A physical therapy assistant works directly with physical therapists to provide physician-directed rehabilitation and treatments to patients. The primary function of PTAs is to administer suggested treatments to the patient and carry out routine maintenance of their progress. In addition to physical therapists, the PTA also directly corresponds with physicians and nurses when conditions change or treatments require attention.
Teamwork – Working as a PTA means establishing good relationships with each patient’s medical team. These connections not only help the patient’s recovery, but help the assistant grow their own medical based connections.
Listening and Observation – It is vital to listen and observe a patient to help their medical team and physical therapists create the best recovery plans.
Physical Strength and Overall Good Health – A PTA’s job encompasses rapid response times and an active nature that encourages their patients. They should be able to support an average male and female body, with additional emphasis on possible considerations such as obesity.
Knowledge of Current Testing Methods – Tests may be conducted under the care of a physical therapy assistant or in conjunction with the patient’s current physical therapist. In an assistance capacity, the PTA helps to administer the selected test and keeps the patient comfortable during their experience.
Anyone who wants to pursue a career in this field must have an associate degree in physical therapy assistance. It must come from a program that is currently accredited by a legally recognized program.
To act as a physical therapy assistant, a person must be presently licensed by the proper state licensing agency. Licenses do expire after a selected period of time and costs for renewal vary based on various factors.