Patient, caring, and like helping others? Want a job you can feel good about?
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are skilled and licensed healthcare providers who work under the direction and supervision of physicaltherapists. Many people choose to be a physical therapist assistant because they have such direct access to patients. PTAs will see patients for about an hour at a time, often several days a week for a six-week or two-month period, sometimes longer. They really get to know their patients and share in their progress.
Physical therapist assistants provide treatments that improve patient mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or lessen physical disabilities, such as exercises, massages, electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, hot and cold packs, traction, and ultrasound. They record the patient's response to treatment and report it to the physical therapist. They also may be responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and organized and preparing for a patient's therapy.
PTAs can work with lots of different types of patients – from pediatrics to geriatrics – and in lots of areas. They can do home visits, work in hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools and colleges, or in the field of sports medicine.
About the Program
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is a two year program designed to prepareyou for employment as an entry-level physical therapist assistant. Registration and acceptance into the PTA program occurs each Fall. Though many of Delta’s programs will transfer to four-year colleges, many – including the PTA, respiratory care, and surgical tech programs – are designed for immediate employment.
If you are planning to become a physical therapist, you should follow the physical therapy transfer guide sheet available in Delta's Counseling Center.
Careers and Job Outlook
Employment opportunities are available in a variety of settings including outpatient physical therapy offices and clinics, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities.
Employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to increase 46 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy services is expected to increase in response to the healthcare needs of a growing elderly population.The average yearly earnings of physical therapist assistants in Michigan is $42,020.
Source: Michigan Department of Career Development, 2010 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates of Michigan Occupational Information System
What are students saying?
"The PTA program not only provides you with a degree in one of the fastest growing healthcare fields, it also challenges you to better yourself and reach new heights. With academic honors, leadership experience, and community service, you leave Delta as a highly desirable, well-rounded graduate with the skills to make you successful in and out of the work place."
– Megan Avery
"Learning from professors who are so evidently passionate and enthusiastic about the field of physical therapy has made me confident that I have chosen the right career path for myself."
– Theresa Mead
"The classroom activities replicate real clinical situations, which give us the confidence and knowledge to be true assets to the Physical Therapy profession. By doing this we can make our mark in this world."
– Cheryl Mrozinki
Find Out More
Have questions or want more information? Contact:
PTA program coordinator