Physiotherapy Assistants (PTA’s) in Canada work under the direction and supervision of a physiotherapist. And, their main role is to provide care to clients of all ages with a wide range of health conditions. Furthermore, there are essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to be an effective PTA. Because you work under the supervision of a physiotherapist (PT) there is a list of skills they look for. These are found under the Essential Competency Profile for Physiotherapist Assistants.
Due to the variety of tasks they perform and where they work, PTA’s go by a number of different titles. For instance, you may know them as Rehabilitation Aides or Assistants, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physiotherapy Aides or Physiotherapy Assistants. Overall, PTA’s play a vital role in extended healthcare. And, below we will provide a brief guide on what to expect career-wise as a PTA.
According to the Ontario Network of Internationally Trained Professionals, physiotherapy assistants serve a vital role in assisting physiotherapists.
“A physiotherapist assistant (PTA) is a health care worker who helps teach clients to effectively cope with their limitations in movement, daily functioning, and activity.”
Furthermore, The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (CPO), the regulatory body, categorizes physiotherapy assistants as support personnel who works under the supervision of a licensed physiotherapist.
PTA’s perform a wide variety of duties and tasks throughout the workday. And, these tasks vary depending on where they are working. While working with the licensed physiotherapist, the duties of a PTA may involve the following:
A PTA is assigned part of the treatment plan. This includes exercises, gait training, and use of modalities (e.g. application of heat and ice packs). In addition, they report changes in the client’s status and responses to treatments to the physiotherapist. Furthermore, the PTA can participate in equipment management such as purchasing, evaluation, maintenance, inventory, etc.
“Physiotherapists (PTs) maintain responsibility for client assessment, interpretation of findings, determination and initiation of interventions, the progression of interventions, re-evaluation, and discharge planning.”
The difference is, PTA’s are assigned an evaluation tool to implement. However, they will not interpret the results. Moreover, they will not make decisions about changing the treatment plan. As a result, PTA’s can properly communicate their opinions to the PT when the client(s) are ready to progress, but not to the client directly.
According to the Ontario Network of Internationally Trained Professionals, physiotherapy assistants need specialized training to perform their job. Though requirements may vary from one employer to another, candidates must always possess one of the following:
In addition, the following certificates are a must:
Furthermore, the ability to multitask while possessing strong communication and interpersonal skills are crucial. For example, the role of a coach/mentor involves critical thinking skills along with proper strategical intervention. In addition, having effective communication with the physiotherapist and other team members is a good asset. Lastly, providing good judgment and problem-solving skills goes a long way with both patients and staff.
Other common requirements include:
As a result, because of the specialization of this career PTA’s spend about 20 years working in this rewarding field.
Physiotherapy Assistants have a variety of options to work upon graduation. The most common places are found in:
Knowing how much a physiotherapy assistant is paid is helpful. Like any job, there are multiple factors which affect compensation such as the employer, experience, level of responsibility and location. Depending on where you live in Ontario pay can range anywhere from $25,000 to $42,000+ per year (source: payscale.com)
A career as a physiotherapy assistant is quite rewarding both financially and personally. While the path to becoming a physiotherapist is a long one, becoming a physiotherapist assistant is short. Within one year you can go to school, train for the career, and be working to help people with their recovery.
Canadian College Windsor can have you ready to work in the Windsor, Ontario job market in a short period. In addition, the college helps you find career openings across South Western Ontario. Most noteworthy, all programs are tailored to meet the needs of today’s employment market. Thus, you can expect each program to teach you the skills you need to know to be successful. And, all will be achieved with full support every step of the way.
Are you interested in enrolling in a college that prepares you for future employment and stability? Do you want a practical education that prepares you for a rewarding future in business or healthcare? If so, contact Canadian College and speak to a recruiter today! To learn more about what the college has to offer, please call 519-977-1222. Find our latest programs online at https://www.cchst.net/career-programs/