What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?
Under the supervision of Physical Therapists at patients’ homes, fitness centres, nursing homes, clinics and hospitals, a Physical Therapist Assistant provides rehabilitation services to individuals who have limited function or mobility. They may monitor patient performance, operate medical equipment and teach patients therapeutic exercises.
A Physical Therapist Assistant may work during the weekday and sometimes on the weekend depending on their employer. Much of their shifts are during the day, but they may need to work in the evening to see patients.
Physical Therapist Assistant skills and qualifications
Physical Therapists need a range of skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively. These skills and qualifications include:
- Excellent patient management, time management and organisation skills
- Active listening skills and ability to follow instructions
- Strong physical stamina and ability to work on their feet for long periods
- Proficiency with therapeutic devices and equipment
- In-depth understanding of therapeutic and physiology practices and standards
- Ability to maintain hygiene practices
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Interpersonal skills and thorough attention to detail
Physical Therapist Assistant experience requirements
A Physical Therapist Assistant usually needs at least three years of clinical, health or social care experience, either in paid employment or voluntary work, to qualify for the role. Candidates with proven work experience as Physical Therapist Assistants are preferred. Those who have additional experience performing therapeutic exercises such as massages, functional training or physical modalities can be considered. Apprenticeships in healthcare can provide candidates with experience to apply for a Physical Therapist Assistant role.
Physical Therapist Assistant education and training requirements
There are no set education and training requirements for Physical Therapist Assistants. Employers expect good literacy and numeracy. Employers may ask for General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) in maths and English. They may also ask for Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) or equivalent vocational qualification in social and health care.
Employers usually require Physical Therapist to complete on-the-job training, which teaches candidates about the organisation’s policy and procedures and how to set up and use the equipment. Some employers require candidates to obtain industry-recognised certifications, such as the NCFE CACHE level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services and the NCFE CACHE level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support.
Physical Therapist Assistant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Physical Therapist Assistant in the United Kingdom is £23,262 per year. Their actual salary varies depending on several factors, including experience, education, location and company.
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