Can a Physical Therapist Assistant Work Alone?

Are you considering pursuing a career in physical therapy as a physical therapy assistant? A physical therapy assistant (PTA) helps patients regain their mobility and strength through the use of various techniques and exercises. Learn more about what physical therapist assistants do.

A physical therapy assistant works directly under the supervision of a physical therapist. A physical therapist creates the treatment plan after assessing the patient according to their needs and diagnosis. A PTA helps carry out the treatment with the patient. In this sense, a PT assistant can work independently with the patient. The daily treatments can be conducted between the PTA and the patient alone. Supervision from the physical therapist occurs on an ongoing basis, but a physical therapist assistant can work alone to provide the care. A PTA also provides feedback to the physical therapist on the progress of the patient.

As per Medicare rules and regulations, PTAs can provide billable services under the direction of a physical therapist. However, PTAs cannot perform wound care management. PTAs also cannot design treatment plans. They are not able to work independently from physical therapists due to these reasons. A physical therapist assistant can provide care in a number of settings. This can include hospitals, outpatient clinics and nursing homes. A PTA can work in any of these settings. However, there must be a physical therapist present that they work under the supervision of.

At Cornerstone Rehab, we take pride in our clinicians who provide quality care in long-term facilities. Learn more about our job openings if you are interested in joining our fast-growing team of skilled physical therapist assistants.