patients.
  • Help patients with exercises and therapeutic activities.
  • Set up and operate therapeutic equipment and modalities.
  • Document patients' progress and communicate with the Physical Therapist about any changes in patient condition.

PALS vs Physical Therapy Technician: Education and Training

The education and training requirements for PALS and Physical Therapy Technicians are quite different:

PALS Education and Training:

  • To become PALS certified, healthcare professionals must complete a PALS course, which typically lasts one to two days.
  • The course covers topics such as pediatric assessment, basic life support, and advanced airway management.
  • PALS certification must be renewed every two years.

Physical Therapy Technician Education and Training:

  • Physical Therapy Technicians typically need to complete a vocational training program or an associate degree in physical therapy assisting.
  • These programs typically take one to two years to complete.
  • Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, therapeutic exercises, and medical terminology.
  • Physical Therapy Technicians may also need to obtain state licensure or certification, depending on the state in which they practice.

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PALS vs Physical Therapy Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

When considering a career in either PALS or Physical Therapy Technician, it's important to understand the career outlook and salary potential for each role:

PALS Career Outlook and Salary:

  • The demand for healthcare professionals with PALS certification is expected to remain strong.
  • Job opportunities for PALS providers can be found in hospitals, emergency departments, and intensive care units.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, which includes PALS providers, was $35,400 in May 2020.

Physical Therapy Technician Career Outlook and Salary:

  • The demand for Physical Therapy Technicians is also expected to grow in the coming years.
  • Job opportunities can be found in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers.
  • The BLS reports that the median annual wage for physical therapist assistants, which includes Physical Therapy Technicians, was $59,770 in May 2020.

Final Thoughts

While both PALS and Physical Therapy Technician are rewarding careers in the healthcare field, they have distinct differences in terms of scope of practice, job responsibilities, and education requirements. PALS providers focus on emergency care for pediatric patients, while Physical Therapy Technicians assist with a wide range of patient care under the supervision of Physical Therapists. It's important to consider your interests, skills, and career goals when deciding which path is right for you. Whether you choose to become a PALS provider or pursue a career as a Physical Therapy Technician, both roles offer the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of patients.

Discover the widespread reach of Dreambound's programs in various locations. Delve into the content of these blogs to gain a thorough understanding of the intricacies surrounding the two vocations, covering everything from requirements to valuable tips on starting your endeavor:

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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