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As a Physical Therapist Assistant, you provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Your day consists of helping people of all ages who have medical problems, or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. You work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health, nursing homes, schools, sports facilities, and more. Physical therapist Assistants may also measure changes in the patient's performance as a result of the physical therapy provided. You'll teach patients exercises for mobility, strength and coordination and provide training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes, or walkers, massage, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
Skills and characteristics as a Physical Therapist Assistant include a professional and caring mindset, the ability to work effectively with other medical professionals, strict attention to detail and the willingness to engage with your patient. The education required to be a Physical Therapist Assistant is an associate degree from an accredited PTA program at a technical or community college, college, or university. You must pass the national examination for licensing/certification/regulation in most states to be eligible to work.
To prepare for your interview you'll want to brush up on your behavioral questions. Because you work directly with patients, the interviewer will want to know about your patient interaction and communication style. The interviewer will also want to know about your ability to work within a team. Have a few situational stories in your back pocket to share as part of your interview answers. Have your elevator speech memorized and ready to go!