Why You Should Consider a Physical Therapist Assistant Career

Written by: 
Daymar College

physical therapist assistant

Do you have a passion for helping people who are on their road to recovery? As a physical therapist assistant, you can have the opportunity to help people gain more muscle strength and even help them get back on their feet walking again. At Daymar College, our training program can help prepare you for a rewarding career that allows you to play an important role in improving the lives of others every day. Our PTA program in Tennessee can give you the skills you need to work under the direction of physical therapists, helping patients regain mobility and independence during their recovery process.

Here are a few things to know before jumping into this health care career. 

Industry Outlook

The health care industry, as a whole, is currently experiencing growth as a result of the aging baby-boom generation. As a physical therapist assistant, you will be included in this growth phase because this career alone is experiencing a 40 percent increase in employment between 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and the national average growth for all occupations in the United States is 7 percent. 

To reduce the cost of physical therapy services, physical therapists will be expected to use their assistants to provide treatment under their direction.

These assistants are technically trained professionals who work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Practice in the state of Tennessee requires graduation from an accredited program and successful passage of the licensure board.

What You Will Do

As a physical therapist assistant in Tennessee, you will perform a number of tasks, including teaching exercises for increasing mobility and improving patients’ strength and coordination. You can even perform massage techniques and train patients for walking with crutches, canes or walkers.

You will help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain mobility and manage their pain. You will be directly involved in the care of patients. You may also often do tasks that are indirectly related to patient care, such as cleaning and setting up the treatment area, moving patients and performing clerical duties.

Where You Will Work

Graduates from the Daymar PTA program in Tennessee can seek employment in a wide range of settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Private practices
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Home health settings
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools
  • Sports facilities

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, each setting requires a different kind of focus. Here are three common work settings for physical therapist assistants:

  • Extended Care Facility /Nursing Home - In this setting, you will help in providing care to individuals who are admitted to a facility that focuses on elderly patients and provides long-term nursing care and rehabilitation.
  • Wellness/Prevention/Sports/Fitness - In this setting, physical therapy is provided to individuals who are focusing on wellness. This approach to health care emphasizes prevention of illness and injury and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to emphasizing treatment of diseases. Settings may include, but aren't limited to, fitness centers and sports training facilities.
  • Outpatient Clinic (also known as a Private Practice) - In this common physical therapy setting, patients seek treatment from a physical therapist in a clinic, office or other health care facility primarily to address orthopedic and neuromuscular injuries.

Receive Your Physical Therapist Assistant Training at Daymar

The Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science Degree Program provides students with the knowledge necessary to succeed in various clinical, home health, sports and school-based therapy settings. Our curriculum is designed to be relevant to current practice, and is in line for the evaluative criteria set forth by CAPTE, and outlined in the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Education. The program prepares you to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant state licensure exam.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward your health care career, get started at Daymar!