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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Physical Therapy Jobs Among Healthcare's Most Wanted

BOCA RATON, FL--(Marketwire - August 5, 2008) - With Money Magazine ranking physical therapy jobs (PT jobs) number 12 on their list of "Best Jobs in America" and Parade reporting PT jobs as among the six "Hottest Jobs for College Graduates," it's clear that physical therapy is one of the fastest growing occupations in healthcare. The reasons are many, say industry execs, with job satisfaction and high pay topping the list.

"The median salary for a staff physical therapy job is about $66,000," said Mary Kay Hull, recruitment VP for American Traveler. "But earnings for travel PT jobs can be as high as $100,000, and include free private housing and free first day health insurance."

A need projected to grow by 27 percent over the next five years according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Physical Therapy is a fast expanding practice, with sub-specialties branching out into sports medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics, orthopedics, neurology and cardiopulmonary physical therapy.

"Aging Baby Boomers with the need for rehabilitation from heart attack and stroke will continue to fuel the need for physical therapy travel jobs as will advanced medical technologies aimed at improving quality of life for newborns and the elderly," said 50 States Staffing Clinical Credentialing Manager, Deb Bacurin, RN.

Also throwing wood on the proverbial PT job fire are government mandates, such as the lifting of Medicare therapy caps and the classifying of the PT occupation as an "area of national need," a status by which Physical Therapists can apply for student loan forgiveness.

"Physical therapy travel jobs in California, Florida and Arizona have upshot," said marketing director Denis Urbanski at American Traveler, adding that PT job salaries have increased by as much as 17 percent.

Two decades of bad ergonomics sitting at computers at work and at home has resulted in an endless stream of clients in need of Physical Therapy treatment for neck and back pain. Medical advancements in the area of trauma will lead to therapy for survivors and the treatment of disabling conditions once untreatable in the past. PTs are needed to help babies with birth defects survive and are vital to the livelihood of the elderly.

"Physical therapy travel jobs are hot right now and will be for some time," said Urbanski. "High demand states such as California, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina have posted thousands of physical therapy jobs, all with high pay and at top-ranked facilities focused on positive outcomes."

For more information regarding physical therapy travel jobs with American Traveler call 800-884-8788 or apply online today.

About American Traveler:

From world-renowned university teaching hospitals to rural medical facilities, The Joint Commission certified American Traveler specializes in short-term, per diem, and permanent positions for RNs, Physical Therapists, RTs, STs, and other allied health professionals.

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/American-Traveler-886063.html

House Panel Approves Bill to Provide More Foreign Physical Therapists

Yesterday, the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law approved legislation that would raise the cap on employment-based visas for qualified, foreign educated registered nurses and physical therapists by 20,000. The legislation, H.R. 5924, was introduced by Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL) and James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) in response to the nation’s persistent nursing shortage.

Specifically, The Emergency Nurse Supply Relief Act addresses the unavailability of employment-based visas (EB-3 visas) for nurses by providing a three-year exemption from the current employment-based visa cap. It loosens that cap, replacing it with a separate annual cap of 20,000 registered nurses (RNs) and physician assistants (PTs), allowing for 60,000 RNs and PTs to come to the United States over the next three years.

The legislation would also authorize a grant program for nursing schools aimed at increasing the number of domestically trained nurses and for current nurses who wish to pursue a graduate degree in nursing.

The full committee is expected to take up the HANYS-supported legislation in September. - Susan Van Meter

http://www.hanys.org/news/index.cfm?storyid=466

Friday, July 25, 2008

#1: Your Employer is NOT H-1B quota exempt, BUT, your Employment is "AT" an H-1B Exempt Institution (a “third party petitioner")

Related topics:

The USCIS has interpreted the regulations to deem an H-1B nonimmigrant "quota exempt" who works "at" a quota exempt institution, even if he or she works for a non-exempt employer, under certain circumstances, as discussed in this article. Normally, in order to be deemed quota exempt, an H-1B nonimmigrant would have to actually work for an exempt employer, such as "Institution of Higher Education", e.g., a College or University, or a company which is affiliated or related to an "Institution of Higher Education", or a Nonprofit Research Organization or Government Research Organization.

However, under this interpretation, the USCIS has decided to deem even H-1B workers who are employed by non-exempt employers, such as for-profit companies, to be exempt, provided that they work "at" an exempt institution, and meet other conditions. It is important to note that these are complex cases, and experienced legal counsel should be retained to prepare these cases. However, this article will review some of the key concepts.

This USCIS policy is set forth in a Memorandum (Guidance Regarding Eligibility for Exemption from the H-1B Cap Based on §103 of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000, by Michael Aytes, Associate Director for Domestic Operations, USCIS), as follows:

Commonly, qualifying institutions petition on behalf of current or prospective H-1B employees and claim this exemption. In certain instances, petitioners that are not themselves a qualifying institution also claim this exemption because the alien beneficiary will perform all or a portion of the job duties “at” a qualifying institution. For purposes of this memorandum, such petitioners are referred to as “third party petitioners.” A third party petitioner is one who petitions on behalf of an H-1B worker who will work “at” a qualifying institution, but where the alien is or will be employed by the third party petitioner, not the qualifying institution. These types of cases should be adjudicated based on the guidance provided below.

Congress deemed certain institutions worthy of an H-1B cap exemption because of the direct benefits they provide to the United States. Congressional intent was to exempt from the H-1B cap certain alien workers who could provide direct contributions to the United States through their work on behalf of institutions of higher education and related nonprofit entities, or nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations. In effect, this statutory measure ensures that qualifying institutions have access to a continuous supply of H-1B workers without numerical limitation.

USCIS recognizes that Congress chose to exempt from the numerical limitations in section 214(g)(1) aliens who are employed “at” a qualifying institution, which is a broader category than aliens employed “by” a qualifying institution. This broader category may allow certain aliens who are not employed directly by a qualifying institution to be treated as cap exempt when needed to further the essential purposes of the qualifying institution.

