The Physical Therapy Assistant works as part of a team providing physical therapy services under the supervision and direction of the Physical Therapist. The PTA will implement selected components of treatments, obtain and record data related to the interventions provided and modify selected interventions either to progress the patient as directed by the PT, or to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety.
PTAs assist the PT with the treatment of patients, ranging from babies to the elderly, who have health-related conditions or other medical problems that limit their ability to move, perform and function in their daily lives. The Physical Therapist oversees and is responsible for the services the PTA provides. The PT is the health care professional who examines the patient and develops the plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, restore function, reduce pain and prevent disability. Physical Therapists also work with patients to prevent the loss of their mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness programs for more active, healthier lifestyles.
Physical Therapy Assistants may find employment in a wide variety of settings from private practices, outpatient clinics, hospitals, home health agencies, sports and fitness facilities, school, work setting and nursing homes.
The Physical Therapy field is dynamic and is a profession with established theoretical and scientific base and widespread applications in the maintenance, restoration and promotion of optimal physical function for the patient. Every day in America more than 750,000 patients are seen by the PT or PTA for diagnosis and management of movement dysfunction and to enhance their physical and functional abilities, restore, maintain and promote optimal physical function as well as prevent onset, symptoms, and progression of limitation and disabilities.
The Physical Therapy Assistant must complete an intensive education to procure an Associate’s Degree.