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All About Being a Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) in Canada 

September 18, 2023

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare industry, entering a rewarding job, and touching the lives of others through assisting them in their recovery, all while spending less time in training, then you might consider becoming a physiotherapist assistant (PTA).  

In this article, we’ll be discussing everything about physiotherapist assistant (PTA) as a career option, shedding light on what they do, how to become one, and its career outlook. 

What Does a Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) Do? 

A physiotherapist assistant (PTA) is a healthcare professional who delivers care and treatment under the supervision of a qualified physiotherapist. They’re important in the effective administration and delivery of the treatment plan required for the recovery of the patient. They work closely with patients to motivate them to achieve their goals in the therapy. 

Working With a Supervising Physiotherapist 

A physiotherapist assistant (PTA) helps a patient recover from debilitating illnesses and conditions through various exercises and relaxation techniques, as directed by their supervising physiotherapist.  

Physiotherapist Assistant Competency Checklist 

A physiotherapist assistant is assessed by the supervising physiotherapist on their competency in providing safe and high-quality quality of care to their patients.  

Before any care is assigned to the physiotherapist assistant, it’s important that the supervising physiotherapist (or any other qualified member of the team) ensure that they have the required knowledge, skills, and judgment. This is to also ensure that the care the patient receives from the physiotherapist assistant is almost at par with when the physiotherapist has done it themselves.  

This is made possible through an objective measure, such as the Physiotherapist Assistant Competency Checklist by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, where the supervising physiotherapist performs the following: 

being a Physiotherapist Assistant in Canada
A physiotherapist assistant (PTA) overseeing her patient during his therapy session.

Following the Standards 

The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario enumerates a list of standards that must be followed by a physiotherapist when working with a physiotherapist assistant. This standard emphasizes that the physiotherapist is still responsible for the care provided by the physiotherapist assistant they assigned to a patient, thus the need for proper communication through a written communication protocol.  

The standard also enumerates restrictions and points to consider when assigning and supervising care. It also enumerates duties that a physiotherapist shouldn’t assign to a physiotherapist assistant, such as initial assessments and re-assessments and treatments requiring the physiotherapist assistant to intervene and change the established plan of treatment.   

How to Become a Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) 

As with other healthcare professionals, becoming a physiotherapist assistant requires undergoing relevant education and training to ensure that they’re capable of delivering high-quality care to patients. 

Education, Training, and Certification for PTA

Working as a physiotherapist assistant doesn’t require a license, since there’s no legislation existing yet that requires its regulation. Moreover, it doesn’t require a specific educational background, although employers prefer candidates with any of the following: 

A certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may also further make one a desirable candidate for the job. 

Physiotherapist Assistant Job Skills

To be a successful physiotherapist assistant, some of the desirable qualities and skills that you should possess include the following: 

PTA Work Environment 

A physiotherapist assistant not only works alongside a physiotherapist, but with other healthcare professionals as well, such as doctors, nurses, and occupational therapists. This is because they may be employed in various healthcare settings, such as in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and continuing care and long-term care facilities. They may also extend their services to the clients’ homes. 

A workday for a physiotherapist assistant may involve the following activities: 

Career Outlook 

Physiotherapists need the help of physiotherapist assistants because of the increasing demand for rehabilitative services. This thus predicts being a physiotherapist assistant is a promising job opportunity. Popular career paths for a physiotherapist assistant include becoming a kinesiologist or a rehabilitation assistant.   

Physiotherapist Assistant Salaries in Canada

On average, a physiotherapist assistant makes around $47,439 (CAD) annually, which is equivalent to around $24.33 (CAD) per hour. Those wanting to increase their salary can do so in any of the following ways: 

Seamless Career Placement at Caring Support 

A physiotherapist assistant (PTA) is a healthcare professional that provides support to a physiotherapist. Under a physiotherapist’s supervision, they perform tasks relevant to a patient’s treatment plan. Whether one chooses to continue being a physiotherapist assistant or pursue further education connected to being one, being a physiotherapist assistant is indeed a rewarding job. 

At Caring Support, we help qualified candidates connect with their prospective employers. Our comprehensive platform enables better and more accurate job matchups through data-driven and user-based decisions. Create an account here and further your career with us. 

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

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