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Thread: 68W - Physical Therapy track

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    Default 68W - Physical Therapy track

    I'm scheduled to go to basic training on 12/29 and would like to know a few things before shipping out so I can either get a discharge or go for the 4 year commitment.

    I've joined as 68W - Health Care Specialist. I'm coming in as an E-4. My main objective is to work in a clinical setting involved in physical therapy. Army apparently has 4 levels of training for physical therapy.
    1. Is this training recognized in the civilian world for job qualification?
    2. Does a 68W who does not want to be a combat medic and only wants to work with physical therapy still at risk for being assigned to be a combat medic?
    3. What control do I have over whether or not the physician's assistant at my assigned unit will approve my training in physical therapy?
    4. What if I am assigned to a unit where physical therapy is irrelevant to its operations?
    5. Does the army have physical therapy in war zones (Iraq/Afghanistan) or only in the states?

    I would greatly appreciate any help getting these questions answered. I've tried researching and there is no information that answers these, but I need to know the answers before committing 4 years of my life.
    Thanks very much.

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    Senior Member daddytattooed's Avatar
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    you should have done this research before signning other its been a huge waste of your recruiters time if you back out, but anyways...if you read your contract it more than a four year enlistment i'm sure, more like 4 active and 4 inactive for a total of 8 (most likely). i'm 68W and i go to ft. Lwood the same day as you.

    1.68w is basically an EMT-B or basic level EMT that can be hired by private ambulance services, hospitals, or fire depts.

    2. 68W that doesnt want to be a combat medic? thats kind of an oxymoron, if your 68W you ARE a combat medic first and formost, you can be assined an ASI (additional skill identifier) but your still a medic first and someone will need to add to this but i'm pretty sure you cant get the ASI added your first few years.

    3.you cant, but no one can stop you from going to school for whatever while your enlisted. you may not be sent to the coarse for the ASI but you can take all the classes you want on Phys. Therp. for when you get out of the ARMY.

    4. then you wont be practicing physical therapy until its needed. everything is based on the needs of the army, you go where they want you when they want you there for the most part and in some instances i'm sure you might need to do something that isnt even medic related. its an ARMY of one (as a whole-not for the interest of every indavidual)

    5.have no idea, i wouldnt think so cuz if someone is in need of it they wouldnt be usefull in a war zone so they would be sent somewhere else for treatment.

    remember, you only get out of the army what you put in and that means you deal with the bad to get the good in the end. not everything in the army is going to be what you plan, but for me and most who join, the benifits greatly outnumber the cons.

    like i stated i'm still a future soldier waiting on my ship date to basic so dont take what i said to heart but i think its prety close to the truth if you dont get any other replies, if something i said is flat out wrong it will likely be correct shortly. hang in there and good luck
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways totally worn out and screaming" Hooah - "What a Ride!" - Mavis Leyrer

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    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    68W=Healthcare SPC=Combat Medic...period...you can do other stuff and once you specialize in that area then thats what you do, but you are a 68W to begin with...

  • #4
    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    If you've got a ship date then you've already signed your contract and made your commitment. Congratulations on joining with rank - you must have a degree. There are very few Physical Therapy assistants in the Army - they are 68W with the additional skill identifier of N3 - Occupational Therapy Assistant. They work with Occupational Therapists in major medical centers. This is an extremely specialized area; there are only 100 OTA 68Ws Army wide. So your chances of getting this specialty are extremely slim - but I'll answer your questions as you have asked them.
    Quote Originally Posted by hanniwl View Post
    Army apparently has 4 levels of training for physical therapy.
    1. Is this training recognized in the civilian world for job qualification?
    The Army's Occupational Therapy Assistant course results in the award of the COTA certification - Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, as follows -
    (The) 303-N3 course is a certificate-granting program accredited by the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). This accreditation allows all students who successfully complete the program to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination.
    2. Does a 68W who does not want to be a combat medic and only wants to work with physical therapy still at risk for being assigned to be a combat medic?
    Any 68W Soldier may be assigned to any 68W slot, subject to restrictions placed by gender or security clearance requirements.
    3. What control do I have over whether or not the physician's assistant at my assigned unit will approve my training in physical therapy?
    None. You can make your interest known and do the best job you can - and that's it.
    4. What if I am assigned to a unit where physical therapy is irrelevant to its operations?
    If you are selected to become a COTA, you will most likely be utilized in accordance with that ASI. That said, you go wherever the Army sends you.
    5. Does the army have physical therapy in war zones (Iraq/Afghanistan) or only in the states?
    Usually no. COTAs most often work in major medical centers.

    I would greatly appreciate any help getting these questions answered. I've tried researching and there is no information that answers these, but I need to know the answers before committing 4 years of my life.
    Thanks very much.
    You are welcome. Websites you'll want to check out include the Army Occupational Therapy page at https://amsc.amedd.army.mil/ot.html and the Occupational Therapy Specialty Branch page at https://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/dms/OT...nformation.htm

    Good luck!

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    Default Thank you

    Thank you to daddytattooed, MPclk2006 and Grunt Medic TXARNG!

    The information was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for taking the time to help me.

  • #6
    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
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    Man its good to have grunt medic back...we used to be at US-Army-Info but that got shut down somehow

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    I also do want to go in the US army as a physical therapist but im in the middle of my degree is there any one who can guide me some good thing some good suggestions so that it will be easy for me join the army as a physical therapist.......

  • #8
    Senior Member Grunt Medic TXARNG's Avatar
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    Yes. I see the links I posted above last year are no longer current - to view information on the Army Medical Specialist Corps go to http://www.amsc.amedd.army.mil/
    To view information on the US Army-Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy along with a point of contact there go to http://www.baylor.edu/graduate/pt/splash.php
    A great 2-page document on Occupational Therapy in the US Army along with contacts is at http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/prr/ots_in_the_us_army.pdf
    Also check out the Army Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division page at http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/prr/index.html


    Most occupational therapists who provide care to Soldiers do so as civilian contractors at the major medical centers - the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC, formerly BAMC, or Brooke Army Medical Center), the New Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, major VA hospitals, and similar. To find out about opportunities to be commissioned as an officer in the Medical Specialist Corps, contact an AMEDD recruiter - go to the 'locate a recruiter' webpage at http://www.goarmy.com/locate-a-recruiter.html and select 'AMEDD Recruiter', Active or Reserve and enter your Zip code, and you can get information to contact the nearest AMEDD recruiter who can further direct and advise you.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Grunt Medic TXARNG; 10-14-2011 at 07:38 AM.
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  • #9
    Senior Member KTK1029's Avatar
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    My father being a former PA this is quite the annoyance to most PA's. It's Physician Assistant, not Physician's Assistant.

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