Pediatric physical therapist assistants help children who have injuries and/or disabilities and rehabilitate them so they are better able to function in their daily lives. This job is often carried out in a hospital, clinic, or educational environment and under the supervision of a physical therapist, and it's important to be calm and enjoy working with children.
These assistants may help patients carry out physical therapy exercises, and it's important to work with both patients and their parents and show them what exercises can be carried out at home to aid the healing process. It is important to have strong communication skills to explain procedures clearly to patients and their families, and also to work seamlessly with other medical staff. The job often involves working with patients' other medical providers in order to understand their conditions and what sort of therapy is necessary.
This job can be physically strenuous, as it involves a lot of physical movement such as walking, bending, stooping, and lifting. Although this is an assistant position, licensing as a state physical therapist assistant or physical therapist may be required by some employers. This is often an entry-level position which serves as a stepping stone to a physical therapy position, and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree with a background or concentration in physical therapy is often preferred by employers.
Pediatric Physical Therapy Assistant Tasks
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.
Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment.
Observe and document the progress of treatment.
Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures.