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Typical Duties of a Physiotherapist Assistant

August 27, 2014

Instructor And Elderly Patient Undergoing Water Therapy

A physiotherapist assistant will always work under the supervision of a certified physiotherapist to aid them in their duties. To become a physiotherapist assistant, first you will need certification from a physiotherapist assistant program where you will learn about anatomy and physiology, healthcare delivery, rehabilitation strategies and much more. In this field, it is crucial that you have a passion for exercise and activity, as well as an overall positive attitude. Physiotherapy is a gradual process and patients may often get frustrated when they cannot complete an exercise. Because of the rehabilitation nature of the job, patience is a crucial attribute to those who choose this profession.

Types of Patients

As a physiotherapist, there are a variety of possible locations for your employment. Your job may have you performing house calls, or you may work in a physiotherapy clinic or hospital.

The people you work with vary as well. Many patients are elderly and need help regaining their strength and mobility, in which case you may work alongside someone who has graduated from a personal support worker course. Those who have suffered a stroke benefit tremendously from physiotherapy, as it helps regain control over muscles that have been paralyzed or disabled.

The great thing about being a physiotherapist assistant is that you find yourself working with people from all walks of life. Children may also need physiotherapy, due to developmental delays or sports injuries. In the case of a younger patient, you may find yourself working hand in hand with an early childhood assistant to aid in the child’s recovery.

Rehabilitation of broken leg

Typical Daily Duties

If you are curious about what a day as a physiotherapist assistant is like, here are some typical duties performed on the job.

  • Assist patient in performing the exercises which have been arranged by a physiotherapist
  • Motivate patients to perform their exercises
  • Help patients move from a sitting to a standing position
  • Help patients walk with a cane or walker
  • Perform massages
  • Record the muscle and strength performance of the patient
  • Inform the patients of their at-home treatment
  • Use ultrasound machines to treat injuries
  • Help patients use artificial limbs

Positive Motivation

A physiotherapist must have a passion for activity and a motivational personality – after all, the main part of your job is to encourage patients to make their recovery as swift as possible. Some patients’ situations will require time, especially in the cases of a stroke where a patient may start off immobile. A physiotherapist assistant has the duty of encouraging the patient to take small steps at a time, and radiate a positive energy which will aid in their recovery.


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