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Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) are skilled technical health care providers who, under the direction and supervision of a licensed PhysicalTherapist (PT), provide services to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.

The PT partners with a PTA to provide selected components of the individualized treatment plan for a patient/client. Physical therapy techniques that a PTA performs include:

  • teaching exercises for mobility, strength and coordination;
  • training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers;
  • deep soft tissue massage;
  • use of physical modalities such as electrotherapy and ultrasound;
  • and measuring changes in the patient’s performance as a result of the treatment provided.

PTAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, nursing homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, research organizations, and industrial settings.

Some of the conditions treated by physical therapy are: arthritis, back pain, balance, burns, carpal tunnel syndrome, developmental delays, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dislocations, fractures, hand injuries, headaches, incontinence, lymphedema, osteoporosis, pelvic pain, sports injuries, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.


Howard Community College celebrates diversity. HCC and its PTA program reflect and respect all differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnic background, and ability/disability as well as the values of equal rights, equal access, and equal treatment.

Effective November 7, 2012, Howard Community College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 222314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses and that the program is progressing toward accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

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After serving in the military, Waymon decided to follow his passion for physical therapy. Read More