USCIS will, therefore, allow third party petitioners to claim exemption on behalf of a beneficiary under either section 214(g)(5)(A) or (B), if the alien beneficiary will perform job duties at a qualifying institution that directly and predominately further the normal, primary, or essential purpose, mission, objectives or function of the qualifying institution, namely, higher education or nonprofit or governmental research. Thus, if a petitioner is not itself a qualifying institution, the burden is on the petitioner to establish that there is a logical nexus between the work performed predominately by the beneficiary and the normal, primary, or essential work performed by the qualifying institution.

In many instances, third-party petitioners seeking exemptions from the H-1B cap are companies that have contracts with qualifying federal agencies (or other qualifying institutions) which require the placement of professionals on-site at the particular agency. The H-1B employees generally perform work directly related to the purposes of the particular qualifying federal agency or entity and thus may qualify for an exemption to the H-1B cap. However, qualifying third-party employment can occur in a variety of other ways. USCIS therefore is providing a non-exhaustive list of examples in the AFM to assist adjudicators in determining cap exemption eligibility.

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Thus, if a petitioner is not itself a qualifying institution, the burden is on the petitioner to establish that that there is a logical nexus between the work predominately performed by the beneficiary and the normal mission of the qualifying entity. Petitioners must therefore demonstrate how the beneficiary’s duties are directly and predominately related to, and in furtherance of, the normal, primary or essential purpose, mission, objectives or function of the qualifying institution, namely, higher education or nonprofit or governmental research.

The following are key examples provided by the USCIS in its Memo:

Example 1: Company A, a for-profit consultant firm that would not otherwise be a qualifying institution, files an H-1B petition on behalf of an employee working directly for the firm. The H- 1B petition describes the alien beneficiary’s job duties, which will be performed on-site at a qualifying governmental research organization pursuant to a joint-agreement between the two entities. Company A submits evidence in support of its H-1B petition demonstrating that the alien beneficiary will be working on a research project performing duties similar to those performed by actual employees of the governmental research organization in furtherance of the qualifying entity’s mission. If the alien beneficiary was sponsored directly by the government research organization, he or she would clearly qualify for the H-1B cap exemption.
Q: Would the alien beneficiary qualify for the H-1B exemption?
A: Yes. In this case, the alien beneficiary would be exempt from the H-1B cap because the alien beneficiary will perform research duties that would or could otherwise be performed by employees of the qualifying institution, in furtherance of the qualifying institution’s primary mission.
Example 2: Company B, a for-profit hospital and research center that would not otherwise be a qualifying institution, files an H-1B petition on behalf of a renowned Oncologist who will be a direct employee of the hospital and whose duties will consist of clinical treatment of cancer patients and laboratory research on a new medication to treat liver cancer. Company B maintains a relationship with a qualifying non-profit research organization dedicated to finding a cure for liver cancer, whereby Company B occasionally provides resources and data in exchange for access to the non-profit’s national database on protocols for treating liver cancer. Company B’s new Oncologist will spend 55% (i.e., a majority) of her time working on-site at the non-profit research organization conducting research and laboratory experiments on the new medication to treat liver cancer and accessing the national database. The Oncologist will be performing sophisticated research and laboratory experiments that are not normally conducted by employees of the non-profit research organization but that nonetheless directly and predominantly further the normal, primary, or essential purpose, mission, objectives or function of the non-profit organization. Company B and the non-profit entity will collaborate on a joint paper publishing the research.
Q: Would the Oncologist qualify for an H-1B cap exemption based on this employment?
A: Yes. In this case, the Oncologist’s work clearly furthers the overall mission of the qualifying non-profit research organization and benefits the United States The fact that Company B and the qualifying non-profit entity share a cooperative relationship helps establish a sufficient nexus between the Oncologist’s work and the normal, primary, or essential purpose, mission, objectives or function of the non-profit organization. Further, the Oncologist will spend more than half of her time working physically on-site “at” the qualifying entity.
Example 3: A medical fellow in pediatrics has been employed at a qualifying non-profit university medical center for two years in H-1B status. At the end of the fellowship, the doctor will become a member of Company C, a private pediatrics practice group which has its primary offices within the university medical center and predominantly trains medical students and treats patients in the medical center. The doctor will be doing exactly the same work that he did during his fellowship, including remaining on the university medical center’s faculty, but for reasons related to hospital billing practices and medial malpractice insurance requirements, his technical, and therefore petitioning, employer will be the private pediatrics practice group.
Q: Would the doctor qualify for an H-1B cap exemption based on this employment?
A: Yes. In this case, the doctor would be exempt from the H-1B cap because the conditions of employment demonstrate that the doctor will be performing the same work that he performed while employed directly by the qualifying university medical center. Thus, the H-1B employment directly furthers the primary mission of the hospital because the doctor will remain on the university medical center’s faculty, and will continue to educate and train its medical students and treat patients at the medical center.
Example 4: Company D, a for-profit market research firm that would not otherwise be a qualifying institution, files an H-1B petition on behalf of a direct employee. The H-1B petition states that the alien beneficiary will be conducting a specific kind of market research on-site at a qualifying University. In addition, the petition states that the University has a specialized research tool that can only be accessed from its facilities and that the alien beneficiary’s research will be conducted for the benefit of the petitioner’s clients and business, and not for the University.
Q: Would the alien beneficiary qualify for the H-1B exemption based on this employment?
A: No. In this case, the alien would not qualify for a cap exemption as he or she is only physically located “at” the qualifying institution and no nexus has been demonstrated between the work performed by the beneficiary and the normal purpose of the qualifying entity. The alien beneficiary will not perform work for the benefit of the qualifying institution, but rather for the for-profit firm.

http://www.antaoandchuang.com/en/temporary-visas-work-study-tourist/1-your-employer-not-quota-exempt-your-employment-e-0

NINTENDO Wii being used as form of therapy

By IRIS HERSH Staff writer

Nintendo's Wii, the video system that couldn't stay on store shelves, has a second purpose as useful therapy to help people recover from accidents and illnesses.

After a car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, Mike Cordell began using Wii games for cognitive and physical therapy in the Outpatient Physical Medicine Department at Chambersburg Hospital. Using a Wii cognitive game, Cordell views four pictures and must indicate which is different in some way than the others. Answers are measured for accuracy and reaction time. In a memory game, he views a series of objects or numbers and repeats them backward.

It's good brain exercise for anyone," said Kylie Osman, speech therapist at the hospital.

Jamie Smith's right side was affected by a stroke, which resulted in a problem with her balance. As a small part of her therapy, Wii games were used to get her to balance her weight on both feet. By moving her weight backward and forward and side to side on a Wii balance board, she controls the characters on the screen.

"Paralyzed on the right side, Smith's brain ignores her right side, and the game makes her aware of that side," said Rebecca West, physical therapist, adding that the game can have great therapeutic benefit. "This game gives her a visual of where her weight is. Pediatric patients love the Wii therapy."

Angie Myers, occupational therapist, uses Wii games in therapy with Smith to help the patient relearn to use and extend her thumb.



Other games can enhance eye-hand coordination.

"A tool not meant for therapeutic use, Wii games can make therapy more fun for patients," said Barrie Sheffler, Chambersburg Hospital's director of physical medicine. "It's one more tool in our numerous methods of care."

Wii sports programs are used in rehabilitation to help patients participate in the sport on the outside, Sheffler said. After amputations, patients can use the Wii golf or bowling program to help them master the sport they wish to play.

Wii programs can be valuable for those with neck and spine problems and it has components for yoga positions, which work certain muscle groups, Sheffler said. The difficulty of the game can be increased by patients as their abilities and needs increase. Patients will feel it when certain muscles are used, she said. Progress can be viewed on the screen so patients can see themselves progressing.

HCR ManorCare in Chambersburg has Nintendo Wii for its patients to use for mental and physical stimulation and enjoyment.

The equipment will soon be used as part of therapy for all types of patients, said Joel Desotelle, occupational therapist and director of rehabilitation at HCR ManorCare. "It's a multi-dimensional functional activity that enables patients to address their deficits in a motivating and fun environment."

How Wii works

Wii is operated by a motion-sensitive controller that requires patients to move their bodies as they would if they were doing the activity they're seeing -- such as bowling or tennis. It's similar to traditional therapy exercises, said Joel Desotelle. He said, "Wii reduces the monotony of the routines of traditional exercises and is exciting and mentally stimulating."



http://www.publicopiniononline.com/ci_9990429

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Horse-based physical therapy emerging in central Florida

For years, enthusiasts have preached the benefits of horse-back riding, for adventure and relaxation. But more and more people are finding it therapeutic. That's because of hippotherapy, a form of physical therapy that incorporates horseback riding. Dozens of therapeutic horse farms have sprouted up around the country in recent years, and a private academy in Orlando will introduce a new hippotherapy-based curriculum this fall. But as 90.7's Steve Brown reports, the popularity of the therapy has not stopped criticism from some researchers.

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Click here to listen to story.

Online class offered to become a physical therapy aide

The Arkansas State University-Beebe Department of Continuing Education will offer an online class, through EducationToGo, entitled "Become a Physical Therapy Aide."

"The demand for physical therapy aides is growing rapidly," said Holly Trimble, physical therapist and author of the new course. "The Bureau of Labor Statistics places PT aides in the top 12 fastest growing vocational-technical occupations in the United States, and the Department of Labor expects the growth to continue for the next several years."


The six-week online course will cover a wide variety of subjects such as patient transport, equipment maintenance, scheduling, and patient care, which should provide basic understanding of some tasks performed by PT aides.

Additionally, students may enjoy the convenience and flexibility of an online classroom, which is accessible day or night from home or office. An open Web-based discussion forum provides instructor and student interaction, as well as course-related question and response information.



Students may register for "Become a Physical Therapy Aide," as well as more than 300 other online instructor-facilitated courses, by contacting ASU-Beebe's Continuing Education Department at 501-882-8232 or email Becky Latting at bslatting@asub.edu.



http://www.thesuntimes.com/articles/2008/07/24/news/news07.txt

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Will you ever steal your patient's meds?

I am so disappointed to hear that someone in Utah did this and yet he is a physical therapist. Sadly the accused has to spend 5 years in prison.

Just read here

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Which is Better A Machine or a Human Therapist

We all know the answer... but MIT has a new field called robotic therapy which has great and promising results to CVA patients.

Victims of a stroke are generally weeks, months, even years in physical therapy. Even though many attempts are made to return mobility to them, most stroke victims make no real visible improvements in mobility. Robotic therapists, however, are changing that. The advantage robotic therapy has over human therapy is constancy. It's very difficult for a human therapist to take the time necessary to make true strides in improving a patient's mobility. Robots, however, never tire, slow, or change pace-- of course, the repetitive motions needed in order to properly work the affected parts of body of the stroke victim don't affect a machine. In addition, robotic therapists generally have bio-feedback mechanisms. These mechanisms help to increase improvement in the affected parts of the body.

Some robotic therapists are even designed to act as both coach and therapist, using jokes, humor, and encouragement to help patients get though the long and tiring process of physical therapy.


Read more

Nintendo Wii in your therapy Program?

This is really thinking outside the box. Would anyone use a video game console to treat their patients?

