Physical therapy is one of the few areas that portray a steadily growing industry. This is due to lives being prolonged and medical intervention techniques improving steadily. As technology and understanding increase, so does the means by which we can heal people. Therefore, it is safe to say that an increase of around 35% over a 10-year period in the physical therapy assistant jobs is not a wild stab in the dark.
Additionally, physical therapist assistant jobs come with a good salary which makes them particularly attractive to many people. By obtaining an associate degree with only 2 years’ study and a starting salary of around $45,000, it is easy to see why many people flock to this profession.
Clearly, it is not all about money. Many people want to enter into a profession where they can make a difference to someone’s life. Helping someone ease back into a regular routine after a long illness or easing pain that has dominated someone for many years, has a very fulfilling effect. Therefore, it is easy to see why many people remain in this vocation once they have entered it. So then, consider a physical therapy assistant job description and decide whether it is something you would like to do in life.
Physical Therapy Assistant Job Description
Physical therapy is not just about helping someone get back to full health. It is about reacting and responding to them in away that motivates them to help themselves. After all, you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. So no matter how many exercises or treatment plans your physical therapist can devise, if you cannot gain rapport with a patient and help them to take part in the treatment plan, it will have no benefit whatsoever. Therefore, you will find very personable people in this area of nursing. If this does not describe you then you may want to consider a different career path.
A physical therapy assistant will also have to be able to undertake paperwork and other administrative duties, so it is necessary to at least have an understanding of clerical duties and if you enjoy it – so much the better. You will have to be innovative and turn your hand to problem solving. The ability to assess your patient’s progress is essential in order to tailor the treatment plan accordingly.
One other ability you really need is the ability to teach your patient. This is a fundamental skill as there is little point in the physical therapist designing a tailor-made treatment plan for a patient if you are unable to administer it. The patient needs to be able to understand the instructions clearly and carry out the exercises accurately in order for the treatment to be effective. If you become tongue-tied at the very thought of explaining a procedure to another person then you could enroll in a course that can help you, or look for a job that does not involve this aspect so much. Working in research in physical therapy is an option if this is the area you particularly enjoy. This will limit your contact with patients but still give you the same sense of satisfaction.
Patience and compassion are needed in bucket loads for this job, as you will find you have patients that may have been directed to attend for treatment, so they are not attending of their own free will and have no interest in improving their physical situation.
Physical Therapy Assistant Job Openings
There are many physical therapy assistant job openings, and some states have more than others. For some jobs, you may be required to re-locate if you are unable to find anything in your area. Other jobs may entail a great deal of traveling, and for some people this is a bonus. For others, perhaps it is a nightmare. You may choose to work in a large hospital or a small private medical facility. There are also lots of job openings with homecare teams. First of all, choose the area you would most like to work in and then look for a physical therapy assistant job opening in that area. This is a job that will ultimately give you a great deal of satisfaction and fulfillment.