Physical therapy assistants (PTAs) work directly under physical therapists. Their crucial role is to assist with patient mobility efforts. This will allow the patient to regain an active lifestyle and achieve a higher quality of life. To succeed at a physical therapy assistant job, it’s vital to acquire a distinct set of qualities and skills. Let’s dive into what a PTA can do to be great.
How to Become a PTA
Although you will leave the examination and diagnostics to the physical therapists, you will still need to be able to complete mobility techniques with patients. Therefore, you will need to have a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology. PTAs acquire this education from completing a PTA program at a community college or trade school. This is typically a two-year program that leads to an associate’s degree in applied science (AAS) or science (AS).
After graduation from the PTA program, you must apply for state licensure and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAS. You won’t be on the job hunt for long with these accreditations. PTAs are in extremely high demand, and rightfully so. This is a fantastic career that offers personal fulfillment and leaves an impact on your community. Let’s find out if you have what it takes to become a PTA.
6 Qualities and Skills Needed to Succeed in a Physical Therapy Assistant Job
Your medical license will showcase your credentials to your future employers and patients. Competency in anatomy isn’t the only quality or skill necessary to succeed in this occupation. Here are 10 ways to know if this career is suitable for you. You must:
#1 Be physically fit
A physical therapy assistant job is physically demanding. You will assist patients by lifting and preparing medical equipment. Depending on the patient, you might also find yourself raising them to help with exercises or stretches. Therefore, you must be in great shape to succeed in this position.
#2 Practice patience, compassion, and empathy
Your patients are going through a traumatic experience. Many of your patients will be in a great deal of pain. It’s vital to show grace when offering assistance.
#3 Pay close attention to details
Part of your role is to monitor and record mobility weaknesses or changes. A physical therapist will personalize each treatment plan based on the patient’s mobility. To optimize restoration efforts, it’s crucial to notice concerns or improvements.
#4 Have excellent interpersonal skills
You will often find yourself with existing patients. Care plans generally take weeks to months to complete. Establishing relationships will allow you to gain trust and understanding.
#5 Be able to communicate effectively
Since many of your patients will be in distress, you need to learn how to communicate effectively. Additionally, you will be the eyes and ears for your physical therapist and need to share the patient’s healthcare information successfully.
#6 Show leadership
In physical therapy assistant jobs, you must know when to be assertive to accomplish goals. A patient might be hesitant to complete a painful exercise. It’s your job to push your patient healthily and encourage them.
In brief, having physical stamina and a caring nature will help you succeed at physical therapy assistant jobs. And luckily, these are both traits that you can harness with effort. Ensure always to establish a self-care routine to avoid compassion fatigue when undertaking a caregiver role.
Become a PTA today!
CynaMed wants to help you accomplish your dreams. We are a leading healthcare staffing company that pairs medical professionals with reputable health care facilities. You can speak to one of CynaMed‘s representatives today to connect with the perfect position that matches your availability, experience, and skillset.