A physical therapy assistant is one who assists a physical therapist in providing physical therapy treatment to patients. Physical therapy assistants usually perform physical therapy proceedings as instructed by the senior therapist. They assist the senior therapist in managing conditions such as sprains and fractures, back and neck injuries, burns, arthritis, stroke, amputations, multiple sclerosis, injuries related to sports, birth defects and others. It is the duty of the physical therapy assistant to gather information regarding the patient’s response to the treatment and describe the outcome to the supervising therapist.
Physical therapy assistants are required to have:
o An associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program.
o A valid license proving clinical experience is an added advantage.
Physical therapy assistants work in various healthcare settings such as private hospitals, physical therapy offices, nursing homes, community healthcare centers, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers, industrial health centers, research institutions, and pediatric centers, among others. They are also required in colleges, sport teams and organizations. The salary of a physical therapy assistant depends on the position, degree of education, years of experience, practice setting and geographic location.