Physical therapist assistants perform a variety of tasks. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they provide part of a patient’s treatment.
-This might involve exercises, massages, electrical stimulation, paraffin baths, ultrasound and various kinds of heat treatment for diseases such as arthritis, cold applications to reduce swelling and pain, traction for patients with neck or back pain.
– PTAs instruct patients how to walk with canes or crutches, and maneuver well in a wheelchair.
-Help patients learn or improve their ability to perform functional activi¬ties. They may also teach patients how to apply, remove, and care for artificial body parts.
-Transport patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements.
-Physical therapist assistants record the patient’s responses to treatment and
report the outcome of each treatment to the physical therapist.
-Communicate with or instruct caregivers and family members on patient therapeutic activities and treatment plans.
– Measure patients’ range-of-joint motion, body parts, and vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
In addition PTA may perform office duties: schedule appointments, keep records and order supplies. The extent to which an assistant performs clerical tasks depends on the size and location of the facility.
-Physical therapist assistants maintain constant com¬munication with physical therapists regarding patient progress and response to treatment and record this infor¬mation in the patients’ medical records.