What qualities, skills, and abilities must physical therapist assistants possess in order to be effective interdisciplinary team members?
All Allied Health Schools (2002-2008) states that PTAs must earn an associate degree in physical therapist assisting so that they may practice in their field. They suggest that before starting a PTA program the individual should obtain some experience as a volunteer with a physical therapist or at a nursing home. Having a strong background in biology, chemistry, physics, health, arts, and social sciences is an advantage in their favor.
The physical therapist assistant (PTA), works under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist (PT) (Dreeben, 2007). The PT and the PTA collaborate with each other. This collaboration is important for the patient´s successful rehabilitation and for everyone´s involved satisfaction.
The interdisciplinary team members work together from different disciplines to set goals pertinent to the patient´s case. Although the team members collaborate in the decision making the evaluations and interventions are done independently.
This information may be extrapolated for the physical therapist assistants since this could be a stepping stone for them to take into consideration should they want to rank high in their positions, wish to excel obtaining a higher education degree, and become better prepared in their areas of expertise given the constant changes that are taking place in the field (new technologies, better patient healthcare, better physical therapist assistants).