Physiotherapy assistants assist a physiotherapist in administering physical therapy. In most locations, physiotherapy assistants are licensed, just as their physical therapist counterparts are. Additionally, they may specialize in a certain type of physiotherapy, such as sports or trauma, or in serving a specific population, such as pediatrics or older adults.
On a day-to-day basis, their work consists of assisting patients with executing their physical therapy routines, as well as working with the physical therapists to plan and coordinate those routines and instructions. Physiotherapy assistants generally work indoors in a room or other space specifically designated for physical therapy, although they may also work in clients' homes. If working in a hospital, nursing home, or other institutional setting, this job may also include transporting patients to and from their rooms and the physical therapy area.
Physiotherapy assistants generally must have an associate's degree in a relevant field from a community college or vocational/technical school. These positions may be part-time or full-time. Physiotherapy assistants typically work a first-shift, eight-hour day, though there are exceptions; for example, those working in a hospital might work earlier or later, and if assisting a home-care physical therapist, the assistant may work other hours to meet the client's needs.
Physiotherapy Assistant Tasks
- Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.
- Maintain medical equipment and devices.
- Monitor patient and report changes to physician.
- Assist in program planning and treatment goals.
- Assist in performing manual exercises and massage to increase patient strength or decrease or prevent deformity.