This website was developed and is maintained by the North Central Wisconsin Area Health Education Center.

Physical Therapy Assistant
Physical therapist assistants work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists to assist in providing therapy treatment to patients with physical disabilities.

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Work Activities/Environment
Physical therapist assistants support physical therapists in their daily activities which include assisting patients during rehabilitation. Assistants are trained to conduct therapeutic exercises, provide therapeutic massage, observe patients and evaluate data on a patientís progress. Physical therapist assistants may fit or adjust supportive devices such as leg braces or crutches. Assistants may also perform clerical duties such as answering phones, ordering supplies, and completing forms. They may work full-time or part-time depending upon where they are employed.

Academic/Special Requirements
High school students should study biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, and social sciences and perform some volunteer work at a local nursing home or with a physical therapist. An associate degree is required from an accredited community college or technical school. Course work includes mathematics, anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, psychology and supervised clinical experience. Physical therapy assistants are required to become licensed or certified. They are also required to be certified in CPR and First Aid, and must have completed a required number of hours in the clinical field.

Educational Institutions
Blackhawk Technical College
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Gateway Technical College
Herzing University - Brookfield
Madison Area Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College
Western Technical College

Average $36,330

Professional Organizations
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA, 22314-1488
703/684-2782 or 800/999-2782

Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association
3510 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI, 53704
608/221-9191 or 866/367-6978

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