Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
31290 05 ST N1 C 587-26 12/29/1994
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12/29/1994 31290


DEFINITION: This is para-professional work in the field of physical therapy at a Commonwealth facility for individuals with a mental or physical illness or retardation or a disability.

An employee in this class provides assistance to a Licensed Physical Therapist in treating patients/residents having physical disabilities and who are engaged in a prescribed physical therapy program. Work involves preparing patients/residents for treatment, assisting a Licensed Physical Therapist during evaluation and treatment, and administering a variety of prescribed treatments under the direct, on-premise supervision of a Licensed Physical
Therapist. Employees observe patients/residents during treatment, and assist a Licensed Physical Therapist during diagnostic tests and evaluations. A variety of modalities are used in administering treatments, including hydrotherapy, electro/thermal therapy, and therapeutic message. Employees may provide direction to Physical Therapy Aides in physical therapy procedures, such as use and care of equipment, work methods, and record keeping. Supervision is received from a Licensed Physical Therapist and work is reviewed in progress and upon completion through observations, conferences, reports, and evaluation of patient/resident response.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: Assists a Licensed Physical Therapist in providing physical therapy treatment to patients/residents engaged in a prescribed physical therapy program.

Administers a variety of physical therapy treatments under the direct on-premise supervision of a Licensed Physical Therapist, such as therapeutic exercises; stretching techniques; progressive ambulation techniques; gait training; therapeutic massage; hydrotherapy, including hot/cold packs, whirlpools, and hubbard tank; paraffin baths; electro/thermal therapy, including diathermy, ultra-sound, infra-red, and ultra-violet treatments; and intermittent venous compression.

Assists the Licensed Physical Therapist when performing diagnostic tests and evaluations, observes patient/resident reactions during treatments, identifies contraindications, and reports responses to Licensed Physical Therapist.

Maintains records on patients/residents, including a description of treatments given, treatment plans, goals, and progress; makes recommendations to Physical Therapist regarding adjustment of treatment plans.

Counsels patients/residents regarding treatment progress, goals, and plans; records progress in patients'/residents' medical records; teaches and/or assists patients/residents in remedial tasks and use of orthotic, prosthetic, and assistive devices, in collaboration with the Licensed Physical Therapist.

Checks devices for proper fit and functioning, and reports deficiencies to licensed Physical Therapist; plans and makes adaptations as required.

Develops and sustains patient/resident interest, capacities, and adaptive skills relative to physical therapy treatments through the use of group and/or one-on-one interpersonal relationships.

Confers with Licensed Physical Therapist and other facility staff to exchange, discuss and evaluate information for planning, modifying, and coordinating patients'/residents' physical therapy treatment plans.

Participates in multi-disciplinary team meetings to report patient/resident progress relative to physical therapy goals and objectives and to assist in formulating comprehensive individual treatment/habilitative plans for patients/residents.

Assists in determining space, equipment, and supply needs, and insures safety and maintenance of program area and equipment, at the direction of the Licensed Physical Therapist.

Provides direction to Physical Therapy Aides, and other non-professional staff in implementing physical procedures; monitors delivery of treatments, as directed, under the supervision of a Licensed Physical Therapist.

Participates in in-service education to enhance skills, assists in planning and implementation of training programs.

Performed related work as required.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: Knowledge of the principles, techniques, materials, and equipment used in providing physical therapy services.

Knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

Knowledge of possible hazards to those receiving physical therapy during treatment and of necessary precautionary and remedial measures.

Skill necessary to conduct a variety of physical therapy treatments.

Ability to establish and maintain effective communication with patients/residents and to recognize patients'/residents' strengths, needs and problems.

Ability to counsel patients/residents regarding treatment progress, goals and plans.

Ability to lift or position a patient/resident with help of another staff member.

Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Ability to prepare and maintain progress notes, and to compile and report specific data as required.

NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: Current registration as a Physical Therapist Assistant with the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy.