Physical Therapist Assistant

Male nurse helping patientPhysical Therapist Assistant program - Limited Enrollment Period

We accept applications for the Physical Therapist Assistant program September-May

At Daymar College, our Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) degree program can prepare you for a rewarding career that allows you to help others on a daily basis. At our physical therapist assistant (PTA) training school in Tennessee, you can earn the skills you need to make a positive impact in the field.

What Is Physical Therapist Assisting?

You might already have a distinct image in your mind when you think of physical therapy — maybe someone relearning how to walk or move after a major injury or an athlete trying to train to get back on the field. But the truth is, physical therapy can be beneficial to just about everyone and utilizes a wide range of techniques — from guided exercises to manual therapy to traction — in order to improve patient health. A physical therapist assistant is someone who works under the supervision of a trained, licensed physical therapist, helping patients with either illness or injury issues regain mobility and independence while performing day-to-day activities. It’s important to note that physical therapist assistant is not the same thing as physical therapy aide. Assistants receive more education and training and can medically treat patients, but aides are not licensed to provide direct patient care.

What Do Physical Therapist Assistants Do?

Physical therapist assistants can perform a wide range of tasks under the direction of the supervising therapist, including: observing patients throughout the course of therapy to monitor patient status and progress; assessing gait and balance training; helping patients do specific exercises in their management plan; executing prescribed treatments like massage, stretching, and other therapeutic interventions; helping patients with using devices and equipment like walkers; and educating patients and any requisite caregivers about how to continue after treatment is complete. All of this is reported to the physical therapist in charge of the practice so that informed decisions can be made as to what next steps a patient requires. While physical therapist assistants work closely with and are supervised by the therapist in charge, they themselves might be supervising aides tasked with sanitizing therapy equipment, washing linens, and ensuring treatment spaces are clean. Overall, it’s an active job, with physical therapist assistants often on their feet, helping to lift and move patients.

Physical Therapist Assistant Certification and Education

Being a physical therapist assistant takes a lot of physical stamina and dexterity to manually work with patients, but perhaps more importantly it also takes a lot of compassion and strong interpersonal skills. To practice as a physical therapist in Tennessee, you’ll need an associate’s degree from an accredited school like Daymar College, which will help you prepare for the tasks you’ll be asked to perform at your new job and any licensing or certification exams you need to take in order to get started. At Daymar, we combine theoretical and conceptual classroom work with hands-on practical experience in a supervised clinic, taught by instructors who are also real-world professionals. All of this is designed to help you pass your state licensing exam and backed up by our dedicated student support and financial services. The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Daymar College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

PTA Licensure Pass Rate Information

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Daymar College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 931-552-7600 ext. 24125 or email jmagee@daymarcollege.edu.​

Physical Therapist Assistant Jobs (Career Outlook)

Employment in the field of physical therapy is rocketing upward, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that the need for physical therapist assistants will grow 33% — over 8 times the rate for all occupations — through 2029. A lot of factors are expected to contribute to this, including the aging baby boomer generation needing more physical therapy rehabilitation as they live longer and stay active. Also the rise in chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity will likely mean an increased number of patients looking to maintain their mobility and manage their symptoms. All of this means that physical therapists will be leaning more heavily on assistants to help manage the case load and keep the cost of their services down. Job opportunities should be especially good in facilities that serve the needs of the elderly, like skilled nursing homes, home health, and outpatient orthopedics.

What Classes Are Required in a Physical Therapist Assistant Program?

The Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science degree program provides students with the knowledge necessary to successfully perform as physical therapist assistants in various clinical, home health, sports, and school-based therapy settings. It is solidly based in the evaluative criteria set forth by CAPTE, and outlined in the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Education. The classes prepare college students to sit for the Physical Therapist Assistant state licensure exam and is designed to be completed by full-time students in 24 months.

Classes include:

  • General English*
  • Medical Terminology
  • College Math*
  • Patient/Practitioner Interaction**
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy**
  • Kinesiology I**
  • Kinesiology II**
  • Anatomy and Physiology I*
  • Anatomy and Physiology II*
  • Tests and Measures**
  • Modalities I**
  • Modalities II**
  • Treatment & Procedures I**
  • Treatment & Procedures II**
  • Treatment & Procedures III**
  • Clinical I**
  • Clinical II**
  • Clinical III**
  • Treatment & Procedures IV**
  • Medical Conditions I**
  • Medical Conditions II**
  • PTA Seminar**
  • Strategies for Success

*This course fulfills a general education requirement.

**Denotes a core course. Students must achieve a grade of 75% or above on all core course

How Much Do Physical Therapist Assistants Make?

The BLS reports that the median annual wage for physical therapist assistants was $58,790 in May 2019, with the highest 10 percent of people earning more than $80,840. The highest wages were earned by those working in skilled nursing care facilities, an area where jobs in this field are expected to grow. As of 2019, though, the BLS reports that almost half of all physical therapist assistants are employed in the offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

Where Can I Get Physical Therapist Assistant Training?

Daymar College offers out Physical Therapist Assistant degree program at the following location:

If you’re ready to learn more about our Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) training school in Tennessee, contact us today to learn how you can enroll in program courses.

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