Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Physical Therapy Assistant, or Physiotherapist Assistant, helps a Physical Therapist to rehabilitate their patients and work with clients who have sustained physical injuries. Their duties include helping patients in learning new exercises, assisting them with mobility aids and updating their medical records. 


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Physical Therapy Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Physical Therapy Assistant is primarily responsible for keeping track of a patient’s healing. They must then keep their Administrators informed on patient changes. In general, a Physical Therapy Assistant works by assisting a Physical Therapist in day-to-day duties at a medical facility. The core Physical Therapy Assistant duties and responsibilities to consider include the following: 

  • Explaining the benefits of stretches, exercises and other recovery techniques
  • Demonstrating the best way to perform recommended stretches and exercises, allowing the patient to perform them independently at home
  • Assessing the progress of a patient based on set targets
  • Keeping accurate records and writing detailed progress reports
  • Providing communication between patients, family members, Carers and other medical staff 
  • Assisting the Physical Therapist with the creation of long-term recovery plans for patients
  • Leading physical therapy sessions or exercise classes
  • Continuing education in physiotherapy techniques and treatments


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What does a Physical Therapy Assistant do?

A Physical Therapy Assistant ensures that patients receive their treatments as prescribed by a Senior Physical Therapist. A Physical Therapy Assistant works in a hospital, clinic or rehabilitation centre. They provide care to patients who have sustained debilitating injuries. A Physical Therapy Assistant, consequently, works to regain movement and mobility within their patients. 

A Physical Therapist Assistant will help patients during exercise classes. They also assist in administrative tasks such as record keeping or appointment setting. 


Physical Therapy Assistant skills and qualifications

A Physical Therapy Assistant needs to have a high level of empathy and understanding for their patients. They need practical healthcare skills that can be applied as part of treatment programmes. Here are some basic Physical Therapy Assistant skills and qualifications to request:

  • Ability to work as part of a wider healthcare team, including with Nurses, Carers and medical specialists such as Chiropractors 
  • Ability to accurately enter data into spreadsheets or databases
  • Diagnoses of physical ailments
  • Administration of rehabilitative exercises
  • First aid and CPR administration
  • Application of Health & Care Professions Council standards


Physical Therapy Assistant experience requirements

A Physical Therapy Assistant is an entry-level healthcare role. Applicants, in general, do need to gain work experience for advancement. Employers look for past volunteers who have worked as Healthcare Assistants in care homes. Work experience within physiotherapy clinics qualifies most candidates. Experience in patient care is ideal when it’s gained from a local NHS trust, the Red Cross or St John’s Ambulance.     


Physical Therapy Assistant education and training requirements

A Physical Therapy Assistant needs a GCSE and A-level in English and maths. Their focus should be within anatomy, physiology and biology. Ideal Physical Therapy Assistant candidates get their education from degrees in physiotherapy, sports science or nursing. Candidates with an appropriate physiotherapy degree have the knowledge to progress quickly to the position of Physical Therapist. 

Employers look for college courses in healthcare or sports subjects when offering apprenticeships or practical training in physiotherapy. Ideal college courses include a Level 3 National Diploma in Health and Social Care. Be sure to also look for a Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care. 


Physical Therapy Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Physical Therapy Assistant is £23,262 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company. 


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Physical Therapy Assistant job description FAQs


What makes for a good Physical Therapy Assistant job description?

A good Physical Therapy job description has details about where an applicant will work. The job description needs to detail whether you’re a private or NHS clinic. Describe whether you are part of a busy hospital or a quiet GP’s surgery. A good job description outlines how much responsibility the Physical Therapist Assistant has. Let them know about how you deal with patients and what their general demographic is in your facility. 


What qualities should I look for in a Physical Therapy Assistant?

A Physical Therapy Assistant not only needs to have a caring nature, but they also need to be practical and efficient. A Physical Therapy Assistant needs to be firm, decisive and persuasive when helping patients. 


What should I look for in a Physical Therapy Assistant CV?

A Physical Therapy Assistant CV needs to demonstrate a candidate’s experience clearly. Look for experience with patients from a healthcare setting. A good CV shows a passion for a specific field and an understanding of it. 

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