The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a technical healthcare worker who performs patient care under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Typical settings include hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, private practice, geriatric care facilities, sport medicine centers, school systems, and industrial sites. For information about the licensure examination see www.fsbpt.org/ExamCandidates.
Role of a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. PTAs implement selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment), obtain data related to the interventions provided, and make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the physical therapist or to ensure patient/client safety and comfort.
PTAs assist the physical therapist in the treatment of individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.
The physical therapist is responsible for the services provided by the PTA. Physical therapists (PTs) are healthcare professionals who examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
PTAs provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. PTAs must graduate from a CAPTE-accredited PTA program and licensure or certification is required in most states in which a PTA works.
The Physical Therapy Profession
Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. For more than 750,000 people every day in the United States, physical therapists:
The terms "physical therapy" and "physiotherapy," and the terms "physical therapist" and "physiotherapist," are synonymous. The terms "physical therapist assistant" and "physical therapy aide or technician" are not synonymous. PTAs complete an intensive education culminating in an associate degree. Aides and technicians are on-the-job trained and not eligible to provide physical therapy by many payers, including Medicare.
Sources: Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, 2nd Edition (2003);
A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant Education: Version 2007
These technical standards reflect performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete the requirements of the program at Baker College. These standards are not conditions of admission to the program. Persons interested in applying for admission to the program should review this information to develop a better understanding of the physical abilities and behavioral characteristics necessary to successfully complete the program. The College complies with the requirements and spirit of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Therefore, the College will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations for participants with disabilities who are otherwise qualified.
Program Status: Limited Enrollment
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