Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS)

What is A Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS) Degree?

Physical Therapy is the practice of using various physical hands-on movements, manipulations, and exercises to help patients heal after surgery, injury, and illness.  At times, it may involve the use of electrotherapy to speed healing.  PT also involves diagnosing and teaching people how to reduce pain and improve how they move and function as they age, working with patients in lots of different settings from hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and fitness facilities.

Physical Therapist Assistants work under the direction and supervision of the Physical Therapist, helping patients learn how to do the exercises prescribed by the Therapist and assisting them in completing them.  They watch the patient perform the movements, correcting misalignments in the motion while keeping a record of progress to be reported back to the Therapist. They may do some massage and stretching work, too, and use pieces of equipment in the treatment. The AS degree in Physical Therapist Assistant will include general education courses and courses in anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, communications, and ethics with classroom instruction, lab work, and a clinical placement in an approved facility.  Most areas require PTAs to be licensed.

The videos below discuss “typical” programs, so they should help regardless of which school you are considering.

Faculty Advice

Student Advice

What Can I Do With A Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS) Degree?