Physical Therapy Assistant Guide

Welcome to the PTA Guide, a physical therapy assistant education & career resource. We have everything you need to become a licensed PTA in your state. A few of the helpful things that you'll find here are information resources by state such as tools and info on PTA Schools, PTA license requirements, PTA Jobs, PTA salary data for states & major cities.
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How Physical Therapists Practice


How Physical Therapists Practice

The goal of any health care professional is to help their patients lead a healthier and more satisfied lifestyle. Physical therapists and other professionals work together to create a unique individualistic plan for their patients by using the latest and most recent technology available today to help them with physical injury, disease, and other limitations.

Physical Therapists and their PTAs work in a wide variety of settings from hospitals to homes to athletic facilities and nursing homes, you won’t really find two physical therapists that practice exactly the same way! And that is ok, physical therapy plans should be unique, because not everyone needs the exact same treatment. Here are some more places you can find physical therapists and physical therapy assistants working.

It is important to find a physical therapist that you trust and feel you will work well with. This is because if you do not trust your therapist and follow the plan they put together for you, you will not heal and get the results you desire. Meeting with a few physical therapists and seeing how they work and practice will help you make your decision and find the right physical therapist for your condition.

What Should You Expect When You Work With A Physical Therapist?

A physical therapist is just as vital to your health as your general practitioner is. They can work together to help implement an effective care plan for their patients. The physical therapist will provide quality cost effective treatment programs that will assist their patients in achieving a better quality of life.

Physical therapists use the latest physical therapy equipment and most proven PT treatment methods for their interventions. They make sure that the treatment protocols are working well for the patient and they discuss how the program is working and the patients progress. This means making adjustments to treatment plans as the patient progresses through the program.

Choosing a Physical Therapist

In nearly every state, the patient can select a physical therapist without requiring a referral from their doctor. Sometimes you may have limitations by your insurance provider on the physical therapist you can choose, but most often this is not an issue.

Don’t worry if you are not 100% certain that a physical therapist is the right move for you over some other health care professional. A good physical therapist will refer their patients to another health care professional if they believe that it is required or if there are more intensive treatments or diagnostic tests to be ran. This is why choosing a physical therapist that you trust is so important.

Here are the “5 C’s to Choosing Your Physical Therapist”

Thank Chad Clark, MSPT, CSCS from Physical Therapy Connections, P.C. for the following video on choosing your Physical Therapist!

Executing Physical Therapy Treatment Plans

A physical therapist will meet their patient and go through a discovery session where they learn about the patients condition and pain levels. The specific areas of their body that need healing and treatment. From the information they gather during this discovery session they create a physical therapy treatment plan for the patient to follow.

The physical therapist will guide and direct the patient in their treatment plan throughout the entire duration of the program. They will assist the patient in improved mobility, improved strength as well as coordination and gait. They will guide the patient in daily training activities. They will not only assist the patient with the exercises, but will also track their progress and results so that they can make adjustments to the plan as needed to insure that the patient is progressing and healing.

Are you a Physical Therapist or PTA? Tell us how you practice in the comments below! Or if you are or have been a physical therapy patient then tell us about your experience in the comments! 🙂


  1. Good points. I’d also recommend reading online reviews from past patients, that’s one of the best ways to filter out good physical therapists.

    • Hey Martin, thanks for the comment. Sorry I’m just now responding, it got buried under other comments and I didn’t notice it until today. Ooops! I agree, reviews are a great way to learn about a PT, how they practice, and if they would be a good fit for you and your therapy needs. Best of luck over at Alpine Therapy, looks like y’all are doing a nice job getting plenty of good reviews.

      Have a great day Martin!

  2. I agree that it is important to find a physical therapist you trust. It is important to remember that this person will have to come up with the best treatment to help you specifically. I would want to check with my insurance company to make sure I don’t have to pay too much from out of pocket.

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