Physical Therapist Assistant Career Program A.S.
So, what is a physical therapist assistant?
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs 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. Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients/clients exercise 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.
What is the difference between a physical therapist (PT) and a physical therapist assistant (PTA)?
PHYSICAL THERAPIST (PT)
PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT (PTA)
|All PT programs in the U.S. require students to earn a Doctorate degree
|All PTA programs in the U.S. are at the associate degree level
|PT programs generally require a bachelor’s degree
|PTA programs require a high school diploma
LENGTH OF TIME IN SCHOOL
|up to 8 years
|PTs perform patient/client evaluations and set up treatment plans.
|PTAs do not perform evaluations and there are certain skills that are considered “PT only.” PTAs work under the direction and supervision of a PT.
Contact us today to discuss your career path in the physical therapy profession.
Will my PTA credits transfer to a PT school?
Courses from an associate level PTA degree do not typically transfer to a graduate level PT program, however, general education courses, such as math and English will count toward the bachelor’s degree required for admission to a PT program. PTA/technical education courses may transfer to a four-year school as electives. Check with the school you plan to attend for details.
PTAs who go on to PT school have the advantage of vast background knowledge in physical therapy, as well as the ability to work a flexible schedule for high pay while attending school. There are two programs in the country that specifically designed for PTAs wishing to become PTs. Information for those Bridge programs can be found on the American Physical Therapy Association’s website.
Are there other careers I can consider?
In addition to physical therapy, consider these other careers in the Allied Health field:
- Exercise Science*
- Medical Assistant *
- Nursing *
- Occupational Therapy
- Respiratory Therapy *
- Speech Therapy
*available at CT State Norwalk
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at CT State Norwalk is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (203) 857-7198 or email email@example.com.