A physical therapist assistant works with a physical therapist. Assistants help licensed physical therapists to implement rehabilitation treatments to patients who are suffering from injuries or disabilities to help them recover faster. If you do have plans of becoming a physiotherapist but you have limited resources for your education, you should consider becoming an assistant instead. Assistants also have a great chance of becoming PTs by simply adding more years of training and education to their degree, and you can do the same once you already have enough resources.
Jobs and Responsibilities
The assistant performs various tasks to assist the physiotherapist, especially in giving patients massages, exercises, workouts, electric stimulations and paraffin baths. Generally, they perform their jobs under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist who are the ones that are ultimately responsible for designing a program to help the patients in need. Assistants should be active in monitoring and documenting the patient's progress and their response to the therapies and treatments.
The Work Environment
Physical therapist assistants may choose to work in clinics, rehabilitation centers, medical offices and medical hospitals. As an assistant, regardless of your work location, you have to be physically strong as your job includes supporting and lifting patients with very limited mobility. You may also be asked to help when moving or operating heavy equipment while treating patients. When it comes to your work schedule, this usually depends on what will be given to you by your supervising physical therapist or depends on the requirement of your employer. In general, you may choose to work full or part time, during night shifts, weekends or even holidays.
Training and Education Requirements
If you want to become successful in this field, you have to earn an associate degree by going through an accredited training program. this usually include two years of undergraduate education and you surely will not have a hard time finding a program for you as it is available in almost all US states. Degree programs often consist of various clinical and classroom instructions. Just like any other medical fields, the curriculum include life sciences, such as anatomy, physiology and other life saving or first aid skills.
Expected Annual Salary
Based on statistics, the average annual earnings of a physical therapist assistant is approximately $46,300. However, you should know that this salary may vary depending on the state where you chose to work, the industry you are working for and your employer.
Carol is a physical therapist assistant and co-creator of this popular new web-site: Physical Therapist Assistant