For the PTAs, choose your PT wisely.
In some cases we may not have a choice, but if you do, interview the PT about experience in working with a PTA, their take on patient care, how progressive they like to be and what they look for in a working relationship with a PTA.
If the PT is honest and doesn't want to just fill a slot opening, they will acknowledge and answer your concerns then ask you similar questions. Patient care should be mutual in what needs to be accomplished in a reasonable time frame. If expectations are high from the PT, the PTA should rethink the position before accepting. It's not that the PTA could not handle the position, it's that the mutual respect would disappear and resentment would replace it.
Wages can entice and keep you in one spot but that is only one factor among many that the PTA should look for. The first on my list is flexibility (within reason) in my schedule. If an employer will not be flexible, I will find a more family friendly place to work.
Other things for PTAs to look for in a PT, and for that matter a good employer:
- A mentor. I'm still looking after 14 years in the field.
- Honesty, trust, hope and prosperity. This should be a given but it isn't.
- Free CEU's. My current employer offers them through their Website.
- Greater participation in decision making. This includes discharges, patient selection, equipment purchases, screening patients and attending meetings.
- Space. Does the gym feel inviting and could you see yourself working there alongside the PT?
- Learning opportunities. Will the PT take time to listen to suggestions and learn from you?