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
05.23.2017
Graduate of an accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Program Current OH Physical Therapist Assistant license/license elig
05.24.2017
Multiple Positions available in Jacksonville and Springfield! Status: Full Time, Non- Exempt Schedule: Days and weekends as needed. Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant is a licensed professional whom provides physical therapy services...
05.24.2017
Status: Full-Time, Exempt Schedule: Days, weekends as needed Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for providing physical therapy treatment to patients of all ages under the direction and supervision of the physical...
04.24.2017
Job Description - Pool Physical Therapist Assistant (170000UU) Job Description Pool Physical Therapist Assistant - (170000UU) Description Under general supervision of the Physical Therapist and according to established policies and...
04.28.2017
Job Description - Physical Therapist Assistant (170000ZL) Job Description Physical Therapist Assistant - (170000ZL) Description Under general supervision of the Physical Therapist and according to established policies and procedures,...
05.24.2017
Inpatient Rehabilitation 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:...
05.24.2017
Status: Full-Time, Non-Exempt Schedule: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Summary: Responsible for providing comprehensive care to patients of all ages under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. All procedures are carried out in accordance...
05.24.2017
Status: Part-Time, Non-Exempt Schedule: 8:00 am- 4:30 pm, weekend rotation as needed Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for providing physical therapy treatment to patients of all ages under the direction and...
05.24.2017
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...
02.23.2017
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....
05.24.2017
***HOME HEALTH COVERAGE FOR MARTINSVILLE COUNTY*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Performs selected procedures under the direction of a licensed physical therapist who has evaluated...
05.24.2017
***HOME HEALTH COVERAGE FOR BUCHANAN/NATURAL BRIDGE AREA*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Performs selected procedures under the direction of a licensed physical therapist who has...
05.24.2017
***MENTORSHIP AVAILABLE*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Performs selected procedures under the direction of a licensed physical therapist who has evaluated the patient and...
05.24.2017
***PRN position, Monday - Friday, Hours will vary. Must be able to work at any of the Roanoke area Outpatient Therapy departments*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities, and performs...
05.24.2017
The Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for administering treatment programs as established and supervised by a Physical Therapist. This position reports to the Assistant Director, Rehabilitation Services and operates within...
  1. Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant Gallipolis, OH Holzer
    Graduate of an accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Program Current OH Physical Therapist Assistant license/license elig
  2. Physical Therapist Assistant Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Multiple Positions available in Jacksonville and Springfield! Status: Full Time, Non- Exempt Schedule: Days and weekends as needed. Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant is a licensed professional whom provides physical therapy services...
  3. Outpatient Physical Therapist Assistant Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Status: Full-Time, Exempt Schedule: Days, weekends as needed Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for providing physical therapy treatment to patients of all ages under the direction and supervision of the physical...
  4. Pool Physical Therapist Assistant Tampa, FL Tampa General Hospital
    Job Description - Pool Physical Therapist Assistant (170000UU) Job Description Pool Physical Therapist Assistant - (170000UU) Description Under general supervision of the Physical Therapist and according to established policies and...
  5. Physical Therapist Assistant Tampa, FL Tampa General Hospital
    Job Description - Physical Therapist Assistant (170000ZL) Job Description Physical Therapist Assistant - (170000ZL) Description Under general supervision of the Physical Therapist and according to established policies and procedures,...
  6. Physical Therapist Assistant Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    Inpatient Rehabilitation 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:...
  7. Physical Therapist Assistant Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Status: Full-Time, Non-Exempt Schedule: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Summary: Responsible for providing comprehensive care to patients of all ages under the direction and supervision of a Physical Therapist. All procedures are carried out in accordance...
  8. Physical Therapist Assistant I Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Status: Part-Time, Non-Exempt Schedule: 8:00 am- 4:30 pm, weekend rotation as needed Summary: The Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for providing physical therapy treatment to patients of all ages under the direction and...
  9. 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...
  10. 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....
  11. PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    ***HOME HEALTH COVERAGE FOR MARTINSVILLE COUNTY*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Performs selected procedures under the direction of a licensed physical therapist who has evaluated...
  12. PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    ***HOME HEALTH COVERAGE FOR BUCHANAN/NATURAL BRIDGE AREA*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Performs selected procedures under the direction of a licensed physical therapist who has...
  13. PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    ***MENTORSHIP AVAILABLE*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities. Performs selected procedures under the direction of a licensed physical therapist who has evaluated the patient and...
  14. PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    ***PRN position, Monday - Friday, Hours will vary. Must be able to work at any of the Roanoke area Outpatient Therapy departments*** Support Carilion's hallmarks of service excellence and quality for all job responsibilities, and performs...
  15. Physical Therapist Assistant - Per Diem Northampton, MA Cooley Dickinson Hospital
    The Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for administering treatment programs as established and supervised by a Physical Therapist. This position reports to the Assistant Director, Rehabilitation Services and operates within...