Physical Therapist Assistants

Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.

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notecard with portrait profile Sample Job Titles

Certified Physical Therapist Assistant (CPTA), Home Health Physical Therapist Assistant, Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA), Outpatient Physical Therapist Assistant, Per Diem Physical Therapist Assistant (Per Diem PTA), Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Physical Therapist Assistant and Nurse Aide, Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Physical Therapy Technician (Physical Therapy Tech), Staff Physical Therapy Assistant


ringing bell Tasks
  • Instruct, motivate, safeguard, and assist patients as they practice exercises or functional activities.
  • Observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress and provide results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Administer active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, or heat, light, sound, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.
  • Measure patients' range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
  • Communicate with or instruct caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.
  • Transport patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements.

bar graph of increasing height from left to right Knowledge
Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Medicine and Dentistry
  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Psychology
  • Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling
  • Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

star Skills
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

curved arrow betewen an x and a solid circle Abilities
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

binoculars Interests
Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

mug with steam off the top Work styles
Concern for Others
  • Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

wrench Tools
Back or lumbar or sacral orthopedic softgoods
  • Back braces; Sacro-illiac joint lumbar corsets
Balance beams or boards or bolsters or rockers for rehabilitation or therapy
  • Balance beams; Balance boards
Canes or cane accessories
  • Quad canes; Single point canes
Patient care beds or accessories for specialty care
  • Rotating bed; Standing cages; Standing tables; Tilt tables
Walkers or rollators
  • Front-wheel walkers; Hemi walkers; Pick-up walkers; Platform walkers; Reciprocating walkers

monitor Technology
Accounting software
  • Accounting software; Billing software; Bookkeeping software
Calendar and scheduling software
  • Scheduling software; SpectraSoft AppointmentsPRO
Data base user interface and query software
  • FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access; dBASE
Electronic mail software
  • Email software; Microsoft Outlook
Medical software
  • Arena Health Systems Phys-X; Beaver Creek Software The THERAPIST; BioEx Systems Exercise Pro; Client caseload management software; Eazy Application Systems QuickEMR
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