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WHAT IS A PTA? | Physiotherapy Assistant Windsor

A Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) is a health care worker who helps to teach clients to effectively cope with their limitations in movement, daily functioning and activity. A PTA works under the supervision of a licensed physiotherapist.

The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (CPO), the regulatory body, categorizes physiotherapist assistants as Support Personnel.

WHY BE A PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSISTANT? | Career as a Physiotherapist in Windsor

There are many reasons why a person may require occupational therapy and/or physiotherapy rehabilitation services. Of the many conditions treated, a few examples are: falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke, mental health conditions, transplants, cystic fibrosis, and health and wellness promotion. This is just a brief list of reasons why individuals may need help returning to their regular work and daily lives. If you relish the challenges of creative problem solving and critical thinking; have good physical, mental and social health; and enjoy meeting people while wishing to work with those who are physically, developmentally, and/or emotionally challenged, a career as an occupational therapist assistant (OTA) and physiotherapist assistant (PTA) is for you. As an OTA/PTA, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of environments such as acute care and community hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, private practice and retail.

WHAT IS THE COMMON JOB TITLE? | Physiotherapy Assistant Related job Titles

The following titles, describing this kind of work, are most commonly used in job postings:

  • physiotherapist aide
  • physiotherapy aide/assistant
  • physical therapy aide/assistant
  • physiotherapist attendant

You might find some job descriptions that are very similar to that of PTA. Here are some related titles:

  • rehabilitation aide/assistant
  • restorative care aide
  • therapy assistant
  • occupational therapists assistant

Be aware that the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators recommends that employers use the term “assistant” when some post-secondary studies in the field are required, and the term “aide” when the position requires “on-the job training” only.

Often, the title “occupational therapy assistant” (OTA) is used along with “physiotherapy assistant” (PTA) in job postings. This is partly because sometimes they both receive training through a single OTA/PTA program.

Here is how some college programs describe the difference between OTA and PTA:

  • Physiotherapy is focused on the physical functioning and abilities of individuals.
  • Occupational Therapy is directed toward maximizing a person’s ability in all aspects of their usual daily activities including physical, mental and community interaction.

WHAT DO PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSISTANT DO? | Major duties of Physiotherapy Assistant in Windsor

The registered physiotherapist assigns a PTA’s duties. They work in close collaboration but ultimately the registered physiotherapist is accountable for the physiotherapy care, regardless of the amount of supervision. A PTA’s duties may include:

  • providing clinical care for assigned patients
  • providing patient/family education and support to address physical, emotional and self-care needs as assigned
  • providing timely and astute information to relevant team members about the patient’s performance
  • participating in program planning
  • implementing the components of the treatment plan as directed by the physiotherapist
  • assisting with walking, transfers and safe mobility, etc.
  • assisting the patient with his/her individual cognitive, perceptual and physical programs
  • assisting in or conducting group activities / exercise programs
  • monitoring and reporting changes in health status to the supervisor
  • ordering prescribed assistive or adaptive equipment
  • maintaining equipment inventories

HOW TO BECOME A PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSISTANT? | Qualifications and requirements

Though requirements may vary from one employer to another, candidates must always possess one of the following:

  • a certificate from a Physiotherapy Assistant Program
  • a physiotherapist assistant diploma from an accredited institution, or
  • equivalent formal training

The following certificates are a must as well:

  • First Aid Certificate and
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certificate


  • rehabilitation centres
  • hospitals
  • medical clinics

In addition, PTAs may work in:

  • retirement and nursing homes (also called long-tern care facilities)
  • sports and fitness centres
  • recreation centres

WANT TO BECOME A PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSISTANT? | The Canadian College Windsor Physiotherapy Assistant Program

Areas of focus include restoring and maximizing physical function and occupational performance, ultimately enabling them to effectively utilize their abilities in movement, daily functioning, and activity while promoting overall well-being.Canadian College’s full-time Physiotherapist Assistant program provides formal educational preparation for physiotherapist assistants. You will learn to assist in the implementation of rehabilitation treatment plans and programs developed to promote clients’ independence, activities, and function.

IS THERE PLACEMENT? | Canadian College Physiotherapy Assistant Work Placement

Practice your skills and acquire hands-on experience with a total of 7 weeks of unpaid fieldwork placements. These placements are arranged by the program fieldwork placement advisor and occur at the end of your program.

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