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.

Median Annual Wage: $54,410

Education: Associate's degree (100%)

Projected Growth: Much faster than average (22% or higher)

Related Job Titles: Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA); Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA); Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA); Certified Physical Therapist Assistant (CPTA); Home Health Physical Therapist Assistant; Outpatient Physical Therapist Assistant; Per Diem Physical Therapist Assistant (Per Diem PTA); Physical Therapist Assistant and Nurse Aide; Physical Therapy Technician (Physical Therapy Tech); Staff Physical Therapy Assistant

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Physical Therapist Assistants.

More Healthcare Support Careers

  • 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.
  • Secure patients into or onto therapy equipment.
  • Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.
  • Train patients in the use of orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.
  • Clean work area and check and store equipment after treatment.
  • Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, such as crutches.
  • Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment and administration of treatment.
  • Attend or conduct continuing education courses, seminars, or in-service activities.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Physical Therapist Assistants.

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Physical Therapist Assistants.

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