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PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANT
Physical Therapy Assistant
When pain or injury strikes, you help make it better. Physical therapy assistants help patients regain their mobility, manage pain and avoid future injury.
All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified. You’ll typically be required to graduate from an accredited program and pass the relevant National Physical Therapy Exam.
You’ll need to be comfortable using various types of medical software as well as administrative software to record patient interactions. You should have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with patients in a concise and compassionate way regarding their treatment. You may be required to move a lot when working with patients, so it is important that you have good physical strength and stamina.
At the two-year mark you’re likely to be gaining experience under a more senior assistant in areas such as cleaning and setting up treatment areas, moving patients and performing clerical duties.
You’ll continue to grow in skills such as observing patients before, during, and after therapy and reporting status to a physical therapist, helping patients with specific exercises as part of their plan of care, and using devices and equipment, such as walkers, to help patients.
With additional experience, you’ll typically be more directly involved in treating patients using techniques such as massaging and stretching, as well as educating patients and family members about what to do after treatment. You may also pursue advanced certification or education within the field.