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A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.

Careers in PTA

The aging of the baby boomer generation has created many new opportunities in physical therapy. Pennsylvania has the nation’s second oldest population, with 15 percent of all Pennsylvanians over the age of 65. According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, the need for physical therapist assistants is expected to increase 15 percent through the year 2014. Physical therapist assistants provide therapy services under the supervision and direction of the PT. They assist with data collection; implement delegated patient interventions; make appropriate clinical judgments; modify interventions within the PT’s established plan of care; participate in discharge planning and follow-up care; document the care provided; educate and interact with PT and PTA students, aides, volunteers, patients, families and caregivers; and demonstrate an understanding of the significance and impact of cultural and individual differences. (Prepared by the Coalitions for Consensus conference by the APTA Education Division, 1995.)