Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description

Physical Therapy Assistants

What does a Physical Therapy Assistant do? What does a Physical Therapy Assistant job description include? 

A Physical Therapy Assistant may also be called a Physical Therapist Assistant, PTA, PT Assistant, Physical Therapy Technician, Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA), Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant (LPTA) .

Physical Therapy Assistants help Physical Therapists provide treatment to patients for relief of pain, improvement of mobility or lessening of physical disabilities. Physical Therapy Assistants work under the supervision of Physical Therapists and assist with a patients treatment which may involve specific exercises, massages, electrical stimulation, baths, hot and cold packs, traction, and ultrasound. A Physical Therapist Assistant job description includes:

  • Instructing, motivating, safeguarding and assisting patients as they practice exercises or functional activities
  • Fitting or adjusting supportive devices such as leg braces,crutches and prostheses
  • Observing 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
  • Conferring with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Transporting patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements.
  • Securing patients into or onto therapy equipment.
  • Administering active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, or heat, light, sound, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.

Additional Physical Therapy Assistant job duties include:

  • Communicating with or instructing caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.
  • Measuring patients' range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
  • Monitoring operation of equipment and recording use of equipment and administration of treatment
  • Performing clerical duties such as answering phones, making appointments and completing forms  
If you are looking for Physical Therapy Assistant jobs, visit the Physical Therapy Assistant jobs page.

Information on this page summarized from:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides,
(2) O*Net Online,Summary Report for:31-2021.00 - Physical Therapist Assistants,
(3) Image credit on this page: Public domain via Wikipedia Commons, U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Puscian et al

This site is intended only for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional guidance.
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