Physical therapy assistants (PTAs) work in support roles where their main responsibility is to assist physical therapists in carrying out plans to rehabilitate patients with physical injuries or disabilities. They provide assistance in alleviating pain and restoring patients to normal functioning and movement and teaching ways of coping with physical limitations as much as possible.

Working under the direct supervision of physical therapists, PTAs assist patients with exercises and instruct them on how to manage these exercises on their own. They also perform many clerical duties to ensure that a physical therapy facility runs smoothly which may include handling appointments, filling out forms and managing inventory of equipment and supplies.

People who wish to work as physical therapy assistants are required to be graduates of an accredited college offering a degree program in physical therapy assistantship. When writing a resume for Physical Therapy Assistant, the following list of job duties may be useful.

Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description

• Interview patients about their conditions in order to obtain preliminary medical history
• Perform physical examinations to determine extent of physical limitations
• Provide patient information to physical therapists to assist in charting out care plans
• Prepare treatment rooms and provide patients with education on procedures
• Assist in administering traction using static traction equipment
• Instruct and motivate patients as they perform exercises
• Assist in administering active and passive therapeutic exercises
• Provide support in performing physical therapy by explaining use of canes, crutches, prostheses and other supportive devices
• Observe patients during physical therapy procedures to determine discomfort or pain
• Assess the effectiveness of therapy plan by observing patients’ responses
• Take calls from patients and make appointments for physical therapy procedures
• Follow up on appointments
• Record patients’ demographic and insurance coverage information
• Operate and maintain physical therapy equipment
• Manage inventory of supplies and equipment
• Train patients in using orthopedic braces
• Transport patients to and from treatment rooms
• Assist patients in dressing and undressing for physical therapy procedures
• Provide paraffin baths and hot and cold pack treatments and handle ultrasounds
• Measure and record patients’ motor function and muscle performance
• Write progress reports based on observation
• Provide educational information to patients and their families on how to carry out various treatments at home
• Ensure that the treatment plan charted out by physical therapist is being followed appropriately
• Provide ongoing training to patients’ caregivers in order to ensure success of home-treatment plans
• Maintain patients’ progress charts for reference purposes