2019-03-13 by NAHB
If you’re considering a career as a physiotherapist assistant, you could find yourself working with clients who have undergone an amputation and need to learn how to use a prosthetic limb. Working under the supervision of a physiotherapist to help such clients is one example of how you can make a difference in the lives of others as a physiotherapist assistant.
There are many important considerations that go into rehabilitation for people who have had an amputation. Since you could find yourself working with such clients after your training, here are some things to know about physiotherapy and prosthetics.
Clients Should Undergo Physiotherapy Immediately After an Amputation
Ideally, clients should begin their physiotherapy as soon after surgery as possible since any delay will likely make rehabilitation more difficult. For example, if a client has had one leg amputated and is only using crutches to get around, the muscles in the amputated limb will begin to weaken faster than in the non-amputated limb (which is likely still supporting some body weight). This can lead to uneven strength in the two limbs, which in turn can make it more difficult for clients to learn how to walk evenly when they are finally fitted with a prosthetic.
You Can Help Clients Correct Gait Deviation When You Become a Physiotherapist Assistant
A common challenge for people who are learning how to use a lower limb prosthetic is gait deviation. A gait deviation is any variation of a standard walking pattern and it may include slower steps, swaying, and shorter strides. While some gait deviation is normal in such clients, physiotherapy aims to reduce gait deviation as much as possible so that the client can regain limb functionality and live independently.
During physiotherapy assistant training, you’ll learn about kinesiology, which is the study of body movement. This knowledge can be put to use when working under the supervision of a physiotherapist who is helping clients reduce gait deviation. Many factors can complicate gait deviation in clients with prosthetic limbs, including if the prosthesis does not fit comfortably or if the client has complications from diabetes—including nerve damage—that may affect their ability to use a prosthetic device.
For people with lower limb prosthetics, reducing gait deviation is a common challenge
Successful Adaptation to a Prosthetic Requires Ongoing Reassessment by the Physiotherapist
Every person who undergoes an amputation is different, and they will respond and adapt to their prosthetic device differently as well. Throughout the rehabilitation process, the physiotherapist will be assessing and reassessing the client’s recovery plan.
When you become a physiotherapist assistant and interact with clients, you may learn new information that could be of interest to the physiotherapist. The client may mention to you that they’ve moved into a new home that is either more or less accessible or that a family member is no longer able to provide physical at-home support for them. Such changes may create new mobility challenges for the client that a physiotherapy plan will need to address. As such, it’s important to relay the information to the physiotherapist. Communicating such information to the physiotherapist will help them determine whether the client’s plan should be adjusted accordingly.
Are you ready to pursue a meaningful new career?
Contact the National Academy of Health and Business to learn about our physiotherapist assistant diploma.
2017-09-10 by NAHB
Becoming a Physiotherapy Assistant (Mississauga, Toronto, Hamilton)
If you’ve ever considered a career in healthcare and enjoy working one-on-one with people, then becoming a Physiotherapy Assistant may be the career for you.
According to Indeed.com, there are over 200 job openings for Physiotherapy Assistants (‘PTA’s) in Ontario, most of these are with the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (including Mississauga, Toronto and Hamilton). The annual salaries offered range from $30,000 to $90,000 per year.
According to the Ontario Physiotherapy Association, it is best practice and beneficial to obtain a diploma from a Physiotherapy Assistant program to work in the industry. Obtaining a diploma from a recognized and long-standing college such as National Academy of Health & Business (who have been training Healthcare professionals for close to 40 years) will ensure greater career prospects.
What do PTAs Do?
PTAs in Ontario work under the direction of a physiotherapist in the delivery of physiotherapy services.
Even though physiotherapist assistants are supervised by a physiotherapist, PTAs are responsible for their own performance. As a physiotherapist assistant, you must ensure that you are capable of completing tasks that are assigned to you.
Physiotherapy Assistant Programs in Ontario
NAHB is one of the most established career college in Ontario. The Physiotherapy Assistant program is offered at the following locations.
Where do PTAs work?
