What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?
A Physical Therapist Assistant plays a vital role in the physical rehabilitation of patients with injury or disability. Working closely with a Physical Therapist, the Assistant works to maximize the patient’s ability to manage daily activities independently. Within the treatment plan, they help the patient with strength training, stretching, and other activities and exercises to help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
This role can be found in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, extended care centers, rehabilitation centers, educational institutions, and private practice.
Physical Therapist Assistant skills and qualifications
A Physical Therapist Assistant needs to develop multifaceted skills. Clear verbal communication, as well as active listening, are essential to the patient experience. Problem-solving and critical thinking are required throughout the treatment, as necessary adjustments must be recognized and accounted for. Some top skills include:
- Knowledge of physical therapy treatments, such as traction, thermotherapy, and hydrotherapy
- Strong computer skills that include web-based software, word processing, and patient documentation programs
- Excellent interpersonal skills, as working within a team and with other professions is often required
- Observation and assessment skills
- Ability to communicate with a wide range of patients
- Genuine desire to help others
Physical Therapist Assistant experience requirements
A well-rounded Physical Therapist Assistant candidate will have experience with a diverse group of patients, including children and the elderly. Working with Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists will provide hands-on experience of working with various types of physical injuries and disabilities. A strong foundation in different treatment protocols, including electrotherapeutic techniques, will be an asset for a Physical Therapist Assistant candidate.
Physical Therapist Assistant education and training requirements
A Physical Therapist Assistant candidate in Canada is required to complete specific training. There are two available options. They must complete a two to three-year college program in physical rehabilitation. Or there is a two-year Physical Therapist Assistant program that can be completed followed by supervised practical training. Practical hands-on experience is subsequent to the educational requirements in Canada.
Physical Therapist Assistant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Physical Therapist Assistant in Canada is $42,700 per year. This can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and the hiring company.
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