Hiring Physical Therapist Assistants
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) play a critical role in the healthcare system by providing physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist. They aid in promoting overall fitness and wellness, helping patients and clients who have mobility difficulties due to an injury or a disease. They execute the plan of care prescribed by the physical therapist after they examine the patients. PTAs can be employed in a variety of facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, outpatient physical therapy clinics, sports and fitness facilities, schools, and even in government organizations. The job outlook is encouraging, with PTA jobs ranking #3 in the best healthcare support jobs in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for the role are likely to increase by 40% in the next five years. PTAs draw an average salary of $52,829 per year with additional benefits such as 401(k), life insurance, health insurance, license reimbursement benefits, etc. provided by some employers. The assistants with the right experience and skillset can become physical therapists in a few years.
Physical Therapist Assistant essential job functions
Given the nature of the duties, a comprehensive overview of the job role will help the hiring managers select better candidates. The primary responsibilities of a PTA include: implementing treatments, obtaining data from the patient interventions, and making modifications to the care plan as directed by the physical therapist. These therapy assistants have to observe patients before, during, and after therapy. They are in charge of the patient's progress, keeping in mind their safety and comfort, helping them perform exercises, treating them through massage and stretching techniques, and educating patients and family members about post-treatment care. They also assist with discharge planning and home instruction. The job role requires professionals to work with patients of all age groups, from newborns to the elderly.
Physical Therapist Assistant requirements for the role
Those applying for the position should have an associate’s degree, preferably approved by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). They also must be licensed from the state by passing the national physical therapy exam designed for assistants. Hiring managers typically favor candidates with relevant experience in patient care and clinical competency in treating rehabilitative patients. Applicants should have demonstrated the willingness to apply their knowledge and skills as required, exhibit skills in managing a chaotic work environment, and have the ability to react and perform under stress in emergencies. The position requires the candidate to communicate effectively, present a positive attitude, and maintain a professional appearance at all times. Additionally, applicants must be able to meet the physical demands of the job.