The duties of Physical Therapy Assistants, under the supervision of Physical Therapists are basically to assist patients who have limited mobility and may even teach or give the patient’s therapeutic exercises. They also monitor their performance from the various therapies and may even operate medical components or equipments in rehabilitation centers. Other physical therapists also do clerical work whether in a hospital, a clinic, or in a fitness center. They may also assist the patients with clerical tasks in their own home. Aside from assisting the Physical Therapists, they must also convey or give out a positive energy. It should help motivate a patient to improve their performance during every session of therapy. They must have the compassion and have good interaction that is very essential in this type of occupation. There are stages equivalent to eventually become a physical therapist, depending on the degree of education.
To become a Physical Therapy Assistant, one must first complete secondary education. It is also required in the position that a Physical Therapy Assistant must finish their high school with a high Grade Point Average (GPA). Mostly in the United States, it is essential for a Physical Therapy Assistant to accomplish post secondary programs that are approved by the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Physical Therapy Assistants may also concentrate on a certain area. They may specialize in specific areas like Pediatrics where they support children from infancy to adolescence with developmental disabilities. They also assist with Geriatrics where they help aging patients with various therapies for osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. These assistants may also specialize in Aquatic physical therapy, wherein it uses the physical properties of water to help patient healing and exercises, as long as it is certified by APTA.
There is also an educational requirement for a licensure or a certificate to become a Physical Therapy Assistant in the United States. Those who are interested in the position must first pass the National Physical Therapy Examination or shortly called NPTE. Although, in some states exams are administered and run by their own, the NPTE is managed under the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
Education programs for a Physical Therapy Assistant are offered all over country. Check online listings for notable schools closest to you. There are also schools that offer online degrees for interested applicants who may have a busier schedule but would still like to pursue a career in Physical Therapy.