WHAT IS A PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Physical Therapy is a health profession whose primary purpose is to promote optimal human health and function. This purpose is accomplished by applying scientific principles to the process of examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention to prevent or remediate impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement and health. Physical Therapy encompasses areas of specialized competence and includes the development of new principles and applications to effectively meet existing and emerging health needs. Other professional activities that serve the purpose of physical therapy are research, education, consultation and administration.
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a technically educated health care provider who assists the physical therapist in the provision of physical therapy. The PTA is a graduate of a physical therapist assistant associate degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) provides physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTA’s help people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTA’s work in a variety of settings including, hospitals, privates practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and more. PTA’s must complete a 2 year associate’s degree and are licensed, certified, or registered in most states. Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination, training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.