A physiotherapist assistant works with a licensed physiotherapist to help patients with rehabilitation routines and care plans. Physiotherapist assistants should enjoy working with people and helping people start their lives over after an accident or illness has forced them to lose basic body functions. Many universities offer programs in physiotherapy assistant training, and the student earns a degree in such upon completion of one of these programs. Physiotherapy assistant jobs can then be pursued in a variety of medical settings.
During physiotherapy training, the assistant will learn the skills to assist physiotherapists and therapists. He or she will learn the basics of a variety of subjects, including rehabilitation, anatomy, physiology, human development, movement, disorders, physiotherapy, communications, gerontology, physical agents, rehabilitation and clinical case studies. Although the physiotherapist training program will go more in depth with each of these subjects, the assistant program must prepare the physiotherapist assistant for medical careers that may involve stepping in for the therapist at times, so students should grasp the whole concepts behind the rehabilitation focus of the program.
To prepare for physiotherapy assistant jobs, training includes learning medical terminology, the ranges of motion, techniques for handling patients, resistance exercises, therapeutic ultrasounds, stretching exercises and cervical traction. Of course, this type of training is best learned hands on, so each class has a practical component to it, where students will practice in lab sessions or at actual clinics where physiotherapy assistant jobs take place. Upon completion of the training program, the student will receive his or her degree as a physiotherapy assistant. Physiotherapy careers may then be pursued in hospitals, clinics, care facilities, sports clinics, training organizations or fitness spas. The degree-awarding university can usually be of assistance to place the physiotherapist assistant in a job that fits with the assistant’s training and interests.
Physiotherapy assistant jobs involve first seeing a patient and establishing a care plan, which consists of different exercises depending on individual injuries, and a treatment goal. The physiotherapy assistant works with the physiotherapist to ensure that the care plan and treatment goal are carried out and met. Additional duties of a physiotherapy assistant include setting up equipment for examinations, preparing a patient and disinfecting the equipment after the tests.
Physiotherapy assistant jobs usually take place in professional health care settings, but sometimes home visits are performed. Assistants must be good communicators, intelligent and engaging. They will work as the middle man between the physiotherapist and the patient at times, and they are responsible for challenging the patients to do things that might be scary, uncomfortable or even painful.