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Physical Therapist Assistants

Also called: Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA), Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Physical Therapy Technician (Physical Therapy Tech)

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, or Navy.

What they do:
Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
On the job, you would:
  • Instruct, motivate, safeguard, and assist patients as they practice exercises or functional activities.
  • Observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress and provide results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.

Knowledge

Business
  • customer service
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Health
  • medicine and dentistry
  • therapy and counseling
Math and Science
  • psychology

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Social
  • understanding people's reactions
  • looking for ways to help people

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things
Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Concern for Others
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Cooperation
  • Attention to Detail
  • Adaptability/Flexibility

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Medical software
  • BioEx Systems Exercise Pro
  • Rehab Documentation Company ReDoc Suite
Accounting software
  • Billing software
  • Bookkeeping software
Data base user interface and query software
  • dBASE
  • FileMaker Pro software

Education

Education: (rated 3 of 5)
associate's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$53,360
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about physical therapist assistants.