Physical therapy assistant is not a career for everyone. There are some basic characteristics that will determine if this career is an excellent fit for your personality, motivation and in general how you operate. Skill set will always be included in what makes an individual successful at their given job, but in the case of a PTA, the skill set can be obtained in the form of an associates degree. The real determiner if an individual will be the right fit for this career is down to personality traits.
Patience: day to day work as a physical therapy assistant can require a great deal of patience. They work on a consistent basis with individuals who are suffering with tough circumstances, or a difficult rehabilitation process. The patients you service will be frustrated, dealing with their frustration and still completing treatment requires a great deal of patience.
personability: Because a PTA works with a number of individuals with various orthopedic conditions, injuries, and disorders, a PTA’s ability to have good positive communication with their patients is essential in having a strong focused treatment. Rehabilitation is a tough go for the patients, a stand off personality physical therapy assistant will not help the motivation they require to complete their therapy sessions. Patients need to feel they trust and can communicate with their physical therapy team.
compassion: Having empathy and compassion for the individuals you are working with is an absolute must. It really is a put yourself in their shoes type of situation. As we know that this job requires a great deal of patience, part of this patience is understanding the difficulties that the patients are going through. Most individuals do not end up in rehabilitation by choice, they end up there by necessity, it is an important personality trait to be compassionate to all patients.
enthusiasm: along the lines of patience and compassion for what the patient is going through, we realize that enthusiasm is an excellent trait of a PTA. being enthusiastic helps make the rehabilitation process less daunting for the patients. Also an enthusiastic PTA is more open to learning new techniques, and is willing to work on skills that help them interact with patients.
physical use of equipment related to job: While this can be learned in one of the physical therapy assistant schools that an individual seeking this career chooses, having a genuine interest in physical movement and a good knowledge of exercise will help make the PTA a better teacher for the patients they see.
There are many personality traits that a physical therapy assistant requires to operate their job. There is a high job satisfaction amongst those that work in physical therapy, and it is easy to see why, if you feel that the above mentioned traits fit your profile, then this may be the right career choice for you.