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.
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.
Good Reasons to Become a Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA)
*Article sourced from the American Physical Therapy Association
“Being A Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) Is A Joy, Not A Job… If you truly enjoy helping people and not being in an overly stressful environment, this may be the job for you. We all love what we do here, and have fun doing what we do.” (Physiotherapist Assistant; 2013)
Make a Difference. Whether the patient’s problem is a result of injury or disease, the Physiotherapy Assistant is an important part of the rehabilitation team dedicated to returning the patient to maximal function. PTAs also work with individuals to prevent loss of mobility through implementing fitness and wellness-oriented programs under the direction and supervision of a physiotherapist.
Be a Movement Expert. Physiotherapist Assistants receive an intensive education in human movement and physical function. Physiotherapy is an essential element of patient care to promote the patient’s ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physiotherapists may choose to utilize a PTA to provide therapeutic exercise, functional training, or soft tissue massage.
Enjoy Job Security. For individuals looking for a rewarding career, working within the Canadian healthcare industry could be a great choice. The soaring demand for PTAs can be attributed to the aging population, particularly baby boomers and are more vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require physiotherapy services.
Love Your Job. Helping people to attain or regain the ability to walk and carry out daily life can lead to a great feeling of personal satisfaction. According to the Payscale Ontario, the median annual wages of PTAs in were over $38,000 with the highest salaries in home health care services and nursing care facilities. Physiotherapy services are typically offered during normal working hours, which contributes to life balance for many PTAs.
Choose Your Location. Physiotherapist Assistants work with patients of all ages all across the province of Ontario. Choose from a wide range of locations and work settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, employer settings, and nursing homes.
Expand Your Skills. Many PTAs expand their responsibilities in the clinical setting by assuming additional knowledge, skills, and responsibilities in medical billing and coding, clinical management, education, quality improvement, and risk management.
Kinesiology is commonly considered a complementary health science, which can be used in accompaniment with medicinal or physical health treatments—such as physiotherapy. In the simplest terms, kinesiology is the study of movement in the musculoskeletal system. The knowledge gained from this study is used to correctly identify any improperly functioning muscles and bones.
Students earning their physiotherapist assistant diploma know that physiotherapy is designed to manage a patient’s existing injuries by applying routines which optimize muscle movement and physical activity. It’s no surprise then, that kinesiology is commonly confused with physiotherapy. In fact, kinesiologists often work with physiotherapists to treat patients.
Read on to discover exactly what kinesiology is, and how it can be used hand in hand with physiotherapy to rehabilitate patients.
Physiotherapist vs. Kinesiologist
While physiotherapists address a patient’s mobility issues, a kinesiologist’s job is to study the mechanics of the human body, and determine why certain body parts may function incorrectly. Kinesiologists are often employed in medical research industries, researching the various complications of the human musculoskeletal system. In contrast, physiotherapists focus specifically on hands-on treatments to target issues with physical movement.
Kinesiology for Injury Prevention
The main objective of kinesiology is to prevent injuries from occurring, through the promotion of physical activity and healthy body choices. This is different from a physiotherapist, who works with patients to rehabilitate their bodies after an injury has already occurred.
Kinesiologists know that regular physical therapy can actively work to reduce a patient’s risk of injury and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Through the promotion of physical activity, kinesiology also helps strengthen muscles and bones, improve mental health, and even help extend the independence of elderly patients.
How is Kinesiology Used in Physiotherapy?
Students taking physiotherapist assistant courses might be wondering: what does kinesiology have to do with my area of study? While injury prevention is one goal of kinesiology, so is injury management and performance enhancement. Physiotherapists will often use kinesiology in their patient treatments, or even have kinesiologists on their rehabilitation team along with physiotherapist assistants. A kenesiologist’s expertise in the function of the human body is of indispensable value in the treatment of a patient’s injuries.
Professionals entering a physiotherapist assistant career have likely heard of kinesio taping. Kinesio taping is often used in physiotherapy specifically for treating athletic injuries. This special tape, which is similar in texture and elasticity to human skin, works to give support and stability to muscles and joints. The technique for applying the tape to the body is based on knowledge of the placement of muscles, the flow of the circulatory system and the locations of other musculoskeletal systems which are featured in kinesiology.
What do you know about kinesiology? How will you apply your knowledge of kinesiology to the treatment of patients?