Day in the Life of a Physical Therapist Assistant (With Job Duties)

A Day in the Life of a Physical Therapist Assistant

Skills for physical therapy assistants

Physical therapist assistants can make use of many different skills throughout a workday, including:

What is a day in the life of a physical therapist assistant like?

A physical therapist assistant is responsible for providing physical therapy treatments to patients and assisting them with exercises under the guidance of a licensed physical therapist. A day in the life of a physical therapist assistant typically takes place during regular work hours, usually during the day between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Physical therapists can have many different work environments, including private physical therapy practices, hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers and homes, and they typically dress in business casual or scrubs, depending on the requirements of their employer.

Physical therapist assistants work with other people on a daily basis, typically working directly with patients and working with a licensed physical therapist. In a typical workday, a physical therapist assistant often helps patients complete exercises, administers treatments, creates patient treatment plans, keeps health records and educates patients.

Daily job duties of a physical therapist assistant

The role of a physical therapist assistant involves helping patients improve their mobility and recover from injuries under the guidance of a licensed physical therapist. A physical therapist assistant typically carries out many job duties during their workday, including:

Patient treatment responsibilities

Physical therapist assistants are responsible for administering treatments to patients and helping them complete exercises, including:

Physical therapist assistants often use treatments like these to help patients recover from sports-related injuries, fractures, back or neck injuries and other conditions.

Additional physical therapist assistant responsibilities

Additional daily job responsibilities of physical therapists can include:

Additional information about being a physical therapist assistants

Here is additional information about the job requirements, salary and job outlook and benefits of physical therapist assistants to help you learn more about the career:

Job requirements

Physical therapist assistants must meet certain career requirements. Physical therapist assistants usually have at least an associate degree. Typically, a physical therapist assistant associate degree takes two years to learn and includes courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, psychology and other relevant courses related to medicine.

Physical therapist assistants can become licensed by taking the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), and they may have additional certifications to improve themselves as job candidates and learn additional skills and knowledge.

Salary and job outlook

Benefits of being a physical therapist assistant

There are many benefits of being a physical therapist assistant, including:


What is a typical day like for a physical therapist assistant?

A typical day for a PTA can vary depending on where you work. I work in an outpatient setting, which can be very busy. I can see anywhere between 16 and 32 patients during one eight-hour workday. I’ll usually arrive 15-20 minutes early to review my schedule and see if there are any changes.

Does PTA have good work life balance?

Being a physical therapist assistant is emotionally demanding sometimes. Many patients are in pain and facing uncertainty about their health. Some may even be short-tempered.

Is being a PTA hard on your body?

One of the biggest advantages of being a physical therapist assistant is having an outstanding work-life balance. Having the ability to have a great work-life balance is unique for all jobs, but having it in your profession can be very unique.

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