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This book introduces a conceptual framework about the art of physical therapy to give the entry-level physical therapist assistant (PTA) student a broad foundation from which to support their journey through a typical curriculum. The purpose of this text is to cover the fundamental skills that most PTAs will use for the rest of their careers.

This text provides a historical perspective on the physical therapy profession, an introduction to healthcare policy, and a definition of evidence-informed practice, and various chapters describing specific areas of clinical expertise, including how to enhance a patient's function in such tasks as bed mobility, transfers, and gait training.

Chapter 1 provides a historical perspective on the physical therapy profession.

Chapter 2 introduces the reader to essential healthcare policies.

Chapter 3 describes the importance of evidence-informed practice and clinical decision-making.

Chapter 4 outlines clinical documentation.

With every patient interaction, the clinician should always ensure patient and clinician safety. Throughout the remaining chapters, the emphasis is placed on patient and clinician safety through correct body mechanics, the application of assistive and safety devices, and the effective use of infection control procedures.

Chapter 5 helps prepare the clinician for patient care.

Chapter 6 describes the various methods by which a clinician can take a patient's vital signs and the significance of each of these vital signs.

Chapter 7 covers the various methods to perform bed mobility skills, and correctly drape and position a patient.

Chapter 8 teaches the reader how to perform range of motion assessments and apply range of motion techniques as a treatment method.

Chapter 9 describes the various methods to accurately test the strength of each of the patient's muscles.

Chapter 10 describes wheelchair mobility skills and the various methods by which the clinician or clinical team can transfer a patient to and from various surfaces.

Chapter 11 details the various components and parameters of gait and how to train a patient to ambulate with or without an assistive device.

Finally, Chapter 12 attempts to put all of the information together by providing a patient example.

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