What Does a Physical Therapy Assistant Do? - Video

Physical Therapy Assistants (sometimes called Physical Therapy Aides) work with physical therapists to prevent or improve physical disabilities in patients. Most work Physical Therapy Assistants in clinics, hospitals or therapy centers.

Job Description

A Physical Therapist Assistant works under the direct supervision of a physical therapist. PT Assistants help therapists administer treatment and therapies to patients who have physical disabilities. Assistants perform many tasks, some of which include lifting or assisting in the movement of their patients. Many PT Assistants are trained on the job, but some do obtain associate's degrees.

Daily Duties

The daily duties of a Physical Therapy Assistant will be dependent on the needs of the patient. Patients who may need the help of a Physical Therapy Assistant include victims of an accident or those with conditions that hinder their ability to move properly, such as back pain, fractures, arthritis or cerebral palsy. Following the direction of a physical therapist, PT Assistants will help patients with exercise, massages, administering hot or cold packs and performing electrical stimulation. PT Assistants may also assist a physical therapist in administrative duties, such as collecting a patient's health history, scheduling appointments, recording patient progress and preparing specific therapy equipment.

Work Setting

Physical Therapy Assistants often work in clinics, hospitals or physical therapy offices. They can work full or part-time, though they may work in the evening or on the weekends. Physical stamina is required as PT Assistants will be moving throughout the day. They work with patients while kneeling, bending down or standing for much of the day. They may also be required to help lift or maneuver a patient.

Related Videos

  • Physical Therapy Careers - video

    Physical therapy is a popular health care profession. People who work in physical therapy help patients who have mobility problems that are a result of an injury or illness.
  • Massage Therapy Degrees - Video

    Massage Therapy degrees are awarded through massage therapy schools, college programs and massage training programs. Students who earn a degree in Massage Therapy can work as a massage therapist in private practice, spas, resorts, fitness centers and healthcare facilities. Learn more about earning a Massage Therapy degree here.

Related Articles for What Does a Physical Therapy Assistant Do?

View More Articles