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Physiotherapist Assistants (PTAs) are trained personnel who assist in the provision of physiotherapy services under the direction and supervision of a registered/licensed physiotherapist. The role of the PTA is to assist the physiotherapist in ensuring that physiotherapy services are delivered in a safe, effective, and efficient manner. PTAs help provide physiotherapy services that achieve and maintain optimal client outcomes.
PTAs can work in most settings where a Physiotherapist provides services. This can include private clinics, community settings such as home care, hospitals and rehabilitation centres, retirement residences and long-term care facilities.
A PTA may be assigned to part of the treatment plan. This can include exercises, gait training, use of modalities (e.g. application of heat and ice packs). They will report changes in the client’s status and responses to treatments to the physiotherapist. The PTA may also participate in equipment management (purchase, evaluation, maintenance, inventory).
Theory: 37 weeks
Internship: 6 weeks
Potential Career Paths After Completing the Program
Sometimes when seeing employment, Physiotherapy Assistants find job postings listed alongside jobs for Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA’s) according to onip.ca.
Physiotherapy Assistants can make on average $16.29 – $29.59 per hour.
*(source: ca.indeed.com 2020)
Candidates must submit a copy of their Secondary School Diploma (OSSD, GED, or better), if this is not available they will be required to complete a Mature Student Exam with a minimum score of 16.
Candidates must also submit a Pre-Admission Medical Report and Immunizations may be required for practicum.
This module will provide students with an overview of Microsoft Office and create skills that permit them to work with several MS modules as they relate specifically to project management. Students will develop skills in Microsoft Office, Excel, Power Point, MS Project and Outlook.
This module will provide students the tools to develop the business English and interpersonal communication skills necessary to function in the modern business setting. This module provides a review in English grammar, sentence structure and punctuation as they apply to business communication. Students will also learn effective interpersonal communication skills for managing personal and working with co-workers.
In this module students are introduced to the field of rehabilitation within the Canadian Health Care Systems. Topics include a comparison of the medical model, the rehabilitation model, and the client-centered model of patient care. Students will also learn the rehabilitation principles and goals, the health care system, social services and funding services. The therapeutic relationship, the code of ethics; and moral dilemmas of the health care setting such as patient rights, dilemmas of life and death, allocation of healthcare resources, and special dilemmas of healthcare professionals will also be included.
This module provides students with Medical terminology and basic knowledge of the anatomy, physiology of body systems and their associated disorders. An introduction to pharmacology, oncology, radiology, nuclear medicine, psychiatry and the 24 hour clock will also be included.
This module provides students with the basic knowledge and skills to interact safely, and effectively with a variety of clientele within different situations. Topics include infection control, safe body mechanics, functional movement, posture and gait. Basic exercise and mobility techniques, safe transfer techniques, safe and effective use of various types of ambulatory aids and patient observation skills will also be included. Students will also learn procedures for reporting, documenting and therapeutic skills such as palpation, and range of motion.
This module provides students with the fundamentals of developmental psychology, human development and how it can affect the client base. Physiotherapist Assistants must understand the changes that occur throughout the different stages of aging and those that are pathological in nature. This is especially important as they relate to the Physiotherapy Process. Students will learn how to interact effectively with patients taking into account the therapeutic use of self, how to respond to systems and behaviours, and safety techniques.
This module provides students with knowledge on administrative functions within the clinical environment. Topics include; telephone and reception skills, appointment scheduling, filing, correspondence and mail processing, photocopying, equipment and supply maintenance and how to assist with meetings.
This module provides students with a wide range of common musculoskeletal conditions that are encountered in a daily practice. This includes those resulting from trauma, disease, illness, genetics, aging and the environment and the treatment/management for each. Students will develop basic skills in carrying out exercise programs, bandaging, applying splints, and immobilizers. Assisting with ambulatory aids, setting up slings, pulleys, weights, exercise bikes, treadmills and recording and reporting information is also included.
This module provides students with the key fundamentals on how to assist with setting up, carrying out, and completing patient treatment procedures using a variety of modalities, equipment and Electrotherapeutic modalities. Emphasis is placed on safety issues, precautions, side effects, contraindications, hazards and dangers of equipment. It is highly important to follow through on reporting observations to the supervising physiotherapist. Principles of equipment maintenance and care are also covered.
This module provides students with the knowledge and skills required to assist clients with neurological, cardiovascular and/or respiratory problems. Topics include GMF, motor control, postural control and balance. Cognitive/sensory stimulation, vital signs, auscultation, bed exercises, breathing exercises, and postural drainage techniques. Students develop an awareness of the role and boundaries for PTAs when interacting with neurologically impaired patients.
This module provides students with the fundamentals to assist occupational therapist and physiotherapist within a mental health and psychosocial disabling conditions. Students learn the history and theory of medical and psychological models of mental health and illness, treatment settings, service provision, and common mental health and psychosocial disabling conditions. An understanding of psychotherapeutic medications, and treatment of clinical conditions commonly seen in the psychiatric setting will be included as well.
This module provides students with an introduction to the field with a specific focus on Occupational Therapy Assistants and their role in the clinical practice, particularly as it applies to physical dysfunction practice. Topics covered include history and theory related to occupational therapy, the role of the Occupational Therapist Assistant, the Occupational Therapy process, Occupational Therapy evaluation methods, broad aspects of treatment, and selected treatment interventions and treatment applications.
This module will provide students with the skills to prepare for employment, research employment opportunities within their field of study and be successful in their future career. Some of the topics included will be the preparation of a resume, interview and cover letter.