WHO ARE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS?
Physical therapist assistants, or PTAs, are technically educated health care professionals who provide physical therapy services under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
WHAT DO PTAs DO?
Duties of the PTA include implementing treatment programs,teaching patients exercises for disease prevention and health promotion, administering electrotherapeutic treatments such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation, training for functional activities such as walking and measuring overall patient performance as a result of physical therapy services provided.
WHAT DO PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS EARN?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the median income for an entry level physical therapist assistant is approximately $42,600 and go up to $78,160 depending upon geographic location, position, years of experience and practice setting.
WHERE DO PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS WORK?
Physical therapist assistants work in hospitals, private physical therapy offices, community health centers, corporate or industrial health centers, sports facilities, research institutions, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, schools, pediatric centers, and colleges and universities.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BECOMING A PTA?
Physical therapist assistants must complete a 2-year education program, typically offered through a community or junior college. Candidates receive an associate's degree upon graduation. The course of study includes usually 1 year of general education and 1 year of technical courses on physical therapy procedures and clinical experience. There are currently 364 accredited physical therapist assistant education programs throughout the country.
WHAT ARE THE LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS?
Currently all 50 states and the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia require PTA's to become licensed or certified. States requiring licensure stipulate specific educational and examination criteria. Information on practice acts and regulations may be obtained by contacting the licensure board in each respective state.