Physiotherapy Assistants may find careers the following types of facilities:
- Retirement Homes
- Private Clinics
- Home Care Providers
- Hospital Emergency Departments
- Rehabilitation Centres
- Long Term Care Home Providers
- Inpatient Acute or Critical Care Providers
- Outpatient Hospital Departments
For information on becoming a Physiotherapy Assistant, as well a review of all your funding options (including Government Assistance, to those who qualify), contact your nearest campus:
2017-06-26 by NAHB
While Physiotherapist Assistants are not licensed practitioners, they play an important role within a physiotherapy office and help licensed practitioners deliver quality care to their patients. Physiotherapist Assistants work behind the scenes and as important coordinators for the physical therapy of all patients. Any physiotherapy office will run more effectively with an organized and well-trained Physiotherapist Assistant on board. The following are regular responsibilities and duties of a Physiotherapist Assistant: § Prepare for physiotherapy sessions by organizing the treatment based on patient’s needs § Making sure the physiotherapy area is clean and well organized with needed and necessary equipment § Study the patient’s development during physiotherapy sessions and note how the patient is responding. Licensed Physiotherapists will use these notes to evaluate the helpfulness of certain treatments § Help patients move from one area of physiotherapy to another – Physiotherapist Assistants need physical strength because they may have to move several immobile patients each day. Physiotherapist Assistants help patients walk, push them in wheelchairs, and assist in sitting and standing. They are even responsible for helping to pick them up and move them to another location depending on the severity of the patient’s needs. § Fulfill regular office duties, such as ordering supplies, answering phone calls, taking appointments, calling patients, and helping complete and file insurance paperwork. Physiotherapist Assistants are able to work in many areas of a facility or clinic, and is a role that requires organizational skills, as well as the ability to be flexible and reliable. While they will are always work where Licensed Physiotherapists work, you will find many opportunities for work in such places as:
§ Private Clinics
§ Nursing Homes
§ Rehabilitation Centers
§ Home Care
§ Orthopedic clinics
The average salary for a Physiotherapist Assistant is almost $24,000, while the top ten percent of earners earn close to $35,000. Some deciding factors in salary would be experience, and the size and location of clinic or organization. While working as a Physiotherapist Assistant, you may choose to continue your education to become a Licensed Physiotherapist or pursue another avenue in the healthcare field to earn more money or widen your knowledge of the medical field. Becoming a Physiotherapist Assistant can be a fun and rewarding career. It offers people the ability to work in a steady job in the medical field without taking any tests or requiring any certification, but offers a lot of on the job training and valuable learning in an office or clinical environment. It is also very important work which helps both patients and doctors in progressing treatment forward and helping to ensure the best care at all levels. For more information about the Physiotherapist Assistant Diploma Program at National Academy, please contact one of our three campuses today.
Hamilton – 905.521.9991
Mississauga – 905.273.6656
Toronto – 416.545.0404
Your College. Since 1979
2015-03-04 by NAHB
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, or suffered from a sports injury, you may have received physiotherapy to aid in the healing process. Physiotherapy is also applied to patients with amputations, arthritis, strains (especially in the spine), or who have had any sort of medical operation. Physiotherapy helps make movement and everyday living easier for a patient through a series of treatments that are tailored to each patient’s needs. If you’re thinking of becoming a physiotherapist assistant, here are some of the most common treatments you’ll discover in your physiotherapist assistant courses, and the benefits associated with each technique.
Range of Motion (ROM) Exercises
Although rest is often prescribed during preliminary stages of recovery from broken bones or surgery, extended periods of immobility may actually prolong or thwart the healing process. For this reason, physiotherapists often prescribe range of motion exercises to promote movement, encourage joint mobility and facilitate circulation. Frequently moving the affected joints and muscles will prevent muscle atrophy and related postural problems. ROM exercises are used by a range of healthcare practitioners – for example, students learn range of motion techniques in personal support worker training to help patients with restricted mobility improve their flexibility and maintain their independence.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Also referred to as therapeutic massage, soft tissue mobilization can help relax a patient’s muscles and reduce swelling in certain areas, making this treatment excellent for relieving pain associated with athletic injuries. Soft tissue massage also helps circulate blood and lymph flow, and reduce tissue swelling around the inflamed joints.
Electrotherapy is a more recent evolution of energy-based physiotherapy techniques. In this form of treatment, electrical stimulation is provided by attaching electrodes to the skin. The electrodes cause the muscles to shorten, which in turn helps prevent atrophy—best used in patient with paralysis or severely reduced range of motion. Electrotherapy may also be used in conjunction with laser and ultrasound therapy.
Cryotherapy and Heat Therapy
Sore, stiff muscles are a common complaint of both people with desk jobs and professional athletes. If a patient complains of muscle tightness anywhere on their body, it may be beneficial to apply heat or cold to the aggravated areas. Heat therapy includes the application of hot packs or even paraffin wax. Cryotherapy may involve ice pack application or an ice massage.
Anyone studying to become a physiotherapist assistant is probably familiar with the colourful, neon tape that is sometimes used on patients. Kinesio tape can be applied straight to the skin, and is a great way to stabilize the joints and muscles while the patient undergoes treatment. Additionally, the flexibility of the tape means that it doesn’t interfere with range of motion exercises, making it a perfect tool to use when stretching and flexing muscles.
While ultrasound isn’t normally associated with physiotherapy, in recent years, doctors have been able to utilize sound waves to treat injuries in the body. Ultrasound frequency provides a gentle method for targeting damaged tissue with soft beams. Like a mini massage, the sound waves of the ultrasound stimulate and are absorbed by the ligaments, tendons and fascia. This treatment can be used for patients suffering from arthritis, tendonitis and muscle strain.
Do you know of any other new physiotherapy treatments?