Working with Physiotherapist Assistants

Check out the frequently asked questions and videos about Working with Physiotherapist Assistants.

FAQs: Working with Physiotherapist Assistants (PTAs)

  • Who can be a physiotherapist assistant (PTA)?

  • Do all aides and assistants need to be called PTAs? Is Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) a protected title? If I use a different job title in my practice, do I need to change it to meet the Standard?

  • Can a physiotherapist assign ongoing reassessment to the physiotherapist assistant?

  • Can a physiotherapist assistant do an assessment and develop a care plan?

  • Do we need to have a written communication protocol for every patient or can we have one for the facility?

  • Do I need to include the written communication protocol for PTs working with PTAs on each patient’s chart?

  • When should a physiotherapist assistant contact the supervising physiotherapist?

  • I am a PT in a hospital where PTAs are being asked to work on weekends. Are the PTs responsible for the PTA if something goes wrong on the weekend?

  • Can I go on a vacation for 1 or 2 weeks and leave my patients with a PTA if another PT at another site agrees to be a contact for the PTA?

  • If I am not available (for example, I am working at another facility, it is the weekend or I have a day off) and the physiotherapist assistant will continue treatment, do I need to appoint an alternate supervisor?

  • Do I or the alternate supervisor need to be physically present when a PTA is providing treatment or can we be available by telephone?

  • Is a physiotherapist required to co-sign health record entries completed by a physiotherapist assistant?

  • Does a physiotherapist need to co-sign a physiotherapist assistant student's notes?

  • Who does the College deem appropriate to be able to work as a support personnel or PTA?

  • If the assessment is performed by someone other than a physiotherapist can the services be billed as physiotherapy?

  • Do the physiotherapist assistant’s name and title need to appear on OHIP, MVA, WSIB or other third party payor forms?

  • When does the physiotherapist assistant’s name and job title need to appear on the invoice?

  • In situations where it is difficult to identify which PTA provided care to a patient, does the PT have to meet the expectation that the PTA’s name and job title will appear on invoices whenever they have provided all or part of the treatment?

  • Can I delegate O2 titration to a physiotherapist assistant (PTA)?

  • The PTA will need to switch the patient from the wall supply to a portable O2 tank, and stay at 2 litres. Does this require delegation?

  • I have a long-standing PT therapeutic relationship with an elderly patient who directs all her care. She confided with me that the support worker assigned to her is rude and difficult to have around. I am concerned. What do I do?