What Does PTA Stand For: A Ubiquitous Acronym

When you hear PTA, the first thing that might come to your mind is Parent Teacher’s Association, the most common use for the acronym. Even when you Google, ‘’What does PTA stand for?‘’ the Parent Teacher’s Association comes up as the first result and populates the featured snippet.

But, like some acronyms, PTA has different meanings depending on who you ask what PTA stands for. For some South Africans, the first meaning they might think of is the Preferential Trade Area. It can also stand for several things like planned time arrival, please try again, and planes, trains, and automobiles.

If you ask a healthcare professional ‘’what does PTA stand for in medical terms?‘’, they will think of something related to several medical terms. One of them is the Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty, which is a surgical operation that can open up a blood vessel that is blocked. Some might think of Physical Therapist Assistant. 

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who specialize in rehabilitating patients. They help manage pain caused by chronic conditions and improve movements caused by injuries or illnesses. 

Although the medical world doesn’t consider physical therapists as physicians, they are doctors, and they have the training to perform various tasks and duties. Here are some of them:

  • Work directly with each patient with functional problems caused by injuries, sprains, amputations, fractures, sports-related injuries, neurological conditions like stroke or cerebral palsy.
  • Review the medical records of each patient. They also need to check reports from previous doctors or surgeons to know how they can help their patients.
  • Diagnose the functions of each patient by observing their movements.
  • Develop plans for each patient with goals and the length of time needed to meet the expected outcome.
  • Assist each patient in exercising, stretching, and doing other forms of exercise. 
  • Identify the equipment and techniques needed for each patient.
  • Provide therapy to minimize each patient’s pain.
  • Help patients slowly regain their mobility.
  • Facilitate the health and wellness of each patient to prevent their pain or injury from getting worse.
  • Prepare medical reports to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Inform the families about the situation and the necessary treatment to make the recovery process smoother and faster.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?

PTA stands for Physical Therapist Assistant. Source: unsplash.com

WATCH VIDEO: A Day In The Life Of A Physical Therapist Assistant

What Do Physical Therapist Assistants Do?

The duties and responsibilities of physical therapist assistants are almost the same as the abovementioned lists that physical therapists do, except that they work under the supervision of the primary physical therapists. Physical therapists usually start their career as an assistant after graduating to immerse themselves in the job.

Physical therapist assistants support the primary physical therapists in assisting all kinds of patients, from children to the elderly, who have medical conditions limiting their mobility. Their goal is to ensure that their patients regain their bodily functions and live without any more assistance.

What Are The Salary And Job Outlook For Physical Therapists?

What Do Physical Therapist Assistants Do?

Physical therapists help rehabilitate people with all kinds of injuries or illnesses. Source: unsplash.com

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of physical therapists was $91,000 in 2020. Their highest salary in May 2020 was $126,780, and the lowest was $63,530. The top earners, which make up 10% of the total physical therapists in the U.S., usually work in nursing and residential care facilities, private and state hospitals. The lowest earners are the ones employed in offices.

The demand for physical therapists is high because of the aging generation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the job would grow 30% in the next few years until 2026 to meet the rehabilitation needs of people who have strokes, heart attacks, and any injuries that will cause their mobility to suffer.

Chronic conditions that may need rehabilitation, like obesity and diabetes, are also becoming more prevalent. Because of this, physical therapists will be in demand more than ever to help them manage their conditions and regain their mobility.

Which Jobs Are Similar To Physical Therapists?

There are other jobs in the medical field where healthcare professionals have duties almost similar to that of a physical therapist. Here are some of them with their job duties and median salary:

  • Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives – their duties include providing primary and specialty healthcare in hospitals or physician’s offices. Their median wage in 2020 was $117,670.
  • Physician Assistants – they are healthcare professionals who practice under the supervision of other physicians. They take and review medical histories and examine patients through diagnostic tests such as x-rays and blood tests. Their median wage in 2020 was $115,390.
  • Occupational Therapists – their primary duties include developing treatment plans to address the needs of patients with injuries or disabilities through therapy that revolve around everyday activities. Their median salary in 2020 was $86,280.
  • Audiologists – they help identify and manage a patient’s disorder related to hearing, balance, and neural systems. Their median pay in 2020 was at $81,030
  • Speech-Language Pathologists – they help prevent, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders in both children and adults. Their median salary in 2020 was $80,480.
Don’t Be Confused, Okay? What Does PTA Stand For

Physical Therapists have magical hands that can help many patients. Source: pixabay.com

Are you looking for more options in the medical field? Check out how much radiologists and anesthesiologists make.

Don’t Be Confused, Okay? What Does PTA Stand For

Acronyms are helpful to shorten how we call several things into a few letters, but sometimes it could confuse us since it could mean several things. The next time you hear PTA from someone, you have to ask them which PTA they are talking about, to be sure. 

Want to learn more about acronyms and abbreviations? Check out some of the exciting ones in fanfiction.

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Leonard hails from the Philippines and works as a freelancer, author, poet, and visual artist. He discovered his passion for writing and painting at an early age, leading him to pursue a degree in Mass Communications. He worked at a few places after college before landing what he thought was a "life-changing" writing career. He was also the lead singer and songwriter for a band. His career as an English teacher, poet, and visual artist took him to Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2018. You can see more of his work on Instagram at @anumalei.