Looking for a job in the Physical Therapist Assistant field? Want to know which jobs will be available once you graduate from the Daymar College's Physical Therapist Assistant Program? Learn about what a Physical Therapist Assistant does, the quality and skills needed to be successful in the field and what jobs you may pursue after graduating from Daymar College's Physical Therapist Program.
What does a Physical Therapist Assistant Do?
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA) work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain. Physical Therapist tasks include:
- Observe physical therapy patients before, during, and after therapy, noting patient status and reporting it to a physical therapist
- Help physical therapy patients do specific exercises as part of the plan of care
- Treat physical therapy patients using a variety of techniques, such as massage and stretching
- Use devices and equipment, such as walkers, to help physical therapy patients
- Educate a physical therapy patient and family members about what to do after treatment
Qualities a Physical Therapist Assistant Should Portray in Order to Succeed
Compassion - Physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides should enjoy helping patients. Compassionate physical therapist assistants work with people who are in pain, and they must have empathy to help their patients.
Detail Oriented - Physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides should be organized and have a keen eye for detail. Physical therapist assistants must keep accurate records and follow written and verbal instructions carefully to ensure quality care.
Dexterity - Physical therapist assistants should be comfortable using their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. Physical therapist aides should also be comfortable working with their hands to set up equipment and prepare treatment areas.
Interpersonal Skills - Physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides spend much of their time interacting with clients, their families, and other healthcare practitioners. They should be courteous and friendly.
Physical Stamina - Physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides are frequently on their feet and moving as they work with their patients. Physical therapist assistants must often kneel, stoop, bend, and stand for long periods. They should enjoy physical activity.
Skills a Physical Therapist Assistant Should be Able to Demonstrate
Intelligence - One's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving. More generally the ability to perceive information, and retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment.Further, the characteristics of Intelligence include the ability of an individual to comprehend actual situations and to react to them adequately, the ability to respond to words, numbers and symbols, and the ability of an individual to react to social situations of daily life.
Hard Worker - A person that is punctual and dependable. A hard worker also takes initiative and is flexible. Hard workers are motivated and set priorities. They are able to learn and be self-reliant. Lastly they have the stamina to stay the course and the perseverance to get the job done.
Able to Follow Direction - A person that listens, responds and completes tasks as requested by a colleague or manager. Able to the plan ahead and implement a set of steps or instructions completely. Takes a problem step by step through the process to completion.
Critical Thinker - A person that is reasonable and rational when coming up with a solution or dealing with colleagues. They are able to be reflective and take in consideration past experience into future decisions. Someone that thinks for themselves and asks the right questions at the right time. A person that is creative and comes up with original ideas. Someone that is not biased or one-sided and has an open mind for discussion.
Good Communicator - Ability to prepare a message and deliver it with a singular and clear focus. Someone that can listen to a patient or colleague and customize the message for that individual or group. They are able to clearly and concisely explain the benefits of their goals and missions.
Compassion - The response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. A compassionate person is motivated to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional pains of others.
Potential Jobs Available after Graduation from Daymar College
Becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant can open the door to many great career opportunities. Following are a few of the jobs (but not limited to) that you may pursue after graduating from Daymar College's Physical Therapist Assistant Program:
Rehabilitation Aide (RA) - A Rehabilitation Aide must work to assist a physical therapist. The Rehabilitation Aide prepares, cleans and maintains the work area as well as disinfect equipment after each use in preparation for the next physical therapy patient. A Rehabilitation Aide must also be able to perform a number of other tasks including transporting patients to and from treatment areas, performing clerical duties, taking inventory, ordering and stocking supplies, answering the telephone and taking messages to ensure everything is in order and prepared for the physical therapist.
Physical Therapy Aide (PTA) - Physical Therapy Aides are in charge of providing assistance to physical therapists and their patients. They are responsible for helping with set up and clean up after therapy sessions. Physical Therapy Aides assist with transportation duties and handle administrative responsibilities such as checking patients in, scheduling future visits, and completing insurance authorizations. Physical Therapy Aide tasks include:
- Performance of clerical duties; take inventory, order and stock supplies, answer telephone, take messages and complete forms.
- Transport patients to and from treatment areas, using wheelchairs or providing standing support.
- Prepare, clean and maintain work area and disinfect equipment after treatment.
Where do Physical Therapist Assistant Graduates Work?
The industries that employed the most Physical Therapists Assistants included offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, hospitals (state, local and private), home healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities and offices of physicians. Many communities have local Physical Therapists that need Physical Therapist Assistants to assist them with day-to-day operations.
How much do Physical Therapist Assistants and Rehabilitation Aides Typically Earn?
The median annual wage for Physical Therapists Assistants was $55,170 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,640, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,940. The median annual wage for Physical Therapist Aides was $25,120 in May 2015. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $38,040, According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
What is the Growth Outlook for Physical Therapist Assistants?
Employment of Physical Therapist Assistants is projected to grow 41 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Employment of Rehabilitation Aides is projected to grow 39 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Physical Therapist Assistant Job Outlook
Demand for Physical Therapy Assistants is expected to increase in response to the health needs of an aging population, particularly the large baby-boom generation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Baby Boomers are staying more active later in life than previous generations. The older Baby Boomers also are particularly vulnerable to a number of chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These patients often need additional help in their treatment, making the roles of Physical Therapist Assistants and Rehabilitation Aides vital.
Demand for Physical Therapist Assistants and Physical Therapy Aides is expected to grow over 39 percent in the next 7 years. With the right qualities and skills you can become a Physical Therapist Assistant and obtain the career you have always wanted. The faculty and staff at Daymar College is waiting to hear from you and help you become a Physical Therapist Assistant.
See which Daymar campus near you offers our Physical Therapist Assistant program by clicking here
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Daymar Institute is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org
For placement, financial and other important information, visit daymarcollege.edu/disclosures.