Explore Career Options, Jobs, Schooling, and Salary for an in Demand Career in Physical Therapy
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Physical Therapy Assistant Duties in Working with Disabled Children


In this article we look to investigate physical therapy assistant duties which are common in a work environment where the PTA will be working children who suffer from a disability or a lack of physical ability. Childrens hospitals always have a physical therapy wing which treats children of many different backgrounds. Physical therapy assistant duties for those that work in this environment will be to assist in the treatment of children whom have suffered debilitating injury, as well as those that are born with genetic dysfunctions that can effect their ability to move freely. the physical therapy assistant duties and responsibilities will be directed by the head physical therapists.

It is not uncommon in this type of hospital to find children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, acquired brain injury, arthritis,muscular dystrophy, amputation, epilepsy, autism and other developmental disabilities. These are all complex conditions and require a physical therapy assistant to have a high level of both knowledge and compassion. This however is one of the most rewarding sectors for a physical therapist assistant to work in, as working with children is often a joy. Also some PTA’s prefer this to working with the aging who may have minimal increases in well-being. Whereas children generally are very resilient. However emotionally this type of workplace can be difficult as seeing children helpless, struggle and in obvious pain can be upsetting. It all depends on a person’s ability and constitution to determine if this is the right place for them to find employment.

Physical Therapy Assistant Duties

  • transporting patients
  • Teaching group physical activity programs, and supervision of participants.
  • Assisting the physical therapist with treatment protocols
  • Teaching the patient to use assisted devices to help with ambulation
  • Part of the physical therapy assistant duties when working with children is to show tremendous compassion and bring a positive attitude to the work that you do.  A physical therapy assistant, assists the higher level professionals of the physical therapy services team. Much like a teacher of you students, finding ways to keep your young patients engaged and happy while doing their therapy is part of the job. You will be working with sick and injured children, this will be tougher on the physical therapist assistant in many ways from a mental perspective, but most who work in this line say the determination and resilience of the children they work with is very motivating.

    Disability Treatment and Physical Therapy Assistant Duties

    Physical therapy assistant duties in working with disabled children will differ from the types of corrective exercise that would be common in clinical physical therapy. This however does open a whole new host of opportunities for the PTA to work in. This career will differ from that of others in this field due to the fact that a big part of working with children, especially in a childrens hospital where the attitude and even the approach to how the therapy is done will be different. The job is more oriented on teaching and assisting the children through their day, and through their physio treatments. While the over all treatment protocol may be similar with the use of ultrasound equipment, therapeutic exercise, massage therapy, and various other modalities. The application of these treatments requires the PTA to have a much more fun and involved personality than working with adults. Children do not always understand what is happening to them, or why they are receiving the treatments that they are. Often they are not interested in knowing why you are doing what you are doing with regards to the treatment prescribed by the licensed physical therapist, as an adult patient would be.

    Physical therapy assistant duties working with disabled children are a different facet of this career, there are many responsibilities, but for some this line of work is the most rewarding and fun line of rehabilitation work.