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The Role of the Physical Therapist Assistant

A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a member of the health care team who, under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist, provides patient treatments and other services to people of all ages. The clinical knowledge and skills of a PTA include:

  • Therapeutic exercises for rehabilitation and injury prevention
  • Functional training for mobility and self-care at home, work, and in the community
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Application of assistive devices including canes, walkers, and wheelchairs
  • Use of hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, hot and cold therapies.

Areas of Clinical Practice

  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Sports Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Cardiopulmonary
  • Women's Health

Places of Employment

PTAs work in a variety of settings across the U.S., including:

  • Hospitals
  • Sub-acute Rehabilitation Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Public Schools
  • Out-Patient Clinics