Well, welcome to the new age. Web 2.0 and Globalization 2.0 is really in effect. A Physical Therapy program of a stroke patient is assisted with the latest rehab machine... the Nintendo Wii and a tennis game program. Complete story

Another Physical Therapist Arrested

I am very sad that some Physical Therapist do these kinds of activities to their patients. In Floridatoday.com, a therapist was accused of battery and sexual assault on a patient who sustained some neck and back injuries. Read here for the full news

Call US Employers Free - Believe It!!!

Want to lessen your PT expenses? I remember way back 1998, I was using Dial Pad, a free VOIP service. Yahoo purchased Dial Pad and that was the birth of Yahoo Voice. Last year I was using Skype for calling and surfing US employers in Advance for PT. And the call is about 2 cents a minute from Manila until I found out that Yahoo Voice is cheaper (1 US cent or 50 Philippine Centavos per minute). Best of the news, calling US and Canada toll free numbers is free both with Skype and Yahoo Voice.

The Skype software is free just google it. Yahoo Voice on the other hand is accessed through the latest version of Yahoo Messenger which means its also free! So there you go. Start surfing for employers. Visit Advance for PT for a huge list. Just google everything since everything is provided by that great search engine.

BTW, Please visit the other site I have created. Its called the Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Community. It connects patients and therapist...

Sorry for more than a month without any updates. I just came from a very long vacation. See you!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Your Salary as a Physical Therapist in the United States

There were 5,107 respondents who listed physical therapy as their profession. This total number of respondents included both PTs and PTAs.

When combining these two job titles under the overall heading of physical therapy professionals, the most common salary range was actually the highest, "More than $75,001," which included 13.5 percent of respondents. However, the lowest salary range option, "Less than $30,000," also registered a high percentage (11.7 percent). Other common salary ranges included $55,001 to $60,000 (12.5 percent), $50,001-$55,000 (11.6 percent) and $45,001-$50,000 (11.3 percent). There were at least 219 respondents for all 11 salary range options, with the least common range being $30,001-$35,000 (4.3 percent).

When the physical therapy professional population was broken down by nine geographical regions, some interesting statistics became clear. West South Central was the most lucrative region for PT professionals (average salary: $55,729) by a slim margin over the East South Central region ($55,560).

Substantially behind these two regions were the third and fourth most lucrative, Pacific, with an average salary of $53,394 for PT professionals, and Middle Atlantic at $53,261. The fifth-most lucrative region was Mountain/Southwest ($51,090), while the final four were West North Central ($50,583), South Atlantic ($50,247), East North Central ($49,423) and New England at $47,648.

PTs by Region

Of the more than 5,000 survey respondents who selected physical therapy as their profession, approximately 4,400 indicated they were physical therapists, as opposed to PTAs. Among that population, the most common salary range was also the highest option, "More than $75,001," including 15.9 percent of respondents. Other high-ranking ranges were $55,001-$60,000, (13.7 percent of respondents), $50,0001-$55,000 (12.2 percent), $45,001-$50,000 (11.5 percent) and $60,0001-$65,000 (10.4 percent). There were at least 44 respondents for all 13 salary range options, with 6.2 percent of respondents representing the lowest category, "Less than $20,000." The category registering the fewest respondents was $20,001-$25,000, which included just one percent of PTs who filled out the survey.

Within the entire physical therapist population, the highest average salary was registered by the East South Central Region at $60,128. Right behind it were the West South Central region ($58,700) and the Middle Atlantic ($56,809). Representing the statistical middle were the Pacific ($56,438), South Atlantic ($54,989) and East North Central regions ($54,106). The lowest three regions in terms of average salary were Mountain/Southwest ($53,582), West North Central ($52,889) and New England ($52,832).

PTAs by Region

Slightly fewer than 800 of the PT professionals responding to the survey indicated they were PTAs. As a group, the most common salary range among the PTA population was actually the lowest option in the survey, "Less than $20,000," with 16.6 percent. Other common ranges included $35,001-$40,000 (16.3 percent), $30,001-$35,000 (15.3 percent) and $40,001-$45,000 (14.7 percent). There were, however, at least a handful of respondents in the highest ranges as well, with 1.1 percent indicating they fell in the $65,001-$70,000 category, 0.4 percent picking the $70,001-$75,000 option, and 0.8 percent selecting the "More than $75,001" category.

Regionally, there was much disparity among PTAs in average salary. The most lucrative region was West South Central, where the average PTA made $38,952 per year. Other high totals included East South Central ($37,500) and Pacific ($34,891). The middle regions included Mountain/Southwest ($33,350), South Atlantic ($32,179) and West North Central ($31,764). Bringing up the rear, meanwhile, were Middle Atlantic ($29,870), New England ($29,581) and East North Central ($27,316).

Regional Conclusions

Taken as a whole, these statistics offer an intriguing look at the regional physical therapy salary situation in the United States. For example, the East South Central and West South Central regions proved to be the two most lucrative for physical therapy professionals as a whole, physical therapists as a specific group, and physical therapist assistants as a specific group. East South Central actually averaged about $1,400 more per year than West South Central for physical therapists, but West South Central's even greater salary advantage in the PTA category gave that region a slight edge for physical therapy professionals as a whole.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New England region proved to be consistently less lucrative than other regions in all three categories. Ranking at the bottom for PT professionals as a whole ($47,648), it was also the lowest-ranking region for PTs ($52,832) and second-lowest for PTAs ($29,581).

The East North Central region, on the other hand, demonstrated the greatest disparity in terms of its ranking for PTs compared to PTAs. Ranking in the middle of the pack for physical therapists with an average salary of $54,106, it was last by a margin of more than $2,000 in the PTA category with an average of $27,316. The Middle Atlantic region also offered a significant PT/PTA ranking disparity, placing third in the physical therapist category ($56,809) but just seventh in the physical therapist assistant category ($29,870).

