Explore Career Options, Jobs, Schooling, and Salary for an in Demand Career in Physical Therapy

Job Description for a Physical Therapy Assistant

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) functions  below an accredited physical therapist, and assists in the day to day physical therapy procedures. The PTA additionally perform an essential part in within patient treatment and care. They can be responsible for operating a number of physical therapy tasks and modalities including giving ultrasound treatment, rendering massage to affected patients, using hot and also cold compresses on affected patients, as well as teaching patients rehabilitation exercise routines. Their duties can include supervision of the physical therapy facility floor, ensuring patients are following the exercise directions effectively, and making necessary corrections. Physical therapist assistants can also in certain workplace settings be responsible for teaching patients how to walk with assisted devices, as well as working with individuals recovering from surgery and serious accidents. physical therapy assistants will also have to be accountable and document and record patient information in a responsible and accurate format.

The duties can change from workplace to workplace for a physical therapist assistant job description. Other duties can include:

  • Helping patients with ambulation (walking, moving out of their wheelchairs, etc.)
  • Use of mechanical devices that pertain to physical therapy treatment.
  • Offering support, direction and encouragement during physical rehabilitation routines
  • Providing support and documentation to the licensed physical therapist
  • Assisting patients to treatment areas and commencing treatment under the guidance of a licensed physical therapist assistant.
  • Depending on the work place setting, there could be many other assisted based job duties
  • First Aid & CPR Certification – As a physical therapy assistant, it will be necessary to be training and skilled in basic emergency procedures. Due to the work environment and the patients that are worked with this is a requirement for ever PTA
  • Documentation and Awareness of Patient Needs – A physical therapy assistant is more than just an assistant who does what is asked by the supervising physical therapist. They are responsible for documenting patient charts with full medical terminology, while respecting and working around the patients specific needs or situation.
  • Respect Patient Rights – A physical therapy assistant has a responsibility to uphold all that surrounds a patient’s rights. These rights may include, but are certainly not limited to privacy, confidentiality, being aware of treatments they are receiving, as well as a right to accept or refuse that treatment. The rehabilitation process can take its toll on the sometimes frustrated patients, remember to always give them their dignity and respect.

As you can see there can be quite a diverse and long list of duties and responsibilities for a physical therapist assistant. There also happen to be a number of different work place settings that a PTA can find meaningful employment. A physical therapy assistant job description can change depending on the location they are employed. Most commonly we see PTA’s working in a clinical setting where injury rehabilitation and treatment assistant will contribute to the bulk of the job description. over 40% of all of those employed as physical therapy assistants find employment within clinical settings, and in the offices of other health practitioners. around 25% find employment in general and surgical hospitals.

All positions will require a degree of physical strength, as bending, stooping, lifting, and standing are all parts of a physical therapy assistant job description.

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