Physical Therapist Assistant - How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant


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Physical Therapist Job Description

 

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) assist patients with physical therapy procedures and other assigned tasks as directed by the physical therapist who supervises them. PTAs help patients and clients with movement difficulties, with the goal being to improve the quality of life. PTAs may assist patients who suffer from difficulty moving due to disease or injury.

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Responsibilities

 

The physical therapist assistant is expected to work closely with the physical therapist. He or she will assist patients, under the supervision of the physical therapist, with treatments designed to achieve the following goals:

  • Improve mobility

  • Pain relief

  • Prevent or minimize permanent physical disability

  • Promote wellness and overall fitness

Common types of patients or clients that the physical therapist assistant may work with include:

  • Victims of accidents

  • Individuals stricken with short- and long-term disabling conditions

  • Patients suffering low back pain

  • Victims of fractures

  • Patients with head injuries

  • Arthritis sufferers

  • Patients with heart disease

  • Adults and children with cerebral palsy

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Skills

 

Physical Endurance

A PTA must be able to be physical for many hours to help their patients as needed. They must be able to bend, twist, lift, crouch, kneel, push/pull, and the agility to move quickly and ensure patient safety.

Clerical

Must be able to collect and integrate patient histories to solve problems and develop treatments.

Emotional Stability

Must be able to handle the emotional stress of working with impaired patients in need of compassionate health care.

Multitasking

The ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

Interpersonal

Must be able to interact with patients and their families regardless of background.

Reasoning

Must be able to apply facts and principles to issues to determine conclusions and solve problems. They must use knowledge and logic to find patters in injuries and determine causes and provide solutions.

Communication

Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas to gauge patient's issues and convey to them the best path to treatment.

Empathy

Must be compassionate and able to empathize with a patient's pain and other difficulties. They are able to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves and let people know they care.

Patience

They must understand it takes time to see results and be willing to put in that time. They also must help their clients have patience--especially if they are trying to overcome a difficult injury.

Problem-Solving

Must be able to use knowledge to gauge issues and determine the best route to recovery.

Dexterity

Must work well with your hands and be nimble. You will be put in situations where physical therapy is a must.

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Working Conditions

 

PTAs may find opportunities for employment in any of the following range of settings:

  • Outpatient clinics that provide physical therapy

  • Short- and long-term skilled nursing facilities

  • Public, governmental and private hospitals

  • Rehabilitation centers

  • Home health providers

  • Public and private schools

  • Fitness and sports centers

  • Assisted living facilities

Although work hours can vary depending on the setting, most PTAs work a Monday through Friday schedule. Most hospitals and skilled nursing facilities work with reduced coverage on weekends and holidays. Evening and weekend hours are offered to accommodate patients’ schedules in many outpatient physical therapy settings.

The physical therapist assistant job can be physically demanding. PTAs are expected to walk, kneel, stoop, crouch, lift and stand on their feet for long periods of time. Physical therapist assistants may also be required to move heavy equipment and lift patients. They are also expected to help patients turn, stand or walk.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
06.21.2019
Under the supervision of a registered Physical Therapist, performs treatments and provides exercise instruction and demonstration for patients. Assists the Physical Therapist during patient testing, evaluations and complex procedures....
06.26.2019
Under the guidance of the Rehab Manager, the Clinical Coordinator, and the Physical Therapists, the Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for treatment of patients following disability, injury, disease or amputation, to help attain a...
06.05.2019
Physical Therapist Assistant I (PTA) works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to assist with a patients treatment program in accordance with federal guidelines and state practice acts. The PTA I assists in the provision of...
03.10.2019
Physical Therapist Assistant I (PTA) works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to assist with a patients treatment program in accordance with federal guidelines and state practice acts. The PTA I assists in the provision of...
06.26.2019
Purpose and Scope: A licensed technical health care worker who carries out planned treatment regimens or portions thereof as established by a licensed Physical Therapist. I. Position Requirements: A. Experience: Recommend that some of the...
06.26.2019
The Physical Therapist Assistant -Home Health position is located in Hamilton County Job Duties The Physical Therapist Assistant demonstrates a fundamental knowledge of principles and practices of physical therapy and the ability to apply...
05.07.2019
Staff Physical Therapy Assistants are responsible for direct patient care, treating a variety of individuals based upon setting, and according to the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist. The successful candidate will exhibit...
06.11.2019
Physical Therapist Assistants are skilled technical workers who administer treatment according to sources and procedures as directed by the Physical Therapist. Physical Therapist Assistants must strive to provide the highest possible level of...
06.07.2019
PRN Physical Therapist Assistant Come join our Rehab Team! Experience the benefits of working for Hillcrest, including: Collaborative environment with physicians, nurses, and other therapists Quality, patient focused care Competitive...
06.26.2019
Position Summary: The Physical Therapist reports to the Manager of Rehabilitation Services and is responsible to provide quality patient care per the plan of care upon the referral from an appropriate licensed practitioner or via direct access...
06.05.2019
Physical Therapist Assistant Full Time Salary Range: $20.75-$27.88 PURPOSE OF POSITION: Under the direction of the Physical Therapist, administers physical therapy treatment according to established professional standards and uphold patient...
05.07.2019
Staff Physical Therapy Assistants are responsible for direct patient care, treating a variety of individuals based upon setting, and according to the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist. The successful candidate will exhibit...
05.10.2019
Physical Therapist Assistant - Acute Care Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Flex/ prn, minimum of 1 weekend per month, 8:00-4:30. Occasional weekdays available Must be available for training 16-24 hours per week for 4-6 weeks to complete...
06.04.2019
Description Assists the Physical Therapist in administering the Physical Therapy program to facilitate the rehabilitation of people with physical and or psychosocial disabilities. The Physical Therapist Assistant works with the patients...
06.26.2019
Licensed or eligible as a PTA in Illinois. Provides physical therapy treatments in the inpatient setting under the supervison of a licensed Physical Therapist. 5/16/19
  1. PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    Under the supervision of a registered Physical Therapist, performs treatments and provides exercise instruction and demonstration for patients. Assists the Physical Therapist during patient testing, evaluations and complex procedures....
  2. Physical Therapist Assistant Tulsa, OK Oklahoma State University Medical Center
    Under the guidance of the Rehab Manager, the Clinical Coordinator, and the Physical Therapists, the Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for treatment of patients following disability, injury, disease or amputation, to help attain a...
  3. Physical Therapist Assistant I Charleston, SC Medical University of South Carolina
    Physical Therapist Assistant I (PTA) works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to assist with a patients treatment program in accordance with federal guidelines and state practice acts. The PTA I assists in the provision of...
  4. Physical Therapist Assistant I Charleston, SC Medical University of South Carolina
    Physical Therapist Assistant I (PTA) works under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist to assist with a patients treatment program in accordance with federal guidelines and state practice acts. The PTA I assists in the provision of...
  5. Physical Therapist Assistant-Inpatient Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    Purpose and Scope: A licensed technical health care worker who carries out planned treatment regimens or portions thereof as established by a licensed Physical Therapist. I. Position Requirements: A. Experience: Recommend that some of the...
  6. Physical Therapist Assistant -Home Health Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Physical Therapist Assistant -Home Health position is located in Hamilton County Job Duties The Physical Therapist Assistant demonstrates a fundamental knowledge of principles and practices of physical therapy and the ability to apply...
  7. Physical Therapist Assistant (Casual) Chillicothe, OH Adena Health System
    Staff Physical Therapy Assistants are responsible for direct patient care, treating a variety of individuals based upon setting, and according to the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist. The successful candidate will exhibit...
  8. Physical Therapist Assistant - Home Care Crosby, MN Cuyuna Regional Medical Center
    Physical Therapist Assistants are skilled technical workers who administer treatment according to sources and procedures as directed by the Physical Therapist. Physical Therapist Assistants must strive to provide the highest possible level of...
  9. Physical Therapist Assistant, PRN Tulsa, OK Hillcrest Medical Center
    PRN Physical Therapist Assistant Come join our Rehab Team! Experience the benefits of working for Hillcrest, including: Collaborative environment with physicians, nurses, and other therapists Quality, patient focused care Competitive...
  10. Physical Therapist Concord Twp. , OH Lake Health
    Position Summary: The Physical Therapist reports to the Manager of Rehabilitation Services and is responsible to provide quality patient care per the plan of care upon the referral from an appropriate licensed practitioner or via direct access...
  11. Physical Therapist Assistant - Full Time Burns, OR Harney District Hospital
    Physical Therapist Assistant Full Time Salary Range: $20.75-$27.88 PURPOSE OF POSITION: Under the direction of the Physical Therapist, administers physical therapy treatment according to established professional standards and uphold patient...
  12. Physical Therapist Assistant (Casual) Hillsboro Chillicothe, OH Adena Health System
    Staff Physical Therapy Assistants are responsible for direct patient care, treating a variety of individuals based upon setting, and according to the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist. The successful candidate will exhibit...
  13. Physical Therapist Assistant - Acute care Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Physical Therapist Assistant - Acute Care Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Flex/ prn, minimum of 1 weekend per month, 8:00-4:30. Occasional weekdays available Must be available for training 16-24 hours per week for 4-6 weeks to complete...
  14. PRN Physical Therapist Assistant Portage Shaker Heights, OH University Hospitals
    Description Assists the Physical Therapist in administering the Physical Therapy program to facilitate the rehabilitation of people with physical and or psychosocial disabilities. The Physical Therapist Assistant works with the patients...
  15. Inpatient Physical Therapist Assistant Olney, IL Carle Richland Memorial Hospital
    Licensed or eligible as a PTA in Illinois. Provides physical therapy treatments in the inpatient setting under the supervison of a licensed Physical Therapist. 5/16/19