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Physical Therapy Assistant Duties

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Under general supervision and according to established treatment plans and specific procedures, provides treatment to physical therapy patients in order to assist them in regaining physical mobility and function, increase strength, and decrease pain. Performs related clerical and service duties.


Assists Physical Therapist in the development and implementation of individual patient physical therapy care plans; performs daily physical therapy assignments to accomplish patient therapy plans and treatment goals.

Responsible for the daily care of assigned patients.

Guides patients through prescribed exercise programs, including passive, assistive, and resistive exercise routines which are designed to develop or enhance strength, muscle tone, and range of motion.

May participate in the development of home exercise programs designed to meet individualized patient needs.
Applies heat, light, water, and electrically based treatments/modalities (i.e., ultrasound, infra-red lamp, muscle stimulation, traction, hot and cold packs, paraffin baths, whirlpool, diathermy, etc.) to stimulate muscle/nerve function.

Assists patients in gait training (i.e., the use of parallel bars, walkers, crutches, canes, braces, etc.) in order to improve ambulatory skills.

Performs other therapeutic activities such as massage and body mechanics instruction (utilizing goniometer tests and indices).

Observes patient condition during treatment and notes any significant change in patient condition.

Seeks assistance from professional therapist or medical personnel when appropriate.

Records patient response to treatment and overall progress in patient charts.

Refers patients to Physical Therapist for reevaluation as necessary.

Prepares patient referrals as requested by Physical Therapist.

Advises professional team members of patient progress and perceived effectiveness of treatments; may suggest revision of treatment plan to better meet patient needs and capabilities.

Escorts/transports patients to physical therapy area, giving verbal guidance to maximal physical assistance as required; obtains wheelchairs, carts, walkers, etc. and assists patients into chairs and onto carts and table as necessary and provides physical support at all times.

Prepares physical therapy equipment by filling tanks, checking and adjusting controls, setting timing devices, and so forth.

Cleans and maintains treatment areas by cleaning and changing mats, changing linen, cleaning and refilling equipment, etc.

Follows sterile procedures and guidelines and ensures that all equipment is working properly and reports needed repairs to supervisor.

Assists in procuring supplies from other Health Center areas and in properly storing unit supplies.

Assists in scheduling patients, preparation of daily schedules, and maintenance of daily census of physical therapy patients.

Assists Physical Therapist in coordinating patient load.

Prepares charges for services provided and enter charges into computer.

Remains abreast of developments in the field of physical therapy technology by pursuing a program of self development, attending in service and continuing education programs, and so forth.

Performs related duties as required.


Level of knowledge equivalent to that ordinarily acquired through completion of an Associate's Degree in an accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Program.

One to three months of experience.

Current licensure as a Physical Therapy Assistant in the State of Georgia.


Considerable knowledge of the principles, methods, materials, and equipment used in physical therapy.

Considerable knowledge of the possible hazards to patients during treatment and of necessary precautionary and remedial measures.

Some knowledge of anatomy and physiology sufficient to position patients for various types of treatments without harm.

Ability to determine the proper length and intensity for individual treatments.

Ability to demonstrate to patients and others the acceptable techniques in a wide variety of physical therapeutic treatments.

Ability to understand, interpret, and adapt a physician's written or oral direction for physical therapy.

Ability to make necessary working adjustments and minor repairs to standard physical therapy equipment.

Ability to maintain adequate records to established techniques.



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