UC Blue Logo
What are you looking for?

Physical Therapy Assistant

Class Specifications – H.80
Physical Therapy Assistant III – 8944
Physical Therapy Assistant II – 8945
Physical Therapy Assistant I – 8946

June, 1990

Series Concept

Physical Therapy Assistants serve in an adjunct capacity to Physical Therapists. As licensed technicians, Physical Therapy Assistants perform patient treatments and patient care activities as directed by a Physical Therapist. Incumbents read medical records of assigned patients and, without need for prior verbal instructions, independently initiate and follow the treatment plan provided by the Physical Therapist. They write daily progress notes on patients treated, and independently sign these notes without need for a co-signature by a Physical Therapist.

Incumbents apply routine exercise programs; bed positioning; range of motion, passive, active, active assistive, manual, and assistive resistive exercises; and coordination exercises. They provide and assist patients in transfer, balance, gait, and ambulation training with various ambulatory assistive devices; provide application of modalities and procedures such as hot packs, cold packs, paraffin baths, whirlpools, massage, and exercises; and provide training in daily living and routine home programs. They monitor patients’ vital signs and physiological well-being during treatment and report to Physical Therapist any danger signs; report and recommend to Physical Therapist any required change in patients’ progress or treatment; remove and reapply dressings and bandages for patients; and provide transportation of patients to and from treatment area. They also prepare schedules for patients’ treatment; prepare accurate charges for patients’ treatment; clean and disinfect equipment, apparatus, and work areas; and order linen and consumable and nonconsumable supplies.

Physical Therapy Assistants are distinguished from Physical Therapists in that they are not legally able to assess, evaluate, or discharge patients. They are distinguished from unlicensed physical therapy aides in that they can treat patients without supervision and sign patients’ charts without Therapist cosignature.

Class Concepts

Physical Therapy Assistant III

Under general supervision, Physical Therapy Assistants III perform the full range of patient care duties outlined in the Series Concept, usually with the most difficult or complex cases. Incumbents serve in a liaison capacity between the Physical Therapists and the Physical Therapy Assistants and unlicensed physical therapy aides, and have lead responsibilities over a group of Physical Therapy Assistants I and II, and/or unlicensed physical therapy aides. This includes scheduling employees’ work hours and days off; assigning patient treatment cases; monitoring work for adherence to professional and departmental standards; and orienting and training new employees.

Physical Therapy Assistant II

Under general supervision, Physical Therapy Assistants II perform the full range of patient care duties outlined in the Series Concept, and may be assigned to the most difficult or complex cases. Incumbents may also help orient and train new employees.

Physical Therapy Assistant I

Under supervision, Physical Therapy Assistant I perform the full range of duties outlined in the Series Concept. Incumbents are typically assigned less difficult patient treatment cases than those assigned to the Physical Therapy Assistant II.

Minimum Qualifications

Completion of a Physical Therapy Assistant training program approved by the American Physical Therapy Association; possession of current valid licensure as a Physical Therapy Assistant; and possession of the skills, knowledge and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Note: Specific qualification requirements are approved for positions by the Personnel Manager.