The profession of physical therapist assistant (PTA) has emerged as an integral part within the discipline of physical therapy. The PTA plays a key role in a patient's recovery from injury or disease of the neurological or musculoskeletal systems of the body.
PTA's work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to use electrical, mechanical, and thermal modalities; assist in gait training; instruct in strengthening and coordination exercises; and improve work, sports, or activities of daily living skills. They are employed in hospitals, outpatient care clinics, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, nursing homes, and school systems.
The curriculum is designed in a five semester sequence incorporating academic and clinical coursework. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is awarded an Associate in Applied Science Degree as a physical therapist assistant and is eligible to apply for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination.