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
10.10.2017
The Physical Therapist/Physical Therapy Assistant is responsible for the evaluation and/or the implementation of a treatment program for all referred patients.  The Physical Therapist/Physical Therapy Assistant contributes to the...
09.01.2017
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...
11.17.2017
Associate Degree Required Position Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant provides direct patient care services under the supervision of a Physical Therapist and understands treatment plan and procedure modifications specific to infancy,...
11.17.2017
Experience is preferred 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:...
11.17.2017
We are seeking experienced Physical Therapist Assistants to join our Outpatient team! Virginia Hospital Center is located in the heart of Arlington, Virginia - just minutes away from Washington DC. We offer competitive compensation packages and...
11.17.2017
The Physical Therapist Assistant provides direct therapy procedures and interventions under the General/Direct supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist based on placement of service. This position requires population specific competencies....
11.03.2017
An opening currently exists for a part-time (27 hours a week) Physical Therapist Assistant in our Rehabilitation Department. Responsibilities of this position include following Therapists plan of care as determined by state/professional...
03.23.2017
The physical therapist assistant is responsible for conducting treatment programs established and designed by physical therapists on in-patients outpatients occupational health patients and home care patients. Assist in the coordination...
11.17.2017
Associate Degree Required Position Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant provides direct patient care services under the supervision of a Physical Therapist and understands treatment plan and procedure modifications specific to infancy,...
11.17.2017
Physical Therapist- Position administers optimal patient care by planning, organizing, and implementing a physical therapy program including assessment, evaluation, documentation and treatment for individual patients referred by attending...
11.16.2017
Treats patient following treatment plans written by Physical Therapist and ordered by Physician.
10.03.2017
Guthrie County Hospital has a part time up to full time Physical Therapist Assistant position available. This position reports to the Director of Physical Therapy. Under the supervision of the Physical Therapist, the Physical Therapy...
11.17.2017
Provides physical therapy treatments to patients under the supervision of the Physical Therapist. Documents patient treatment. Adheres to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcares performance expectations and performs all defined services and other related...
11.17.2017
The Physical Therapist performs physical therapy evaluations, treatments, and documentation requirements in accordance with professional standard. The Physical Therapist also participates in other departmental duties and activities as needed....
11.17.2017
The Physical Therapist performs physical therapy evaluations, treatments, and documentation requirements in accordance with professional standard. The Physical Therapist also participates in other departmental duties and activities as needed....
  1. Physical Therapist or Physical Therapy Assistant Campbellsville, KY Taylor Regional Hospital
    The Physical Therapist/Physical Therapy Assistant is responsible for the evaluation and/or the implementation of a treatment program for all referred patients.  The Physical Therapist/Physical Therapy Assistant contributes to the...
  2. 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...
  3. Physical Therapist Assistant Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
    Associate Degree Required Position Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant provides direct patient care services under the supervision of a Physical Therapist and understands treatment plan and procedure modifications specific to infancy,...
  4. Physical Therapist Assistant Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    Experience is preferred 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:...
  5. Physical Therapist Assistant Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    We are seeking experienced Physical Therapist Assistants to join our Outpatient team! Virginia Hospital Center is located in the heart of Arlington, Virginia - just minutes away from Washington DC. We offer competitive compensation packages and...
  6. Physical Therapist Assistant Oklahoma City, OK INTEGRIS Health
    The Physical Therapist Assistant provides direct therapy procedures and interventions under the General/Direct supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist based on placement of service. This position requires population specific competencies....
  7. Physical Therapist Assistant Millersburg, OH Pomerene Hospital
    An opening currently exists for a part-time (27 hours a week) Physical Therapist Assistant in our Rehabilitation Department. Responsibilities of this position include following Therapists plan of care as determined by state/professional...
  8. Physical Therapist Assistant (Casual) Jackson Chillicothe, OH Adena Health System
    The physical therapist assistant is responsible for conducting treatment programs established and designed by physical therapists on in-patients outpatients occupational health patients and home care patients. Assist in the coordination...
  9. Physical Therapist Assistant (Home Health) Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
    Associate Degree Required Position Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant provides direct patient care services under the supervision of a Physical Therapist and understands treatment plan and procedure modifications specific to infancy,...
  10. Physical Therapist/Physical Therapy Assitant Newberry, SC Newberry County Memorial Hospital
    Physical Therapist- Position administers optimal patient care by planning, organizing, and implementing a physical therapy program including assessment, evaluation, documentation and treatment for individual patients referred by attending...
  11. Physical Therapist Assistant Leon, IA Decatur County Hospital
    Treats patient following treatment plans written by Physical Therapist and ordered by Physician.
  12. Physial Therapist Assistant - Physical Therapy (2017-8413) Guthrie Center, IA Guthrie County Hospital
    Guthrie County Hospital has a part time up to full time Physical Therapist Assistant position available. This position reports to the Director of Physical Therapy. Under the supervision of the Physical Therapist, the Physical Therapy...
  13. Physical Therapist Assistant Waterloo, IA Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
    Provides physical therapy treatments to patients under the supervision of the Physical Therapist. Documents patient treatment. Adheres to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcares performance expectations and performs all defined services and other related...
  14. PHYSICAL THERAPIST Tifton, GA Tift Regional Medical Center
    The Physical Therapist performs physical therapy evaluations, treatments, and documentation requirements in accordance with professional standard. The Physical Therapist also participates in other departmental duties and activities as needed....
  15. PHYSICAL THERAPIST Tifton, GA Tift Regional Medical Center
    The Physical Therapist performs physical therapy evaluations, treatments, and documentation requirements in accordance with professional standard. The Physical Therapist also participates in other departmental duties and activities as needed....