Physical therapy assistants’ work involves helping patients recover from illnesses or injuries. PTA’s follow instructions provided by physical therapists to help lead patients through stretches, exercises, and other treatments and modalities to help relieve patients’ pain and restore their mobility. Keep reading to learn about what the physical therapists at West Boca’s Physical Therapy Now do on a daily basis to help patients like you regain your range of motion and more !
Where Do PTAs Work?
Physical therapy assistants work in rehabilitation centers or outpatient clinics where patients arrive, get treated, and return home on the same day. The clinics can be based within a hospital, or they could be stand-alone physical therapy practices.
PTAs work closely with physical therapists and experience fairly predictable daily routines because their patients usually book in advance. Other PTAs practice in-home care, supporting people with disabilities or elderly patients.
Others work in long-term care in skilled nursing facilities, homes, and hospices. PTAs working in such settings often don’t refer directly to physical therapists. Other PTAs also work as supporting staff for performing groups like sports teams.
Preparing for Appointments
This article focuses more on PTAs who work in clinics, and one of their tasks is preparing for appointments. Often, physical therapists consult with PTAs about patients on the appointment list. You’ll check on what’s known about new patients, and reviews care plans for their existing patients.
Doing this ensures setups for treatment areas match the patients’ conditions. You could set up the treatment area or supervise work if your institution has aides. PTAs that work full time should expect busy but predictable days.
Working With New Patients
As a PTA, you’ll work with new patients and ensure they complete their paperwork correctly before proceeding to the treatment room. You can take basic information like the patient’s blood pressure, weight, and height if the practice doesn’t have a medical assistant or aide.
Next, you could assist or observe while the Physical therapist evaluates and diagnoses the patient. You can also keep records or take range-of-motion measurements. Lastly, the physical therapist may ask you to demonstrate the use of props, exercises, and stretches to the patient. You may also help with making follow-up appointments.
Helping Existing Patients
You may also help patients with massage therapy or completing exercises. You may also perform ultrasounds and other treatments when required. You could help patients depending on their issues, including transfer skills like moving out of or into a wheelchair and helping patients with spinal, hip, and leg injuries walk again (gait training).
You can also help teach patients how to use wheelchairs, artificial limbs, walkers, and crutches or help them perform therapy exercises like strengthening and stretching moves. These involve props like resistance bands, weights, and exercise balls.
The physical therapist may also require you to perform massage therapy by manipulating your patients’ soft tissue to increase blood flow and relieve pain. Other therapies you may have to perform include ultrasound, water, cold, or heat, depending on your patient’s condition and care plan.
You’ll also have to talk with your patients and ask questions regarding their home or work conditions. For instance, you could ask your patient whether their office chair or mattress could be contributing to their pain. Lastly, you’ll have to evaluate your patient’s progress, record it, and suggest any care plan modifications that may improve their progress to the physical therapist.
Wrapping up Your Day
You’ll have to return used equipment to the store and complete all record-keeping duties for patients you saw that day. If necessary, your therapist may also ask to meet with you to discuss your patients’ progress and create better care plans.
Physical therapy is important regardless of your health. However, it’s even more important for individuals with physical injuries. Getting help from a physical therapist could help strengthen your muscles, help you heal quicker, and improve post-surgical outcomes.
Looking for a physical therapist West Boca Raton ? We have the best physical therapists in the area. Get in touch with us now through our contact page or call 561-327-4252 and book an appointment for diagnosis and treatment from our PT team right away!