What is the field of physical therapy like?
Today's physical therapists (PTs) and their assistants (PTAs) play a major role
in health care. Physical therapy means the assessment, evaluation, treatment and
prevention of physical disability, movement dysfunction, and pain resulting from
injury, disease, disability, or other health related conditions. Physical therapist
assistants work under the supervision of a physical therapist in the delivery of
physical therapy services. Their duties include assisting the physical therapist
in implementing treatment programs according to the plan of care, training patients
in exercises and activities of daily living, conducting treatments, using special
equipment, administering modalities and other treatment procedures, and reporting
to the physical therapist on the patient's responses.
Physical Therapy work involves patients of all ages - from children to the elderly - and can be
in many different settings: hospitals and medical centers, rehabilitation centers,
pediatric facilities and school systems, private orthopedic clinics, home health
care agencies, convalescent centers and extended care facilities. In particular,
small communities have a high need for therapy services.