A licensed physical therapist assistant (LPTA) works with people who have had a change in ability to perform the activities of daily living due to an accident or illness. An LPTA assists these people through methods such as massage, exercise, and water therapy. Their goal is to improve the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living on their own again. The LPTA takes notes as to the patient's progress and reports directly to the physical therapist.
This position can be very physically demanding and require standing for long periods of time and bending to assist patients. It is also important that licensed physical therapist assistants can lift the weight of a patient. LPTAs work in several different settings; some may work in a hospital or nursing home, while others choose to travel to the patient's home to perform the physical therapy.
A licensed physical therapist assistant must passing their state's licensing exam after taking relevant classes. It is recommended that the person have a sincere interest in helping people to improve their quality of life, be sensitive to the needs of others, and be able to follow instructions.
Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA) Tasks
Observe and document the progress of treatment.
Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.
Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment.
Fit and train patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, and supportive devices, such as crutches.
Transport patients to and from treatment areas, lift and transfer them according to positioning requirements, secure into or onto therapy equipment.