A physical therapist is a licensed health care professional who examines and evaluates a patient's condition and then plans and administers treatments to promote optimal health. Physical therapists seek to relieve pain, improve the body's movement and function, maintain cardiopulmonary function, restore, maintain and promote optimal physical function; and limit disabilities resulting from injury or disease.
A physical therapist assistant is a licensed health care professional who provides treatment according to a plan developed by and under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
A physical therapist has completed an approved four-to-six-year college program in physical therapy, including studies in biology, basic medical sciences, and clinical experience. Studies focus on the evaluation and treatment of the heart, lungs, muscles, bones, and the nervous system. All of Burke’s physical therapist have either a master’s or a doctorate degree in physical therapy. In addition, Burke’s physical therapists have passed a national written examination and met all criteria for licensure in New York State. There are yearly requirements for ongoing study and continuing education, and many physical therapists at Burke have achieved advanced certifications. These include: mechanical diagnosis and treatment for spinal disorders (Mackenzie Method), board certification in orthopedics, certification in Kinesiotaping, certification in strength and conditioning, certification in proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and manual lymphatic drainage to name a few.
A physical therapist assistant has completed an approved two-year college program that includes studies in anatomy and physiology; in addition, instruction addresses how to provide treatment under the supervision of a physical therapist. New York physical therapist assistants have passed a national written examination and met all criteria for licensure in New York State, including clinical experience. Ongoing study as well as continuing education and training are also required.