Among the most frequently asked questions that aspiring assistants, and those who are interested in pursuing this career have has to deal with how physically demanding the job of a physical therapy assistant is. A precise answer cannot be given with certainty since there are a lot of individual factors that affect it such as the physical strength and stamina of the assistant, the types of treatments that he/she performs and the presence or absence of an aide. Learn more about the nature of the work of these professional so that you can get an idea of how physically demanding it is.
Physical therapy assistants perform various treatments. Some of them such as electrical stimulation therapy, massages and aquatic therapy are not physically demanding at all. Mechanical traction therapies and exercise therapies are more challenging, but they are certainly not hard to perform physically. During many of the therapeutic treatments, you will have to bend, stoop and kneel. Again, these activities are not particularly demanding, but over time they can affect the body. Those who are more elderly and experienced often suffer from aches and pains that can be associated with the profession. At the same time those in strong physical condition may never have any issues their entire career. The physical exertion is small to medium.
On the job, you will be standing for long periods of time. This is not particularly effort consuming, but you may get tired easily especially when there are not many breaks in your work schedule, and often those who stand for long periods of time can be hard on the feet and back, but Still, having to stand for considerably large periods of time is not particularly physically demanding for most physical therapy assistants.
A lot of aspiring professionals would like to know whether they will have to lift and possibly carry patients from one place to another. Moving the patients is generally a job that the aide performs.
However, if there is none working in the office, then you will have to do the work. At the same time, patients with mobility, balance and stamina problems may require moving as part of the treatment sessions. Overall, you can expect to lift patients, but you will most likely get help with this.
Are there any physical requirements for physical therapy assistants? There are no officially set rules regarding the height and weight of assistants, even though some employers may have their own individual requirements. In general, assistants are required to be physically healthy. Their mobility should not be impaired in any way. There are no requirements regarding the physical strength of assistants, but they have to be strong enough to perform different treatments to help patients get up and support them when they walk a short distance.
Now you have a general idea of how physically demanding the job of a physical therapy assistant is. There is a moderate amount of physical exertion required and this should not be a problem for a health young or middle-aged individual. There are different ways in which you can improve your physical strength and stamina, if you have any concerns that you may not be able to work optimally on the job. You can exercise regularly and enjoy a balanced diet that is rich in protein, healthy carbs and vitamins and mineral.
Overall, you should not focus on how physically demanding the job of a physical therapy assistant is. Your professional and interpersonal skills are much more important. The same applies to the effort you put in your work.
Remember, how physically demanding the job of a physical therapy assistant will be for you, will depend heavily on how you take care of yourself.