Physiotherapy Support Personnel (PSA)

1033 Words5 Pages
To increase the efficiency of patient care, the health care system has included the addition of support personnel for many professions such as doctors, dentists, and even physiotherapists (PT) who benefit from delegation of tasks. But, due to the lack of research pertaining to support personnel, like physiotherapy assistants (PTA), the scope of practice and limitations to these roles are not fully developed1,2,3. PTAs were initially created in order to aid PTs with time management so that more patients could be assessed and treated, thus allowing for optimal and efficient patient care1,2,4. Even though they are responsible for their own actions and practices, PTAs work under the licence and thus are the responsibility of PTs1,4. The purpose…show more content…
One main goals of this study was to determine which activities the PSP were doing that underused their skillset or they were unqualified to do1,3. The NPAG sent out a questionnaire asking if 172 items may or may not be included in the scope of PSP practice. It was found that PSPs with formal education (college degree) did more tasks dealing with collection of data and treatment interventions compared to PSP with on the job training who did more administrative, scheduling, and maintenance tasks3. Interestingly, 23 items on the questionnaire were tasks that PSPs did frequently yet were not expected to do, such as oxygen administration, manual muscle testing, manual traction techniques, and ultrasound administration3. In the interview with Laura Baillie, she mentioned feeling comfortable with letting her PTA apply modalities to a patient, including ultrasound. It is important to note however that Laura never received any formal training with respect to the scope of practice for…show more content…
These are based on the competencies that are outlined by the NPAG as well as subjectively by PTs that are responsible for any tasks the PTA performs. Importantly, the PTA role is still not clearly identified which results in many PTAs doing tasks outside of their scope of practice. This could be due to many factors such as the increasing demand for PTs to diagnose, assess, and provide treatment plans to clients, as well as the lack of knowledge available surrounding the PTA scope of practice. It is important to note that the study that the NPAG conducted was used to update the competency profile document, however, PTA roles and scopes of practice need to be set so that they do not act outside of their knowledge base and put clients in harm’s way and PTs can effectively
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