Disparity existed from the opposite perspective as well. For example, PTAs in the Mountain/Southwest region (ranking fourth at $33,350) could expect to earn a decent buck compared to other parts of the country, whereas PTs in the Mountain/Southwest region were paid at a comparatively low rate (ranking seventh at $53,582).

The South Atlantic region, meanwhile, deserves credit for consistency. It ranked exactly in the middle, fifth out of nine regions, for both PTs ($54,989) and PTAs ($32,179). Statistics being a funny thing, however, the disparate numbers registered by other areas actually made South Atlantic rank seventh out of nine regions among PT professionals as a whole ($50,247).

Salary and Education

Based on the results of our salary survey, levels of education have a decided impact on salaries earned in physical therapy—although not in the way some might believe.

Participants in the survey were asked to identify their level of education from four main categories—non-four-year college graduates (high school or GED, some college experience, associate's degree), college graduates (bachelor's degree), master's degree (MA, MBA, MPH, MS) or doctorate degree (DPT, PhD).

Those who fell into the non-four-year college graduate category showed the lowest salaries, with the three categories reporting an average annual salary of $32,261. The surprising results came from the other three categories, where the discrepancies between salaries were minimal.

College graduates with bachelor's degrees in the physical therapy field reported an average salary of $62,084, comparing favorably to those PTs with master's degrees (average salary of $64,247 annually) and those with DPT or PhD degrees ($64,192 annually).

Six percent of respondents—about 300 people totalidentified their educational level as something other than the above categories. That group reported an average annual income of $61,337.

Levels of Education

Respondents were split almost 50-50 between those with master's or doctorate degrees and those without. While only 2.2 percent of respondents reported having earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, these respondents reported the highest average annual salary of any individual educational level at $75,431.

Not surprisingly, the most common level of education reported was a bachelor's degree, comprising 32 percent of respondents. Following closely thereafter was the MSPT degree at 30 percent. Associate's degree was third-most popular, at 14 percent, followed by the DPT at 10 percent. As previously stated, 6 percent of respondents cited another level of education. The other eight percent was comprised of those with master's degrees other than MSPTs, and people who were either high school graduates or had only completed some college.

Along gender lines, male respondents reported an average annual salary of $60,058, while females reported earning $51,106. The good news is that the majority of males and females in similar positions earn comparable paythe difference can likely be attributed to a larger number of males in higher-level positions.

Pay Based on Experience

First-year physical therapists responding to our survey reported an average salary of just under $43,000 per year, which compares quite favorably to salaries in similar fields. Following that first year, our results indicate that therapists can expect an annual increase of about 5 percent, before salaries tend to level off around year eight of their careers with a salary in the high-$50,000 to low-$60,000 range.

Using this information as a composite, the height of a therapist's earning potential seems to be between years 15 to 20 of his career—or right around age 40. Therapists with more than 20 years of experience can expect salaries in the low-to-mid 70s. According to the survey, salaries can again level off after a therapist reaches 35 years of experience—however, as you might imagine, the number of responses from therapists with that level of experience was limited—less than 100 such clinicians.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said they had been practicing PT for 15 years or less, with more than 50 percent of those respondents falling between one and five years experience. Another 12 percent were in years 16 to 25 of their career, with the final 6 percent having upward of 25 years of experience.

Salary and Setting

According to our results, setting also seems to impact the salaries of physical therapists and PTAs. In the case of both PTs and PTAs, outpatient and clinical settings are the most common place to work followed by long-term care facilities, hospitals and private practice.

In the outpatient setting, average salaries range from $46,655 all the way up to $103,000 while inpatient practitioners reported salaries ranging from $30,000 to $73,000.

Location of the setting may have some impact on the salaries, as outpatient practitioners reported far higher numbers working in suburban areas (48.5 percent), followed by urban areas (32.7 percent) and rural areas (18.8 percent). On the other hand, the majority of PTs in inpatient settings (50.3 percent) worked in urban areas followed by suburban practitioners (34.1 percent) and rural practitioners (15.7 percent).

Physical therapists in academic settings reported salaries ranging from an average of $42,000 for first-year educators to $114,000 for an educator with 32 years of experience. The average salary, however, among educators (full and part time) was $61,850.

School PTs, on average, are making a salary of $55,004. The majority of school-based practitioners reported working in suburban areas at 46.5 percent, however, their counterparts in rural and urban areas are almost evenly distributed at 28.2 and 25.4 percent, respectively.

Examining Home Health

Home-health therapists and PTAs, on average, have a higher salary relative to the PT population at large. The median salary among home-health physical therapists is $61,030, while among the general physical therapy population, the average salary was $59,827. While the difference is not great, it becomes more apparent when broken down by subcategories, such as location.

In most regions, home-health practitioners take home an average salary of approximately $4,000 more than the rest of the physical therapy community. However, in the Pacific region of the country, as well as the Middle Atlantic and Mountain/Southwest regions, home health practitioners average approximately $10,000 more in salary than those who are not in home health.

"Home health has a wider range in income, both on the high and low end," explained Roger Herr, PT, MPA, COS-C. "This is a function of both the flexibility in hours and range of commitment of clinicians."

Home health care practitioners also tend to have a greater level of experience, Herr added. "There is an industry bias to having at least one year of related health care experience before entering home care, so the population will be more experienced," he said.

Benefits are also a difference with home-health practitioners compared to clinical and private-practice PTs. According to the survey results, home-health PTs tend to have fewer benefits than the PT community at large does. A smaller percentage of home-health practitioners receive dental insurance, health insurance, vacation/sick time and other common benefits.

However, according to Herr, the setting lends itself to this type of discrepancy. "Wider variety in benefits leads some to choose to work in places with less benefits. Homecare people work both part-time and full-time, so they may have additional supports as in other modes for getting benefits (partner/spouse)," he said.

