Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Physical Therapist Assistant, or Physiotherapy Assistant, assists Physical Therapists by providing physical therapy treatments to patients. Their duties can include assisting with assessment functions, recording patient progress, and assessing equipment suitability for patients.

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Physical Therapist Assistant duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of a Physical Therapist Assistant have a wide range. A Physical Therapist Assistant’s day-to-day tasks can vary greatly, from booking appointments and following up with patients, to evaluating the effectiveness of a treatment plan. Some principal duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assisting during the assessment of patients with the Physical Therapist
  • Carrying out treatment programs under the direction of the Physical Therapist
  • Developing materials for use with patients, such as exercise handouts
  • Preparing equipment for patient use, such as mobility aids, wheelchairs, and exercise equipment
  • Documenting observations and patient progress
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Physical Therapist Assistant Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Position Summary: We are currently seeking Therapy Assistant to work at Mackenzie Health Hospital (Richmond Hill and Vaughan). As a member of the multi-disciplinary health care team, the Occupational Therapist/ Physiotherapist Assistant (OTA/PTA) will collaborate in the provision of therapeutic services. The Therapy Assistant will practice under the guidance and direction of a qualified Registered Occupational Therapist and/or Physiotherapist. As the successful candidate, you are a graduate of a recognized OTA/PTA Certificate or Diploma program from an “accredited community college” with one year of work experience in an inpatient setting. You demonstrate excellent interpersonal, organizational and communication skills, both written and verbal, along with a high level of initiative and adaptability to rapidly changing demands. Assist the supervising Physiotherapist and Occupational therapist in performing various components of the treatment plans for patients in the hospital setting. Perform various treatments as prescribed and directed by the supervising Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapists including, but not limited to, gait training, balance exercises, transfer training, range of motion, strengthening, ADL re-training, and the application of modalities. [website] heat, ice, TENS). Deliver dynamic, safe and therapeutically beneficial exercise classes for 1:1 interventions or groups of patients. Set up and prepare equipment and clean up after patients’ treatments. Ensure that the therapy gym and treatment areas are safe and tidy. Maintain regular ongoing communication with the Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapists regarding any changes or concerns about a patient’s status or treatment interventions. Requirements: Completed an OTA/PTA Diploma. Minimum 1-year experience working in an inpatient setting is required (inpatient unit experience is preferred). Knowledge of adaptive equipment, gait aids and wheelchairs. Ability to work independently and as part of a team in a dynamic, fast paced environment. Ability to perform repetitive bending, reaching, pushing, lifting and transferring using proper/safe body mechanics. BCLS and CPR certificate. Criminal background check, Vulnerable sector check and Immunization record (current). Must be available Sundays 8:00 am - 4:00pm or Saturday 8:00am- 4:00pm About SE Health SE Health (Saint Elizabeth Health Care) is a social enterprise applying our knowledge, vision and drive to forever impact how people live and age at home, today and into the future. As a not-for-profit organization with Canadian roots and 110 years of expertise, we bring quality excellence and innovation to home care, seniors’ lifestyle and family caregiving. Through our team of 9,000 Leaders of Impact, we deliver 20,000 care exchanges daily, totaling 50 million in the last decade alone. In [phone number]we were honoured to be rec ognized by Forbes as one of Canada's Best Employers. Saint Elizabeth is committed to the success of all its employees. If you feel you need accommodations because of illness or disability, please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources at [email address] at your earliest convenience. SE Health is monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic closely and following all public health directives, including recommendations from the World Health Organization, Government of Canada, and federal and provincial health authorities. Our top priority is the health and safety of our clients, their families and our staff. Please apply online

Example 2

Rehab First is one of Ontario's largest assessment and treatment organizations, numbering approximately 100 professional staff who are supported by the Psychologists and Physicians who are members of our MED_Net_® roster. Our values of sincerity, commitment and self-improvement inspire us to restore hope and function to clients whose lives have been affected by serious injury and illness. Our disciplines include Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Counselling, Professional Case Management, Rehabilitation Therapy, Life Care Planning and Future Care Cost Reporting. We are currently seeking an experienced Hourly *Occupational Therapist Assistant or Physiotherapist Therapist Assistant* for the Durham area. *Key Responsibilities* * Implements rehabilitation programs with the client as directed by the Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist, * Provide one-on-one therapeutic support with a clients * Promotes independence of the client in the home, in the community, and at work to support re-integration into the community * Facilitate a smooth transition into school or work activities * Facilitates and supervises activities of daily living as directed * Facilitates and implements educational and vocational re-integration as directed * Facilitates and implements cognitive therapy programs as directed * Promotes and implements leisure activities as directed * Implements exercise programs or group exercise classes as directed * Able to function as an integral component of an interdisciplinary team * Able to work under minimal supervision accepting responsibility and accountability as assigned *Key Qualifications* * Graduate of a recognized OTA/PTA College program * Preferred 1 year of experience working as an OTA/PTA with clients with complex injuries/diagnoses * Experience with head trauma and brain injury is an asset * Ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team * Superior communication, time management and documentation skills * Willing to travel to local gyms or client’s homes * Completion of a satisfactory Police Vulnerable Sector Check *Rehab First offers* * Opportunity to work from home or an office * Flexible schedule * Administrative support * Diverse case load * Experienced, personable and accessible management for ongoing support and mentorship. *All applicants must also have a valid driver’s license, access to a reliable vehicle and be willing to travel.* We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted. Job Types: Casual, Permanent Schedule: * Monday to Friday

Example 3

Assists with treatment programs and application of therapeutic modalities under the direction of a Registered Therapist to restore, maintain and/or enhance the level of functional independence and quality of life of clients/patients/residents. Job Qualifications Required Qualifications Therapist Assistant diploma Experience Previous: No previous experience required. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Interpersonal skills Valid drivers license, where required by the job Basic computer skills Communication skills Ability to work independently Laser Certification, where required by the job Other Information The official job descriptions are found on the Provider Group website, Additional Information Activities & abilities specific to the SHA (Saskatoon). Travel is required, must have access to a reliable car. Geographic Location: Located approximately 70 kms outside of Saskatoon Expected Start Date: July 5, [phone number]Expected Up To Date: September 15, [phone number]FTE®: 0.70 Working in Canada Candidates are required to be legally entitled to work in Canada to apply on this position.

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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Physical Therapist Assistant job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Physical Therapist Assistant and a Physiotherapy Assistant?

This is a valid question and, in Canada, there is no difference between the two terms. Differences may exist in other countries but, within Canada, both job descriptions are interchangeable.

Who does a Physical Therapist Assistant report to?

As a Physical Therapist Assistant, they are under the direction of the Physical Therapist in charge of the patient, and as such, they would report to them. In some cases, the Assistant may also be working with an Occupational Therapist or other professional, who they would report to.

How can you make your Physical Therapist Assistant job description stand out?

To make your job description stand out, be sure to include a clear statement about your company’s values and culture. Because the position can vary significantly from company to company, being clear on the role the Physical Therapist Assistant plays in your organization will clarify the experience best suited to your posting. Providing a clear description of the types of patients and therapy techniques the Physical Therapist Assistant will be expected to use regularly.

What qualities make an excellent Physical Therapist Assistant?

A great Physical Therapist Assistant can treat all patients with compassion and empathy. They are willing to try new things and experiment to create a positive experience for the patient. They actively listen, ask questions, and are open to providing feedback and suggestions to the people they work with. They work well within a team environment as well as independently.

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