The physical therapist assistant degree program prepares individuals to use equipment, conduct treatment interventions, implement physical therapy treatment plans, train patients, and observe and record patient progress. Typical courses include communication, ethics, kinesiology, basic health care skills, procedures of physical therapy, anatomy, physiology, wound and injury care, personal and professional ethics, medical disorders, therapeutic exercise, functional activities, and physical therapy modalities such as hot packs, first aid, and ultrasound. Students will acquire skills that include assessment, therapeutic massage, proper use of crutches, and more. Physical therapist assistants help patients who are recovering from injuries, illnesses, and surgeries regain movement and manage pain. They administer physical therapy treatments such as exercise, hydrotherapy, traction, or heat treatment under the supervision of a physical therapist. They also measure a patient's range of joint motion, ease of movement, and vital signs. Physical therapist assistants collect treatment materials, demonstrate exercises to patients, and may also have to do clerical work. Many states require PTAs to be licensed. Employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to increase 46 percent from 2010 to 2020. With a PTA degree, graduates can work in health practitioner offices, hospitals, nursing care facilities, sports training and fitness centers, schools, or industrial working environments.