Brian W. Ferrie, Rob Senior and Stefanie Kurtz are on staff at ADVANCE.

http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/common/editorial/Editorial.aspx?CC=70497&CP=2

Friday, July 27, 2007

Department of Labor Precertification ("Schedule A Occupations")
Henry J. Chang

It has been previously determined that there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available for the certain categories listed on Schedule A (which appears at 20 CFR §656.10) and that the wages and working conditions of United States workers similarly employed will not be adversely affected by the employment of aliens in Schedule A occupations. A discussion of these "precertified" categories appears below.

Precertification of Certain Professions Under Schedule A, Group I

Group I of Schedule A currently includes the following occupations:

1. persons who will be employed as physical therapists, and who possess all the qualifications necessary to take the physical therapist licensing examination in the State in which they propose to practice physical therapy; and

2. aliens who will be employed as a nurse;

The term "physical therapist'' is defined to mean a person who applies the art and science of physical therapy to the treatment of patients with disabilities, disorders and injuries to relieve pain, develop or restore function, and maintain performance, using physical means, such as exercise, massage, heat, water, light, and electricity, as prescribed by a physician (or surgeon).







www.americanlaw.com/precert.html

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

PT Chat Advisory

Colleagues,

I sincerely apologize to the non-pt in this chatroom due to Meebo congestion. If this issue persists or if you see any non-PT's in the room especially with the format "guest" AFTER WITH A 4 DIGIT EXETENSION ...(guest1234), please block them and explain that this is a chatroom for Physical Therapists.

The room is hosted by meebo and I still can't find a free served chatroom that can be exclusive to us, PT's.

You can still chat since the maximum room users is 80 people. The most i've seen from our community so far is 30+/-.

You can use this chatroom anytime. You may also use the comment portion of this post for some feedback. Enjoy chatting!

Friday, July 20, 2007

What to Ask When Negotiating Your Physical Therapy Salary and Benefits Package
Apr 1, 2007
By: Lisa Lapina
Healthcare Traveler



Negotiating the right contract is an important part of securing an assignment that fits your needs. When discussing your benefits package with your recruiter, it is important to examine your priorities. Maybe you would be happiest with a package that provides the most complete health coverage available. Then again, if you have thorough insurance through your partner's policy, you may prefer to trade a greater selection of benefits for a higher pay rate. To determine what is best for you, think about the overall package and how it will affect your lifestyle.

Salary

Finance matters, and how much money ends up in your hands should ultimately help you decide which contracts to accept. You should be sure to ask the following important questions: Will I get guaranteed hours? If so, will they be paid upon assignment completion? Will I receive shift differentials for working shifts more difficult to fill? Will I collect a completion bonus? Can I get direct deposit, or do I need to open a local bank account (and possibly wait days for my paychecks to clear)?

Health insurance

A company's health insurance options should also be a key consideration. Are you eligible for short-term, comprehensive group, preventative dental, life, dependant health, or a combination of coverages? Would you have to pay for your insurance? If so, is it available from the first day of your assignment or will there be a waiting period? What is the deductible and co-pay? Should you forego coverage, would you be offered a fixed benefit payment each month? If health insurance is one of your main concerns, a great plan could make a particular staffing company more attractive.

Medical malpractice insurance

Protecting yourself against medical malpractice is crucial. Would you be offered this benefit? And if so, would you have out-of-pocket costs or would the travel company absorb such expenses?

Housing

Living arrangements should also play an integral role in the negotiation process. Is private housing offered or would you have to share an apartment with another traveler? Would you be required to pay for your accommodations? Who would be responsible for utilities and additional fees—like a pet security deposit—the company or you? If you do not wish to take the offered accommodations, would you receive a housing subsidy? Other issues relating to where you'd be living must be determined as well, such as travel reimbursement and parking.

Continuing education

In the healthcare industry, staying on top of your game is essential to career success. Your education is imperative, which is why you should inquire about continuing education (CE) opportunities. Would conferences, seminars, and classes be available while you're on assignment? If so, would the costs be covered or reimbursed? Could you complete CE requirements online?

401(k) plan

If saving for the future is high on your list of priorities, a 401(k) plan is a fundamental factor in your decision-making process. Would this benefit be provided to you? If so, what is the waiting period? Would the staffing agency offer a percentage match to increase your contributions?

Customer service and clinical support

Last, but certainly not least, is accessible support from the staffing agency. Would your recruiter be accessible? Could you get the answers you want when you need them? Are clinical support and 24/7 services offered? Would the company help to manage your credentials, remind you of expiration dates, and follow up to assure compliance is met?

The bottom line—know before you go. Be aware of your preferences at the beginning of your assignment search, and don't be afraid to speak up and ask for something that may not be listed. These practices will guarantee you're moving in the right direction and focusing your energy on signing with a staffing agency that will truly meet your needs.

http://www.healthcaretraveler.com/healthcaretraveler/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=415493

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Skilled workers welcome temporary relief by US Immigration Agency

A peaceful flower campaign addressed to the USCIS and a followup rally in Silicon Valley

Source: Immigration Voice
Jul 18, 2007 06:12:42

(PRLog.Org) – On Tuesday, 17 July 2007, the US Dept. of State, US Citizenship and Immigration Services consulted other agencies and decided to honor their original communication from mid-June to accept green card filings through mid August, providing much awaited relief to tens of thousands of legal, skilled professionals already in the United States. Applauding the efforts of several affected applicants, Aman Kapoor, President of Immigration Voice, says "We have had over 5,000 new members signing up in the last week alone." Skilled workers from diverse professional backgrounds and ethnicities got together to voice their concerns collaboratively".

Recent campaigns, such as the peaceful flower campaign and a protest rally in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose CA, organized by affected applicants garnered unprecedented media attention. Applicants got together on the discussion boards of Immigration Voice to pull off both events. "It was a team effort. For example, we had members in New York providing logistic support for garnering participation in the San Jose rally. People drove for over five hours to participate in the rally. Similarly, California and Nevada worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the flower campaign went well in DC, receiving media coverage", says Jay Pradhan of Immigration Voice.

