About the Profession

About the Profession

Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant

About the Profession

Difference between PT and PTA.

The PTA degree is NOT and was never designed to be a track to the PT degree. General education course work from the PTA degree will transfer to PT degree, not technical courses.

PT (Physical Therapist)

  • entry level doctoral degree (DPT).
  • licensure
  • evaluation of patient
  • patient data collection
  • determine plan of care
  • interpretation of evaluation and assessment results
  • determine treatment goals
  • patient treatment (implement plan of care)
  • documentation
  • manage multiple patient's care
  • patient education
  • communication with all other healthcare professionals
  • delegate appropriate tasks to PTA, PT, PT technician
  • communicate with patients and care givers

PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant)

  • associate degree (PT)
  • licensure
  • patient treatment (implement plan of care)
  • documentation
  • increasingly dual role with clerical and insurance responsibilities
  • communicate with PT and selected other healthcare processionals
  • patient data collection
  • patient education
  • delegate to PT technician
  • communicate with patients and care givers

 

Professional duties: please see differences between the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistant) plus:

Practice Settings: hospitals, rehab centers, outpatient clinics, schools, home health agencies, sports medicine clinics, nursing homes, education.
Age range of physical therapy patients: NICU (neonatal intensive care) to over 100 years old.
Personal traits: good communication skills, problem solving abilities, critical thinking, physical stamina, educational background in science, math, english and psychology.
Salary: depends on degree (PT vs PTA), location (metropolitan vs. rural areas) and setting (hospital, outpatient, home health, etc.).

For Additional Information visit the American Physical Therapy Association web site.