"We're hoping that the recent developments will make the concerned agencies rethink this part of the process. We will welcome a move to de-couple the 'adjustment of status' stage permanently from the ability to apply for interim benefits such as the right to work and right to travel, which will provide great relief for qualified applicants and dependents", says Kapoor.

Not wanting to rest on small victories, he added "Immigration Voice commends the efforts of the government agencies as well as some attorneys who were key in disseminating this information to the public. Congresswoman Lofgren's letters as well as efforts from affected US businesses had the necessary impact. However, there are bigger battles to be won- We're particularly interested in proposals that will recapture of unused employment-based (EB) green cards from previous years. That will provide some interim relief while we work towards addressing the core issue of processing backlogs" says Kapoor, referring to 'retrogression', which in other words means the USCIS stops accepting applications while all green card numbers set by the Dept. of State get used up ahead of time."

Outdated regulations such as a cap on the number of green cards available annually to each country results in oversubscription of countries with abundant skills such as China, India, Mexico or the Phillipines. Additionally, incorrect inclusion of dependents while using green card numbers add to the problem.

Says Kapoor, "On one hand, there's no country-based limit on temporary work visas. However, when it comes to green cards, the annual quota is split by country, increasing the wait time in applying for the final stages of the skill-based green card for certain countries with larger talent pools. Also, the agencies include the dependents when using up available green card numbers. This means, a family of four uses up four green cards from the available annual quota, while actually they can be considered as one single unit. These continue to be on our radar in the next several months."

The corporate world is already making other plans. Microsoft has already announced plans of a University in Bangalore to nurture local talent, in addition to new offices in Vancouver, BC. Its only a matter of time before other companies follow suit. A recent Duke/Wharton study highlights that immigrant-founded US companies resulted in employment for nearly half a million US workers in the last decade alone.However, America can still retain its competitive edge provided there is timely and meaningful skill-based immigration reform.

- - - - -

Immigration Voice is a not-for-profit organization that strives for meaningful employment-based immigration reform in the United States.Founded in December 2005, the organization's membership boasts of 20,000 professionals, several of whom are engineers, scientists, doctors and computer programmers
http://www.prlog.org/10024482-skilled-workers-welcome-temporary-relief-by-us-immigration-agency.html

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

USCIS Announces Revised Processing Procedures for Adjustment of Status Applications
Office of Communications
July 17, 2007


http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
July 17, 2007 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, beginning immediately, it will accept employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are current under the July Visa Bulletin, No. 107. USCIS will accept applications filed not later than August 17, 2007.


http://www.uscis.gov/files/pressrelease/VisaBulletinUpdate17Jul07.pdf
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that,
beginning immediately, it will accept employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I-
485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are current under the July Visa Bulletin, No. 107.
USCIS will accept applications filed not later than August 17, 2007.

On July 2, 2007, USCIS announced that it would not accept any additional employment-based
applications to adjust status. USCIS made that announcement after receiving an update from the
Department of State that it would not authorize any additional employment-based visa numbers
for this fiscal year. After consulting with USCIS, the Department of State has advised that
Bulletin #107 (dated June 12) should be relied upon as the current July Visa Bulletin for
purposes of determining employment visa number availability, and that Visa Bulletin #108
(dated July 2) has been withdrawn.

“The public reaction to the July 2 announcement made it clear that the federal government’s
management of this process needs further review,” said Emilio Gonzalez, USCIS Director. “I
am committed to working with Congress and the State Department to implement a more efficient
system in line with public expectations.”

USCIS’s announcement today allows anyone who was eligible to apply under Visa Bulletin No.
107 a full month’s time to do so. Applications already properly filed with USCIS will also be
he current fee schedule will apply to all applications filed under Visa Bulletin No. 107
accepted. The current fee schedule will apply to all applications filed under Visa Bulletin No. 107
through August 17, 2007. (The new fee schedule that becomes effective on July 30, 2007, will
apply to all other applications filed on or after July 30, 2007).

Monday, July 16, 2007

U.S. to Reverse Some Denials Of Work Visas
By Miriam Jordan, The Wall Street Journal Online

Looking to resolve a messy immigration tangle, the U.S. government is close to announcing that it will accept at least some applications for work-based green cards that were filed by thousands of skilled workers in early July at the government's invitation and then abruptly rejected.

Tens of thousands of skilled workers, many of them in the U.S. on temporary H1B visas, responded to an official invitation, in a June 12 "visa bulletin" issued by the State Department, to take the final step in July toward attaining U.S. permanent residency. That sent workers, their families and their employers scrambling to compile paperwork and meet other requirements such as medical exams. Normally, eligible employment-sponsored workers wait years for their numbers to be called.

Then, July 2, as applications poured into processing centers, the State Department announced in a bulletin "update" that no employment-based immigrant visas were left for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 because of "sudden backlog reduction" by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS announced it would reject applications that it received.

People familiar with the situation say that officials are working out the final details of a plan that would at least partially rectify the problem.

It isn't clear, however, whether the immigration agency will now accept all applications and process them later, accept only those that have arrived, or come up with some other approach.

The July 2 decision provoked outrage among immigration lawyers, foreign workers and their employers. July 5, Microsoft Corp. announced that it plans soon to open a software-development center in Vancouver, Canada, with a view to "recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S." The announcement sent a clear signal to the government of the high-tech industry's dissatisfaction with the visa situation.

July 6, a large Chicago immigration law firm filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the government. Separately, the American Immigration Law Foundation, a nonprofit group, said it will file this week its own suit seeking class-action status.

Meanwhile, disgruntled green-card applicants cried foul, saying they had been unfairly treated by the government despite playing by the rules.

July 10, they registered their disappointment at the immigration system by dispatching hundreds of flower bouquets to the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief Emilio Gonzalez.

The next day, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), whose district includes Silicon Valley, sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff requesting "all correspondence, emails, memoranda, notes, field guidance or other documentation" leading to the immigration system's about-face July 2.

The problem may have resulted from a communications breakdown between the State Department, which issues a monthly bulletin detailing who is eligible to file a green-card application, and USCIS, which processes the visa applications. The State Department has said that its role is to ensure that every visa slot available is used. In the past, however, the immigration agency has failed to use all of the slots.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118455917060167397.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Master’s Degree Requirement for Physical Therapists
By Robert I. Reeves
January 22, 2007

AMONG the clients of Reeves and Associates are physical therapists (PTs) who are either immigrating or coming to work in the United States on a temporary basis. Many of them who have not yet received their Visa Screen Certificate are asking about the requirement for a master’s degree. Not all PTs will need a master’s degree. To understand who will need a master’s degree, one must understand the criteria applied by two bodies.

The Visa Screen Certificate is the trademark name of the immigration certification issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). This certification is needed before a working visa can be issued to healthcare workers. CGFNS can issue immigration certification not only for registered nurses (RNs) but also for PTs, occupational therapists, medical technologists and speech language pathologists.

One of the purposes of the Visa Screen is to confirm that foreign-educated PTs have a substantial education equivalent to that of an accredited US degree in physical therapy. The CGFNS professional standards committee developed the educational standard based on whom the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) would accredit.

CAPTE stopped accrediting bachelor’s degree programs in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2003. Therefore, accredited US degrees in physical therapy are now only offered at the master’s level.

As a consequence, when CGFNS evaluates the education of a PT, it will first look at what year the education was completed. If it was completed prior to Jan. 1, 2003, the applicant must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. But post 2003 graduates will have to show they have the equivalent of a master’s degree.

The Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) is an alternative creden-tialing body for the PT immigration certificate. FCCPT uses a Course-work Evaluation Tool (CET) established by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy that has been studied and determined to be a reliable, valid tool. The CET has also been validated against the CAPTE criteria. The CET consists of a course-by-course evaluation to ensure the minimum credits in particular subjects are earned. It is, therefore, possible that PTs with bachelor’s degrees may be found to have a substantially equivalent education based on their extensive course work.

Not all PTs with bachelor’s degrees will meet the CET requirements. The CET draws no distinction as to when the degree was earned. This means that if a PT applicant received a bachelor’s degree prior to 2003, but does not have the requisite courses on the CET, no certification will be issued.

Recent and upcoming PT graduates can visit the FCCPT website and obtain a copy of the coursework checklist. This is a powerful resource that can help current PT students in bachelor’s programs to wisely select courses and electives. For many other PTs, there will be no other alternative than to return to school and obtain the missing classes. For most, this means completing a master’s program.

PTs who intend to immigrate should carefully review their education against the different standards. In some states, only an FCCPT credential evaluation will be accepted for licensure, limiting who among the PTs may apply. A career in physical therapy in the US can be a rewarding one. PTs must be realistic and understand the requirements needed to pursue this career in the US.

http://www.ofwguide.com/article_item.php?articleid=673

Author's Note: The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship and are not a substitute for the individual legal research and personalized representation that is essential to every case.

Atty. Reeves has represented clients innumerous landmark immigration cases that have set new policies regarding INSaction and immigrants' rights. His many successes have been published in Interpreter Releases, Immigration Briefings and AILA Monthly which are nationally recognized immigration periodicals widely read by immigration lawyers, State Department and immigration officials. His cases are also cited in test books as a guide to other immigration practitioners. His offices are located I in Pasadena, SanFrancisco, Beijing and Makati City. Telephone: 759-6777 E-mail:rrphil@rreeves.comWebsite:www.rreeves.com

Immigrants rush to beat higher application fees
By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY

Immigrants are rushing to apply for citizenship, green cards and other benefits before hefty fee increases kick in at the end of the month.

Starting July 30, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will raise application fees an average of 66%. In many cases, the new fees are hundreds of dollars higher. Applying for citizenship will jump to $675 from $400, which includes a fee for photos and fingerprinting. Eligible immigrants who want to become legal permanent residents, known as green-card holders, will pay $1,010 rather than $395.

The prospect of higher fees has fueled a mad dash.

In the first eight months of this fiscal year, the immigration service received 711,538 citizenship applications — nearly as many as in all of last year.

Maria Castro, 29, a green-card holder from Mexico, applied for citizenship in May. "In May I didn't have a job," says Castro of Houston. "I said, 'If I don't do it now, I won't be able to do it when the fees go up.' "
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Mexico | Immigrants | Immigration Services | USCIS

Castro has since landed a job with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials advising immigrants on citizenship applications. She says 95% tell her they applied to beat the fee hike. "It's really motivating people."

USCIS spokesman Bill Wright says the fee increase is only one reason applications are up.

"More and more people want to become part of the American fabric and part of the American dream," he says.

Fees are supposed to cover USCIS' operating and processing costs, Wright says, but the current ones don't. The increase is meant to make up the shortfall and reduce backlogs, he says. The last fee increase was in October 2005.

The failure last month of a bill to overhaul the immigration system inspired Angel Alvarez, 25, to apply for citizenship. Alvarez, a Whittier, Calif., real estate agent who has been a legal permanent resident for 15 years, came to the USA from Mexico. He was eligible to apply for citizenship five years after getting his green card but says he was fearful of losing his Mexican identity. Now, Alvarez says, he sees his future here.

He wants to participate in the political process, advocate for immigration changes and represent other immigrants who are unable to vote. "I'm looking forward to voting and having a voice in my country."


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-15-immigrant-applications_N.htm