Physiotherapy Assistants assist physiotherapists in the application of treatment techniques and modalities characteristic of their professional training and clinical judgment.
Physiotherapy Assistants and the Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association
Individuals working as Assistants within a physiotherapy setting in Nova Scotia are warmly invited to join the Canadian Physiotherapy Association's National Physiotherapy Assistant Assembly (NPAA). The Assembly was formed in 2005 as the National Support Worker Assembly, and became the National Physiotherapy Assistant Assembly in 2011. The Assembly has members from across Canada. For individuals living/working in Nova Scotia, membership in the Assembly provides access to both Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) and Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association (NSPA) resources such as newsletters, members-only website access, networking opportunities and more.
For information on NPAA activities and how to join, please visit the CPA's NPAA web pages. For information on working as a Physiotherapy Assistant in Nova Scotia, or for information on Nova Scotia membership benefits for NPAA members, please contact the NSPA office at email@example.com.
Physiotherapy Assistant Education in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia has two Physiotherapy Assistant education programs. Please visit the program websites for program details:
Nova Scotia Community College
Guiding Principles for Working with Physiotherapy Assistants
- Assistants must work under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
- Physiotherapists maintain responsibility and accountability for the quality of the supervision provided.
- Physiotherapists are required to make a judgment about the knowledge, skills and abilities of the physiotherapy assistant prior to assigning tasks.
- Decision to delegate to the physiotherapist assistant includes factors such as education, training, competence, the environment and the client needs.
- Physiotherapists are to obtain informed consent from each client for the involvement of a physiotherapy assistant in the delivery of their physiotherapy treatment plan.
The physiotherapist maintains responsibility for the physiotherapy treatment delivered to all clients under his/her care. It is, therefore, always the responsibility of the physiotherapist to:
- Interpret referrals and obtain informed consent,
- Conduct initial and ongoing assessments of the client and interpret the findings,
- Formulate the treatment plan, with goals, in consultation with the client,
- Decide what, if any, components or modifications of the treatment plan can be safely delegated to a physiotherapy assistant,
- Ensure appropriate documentation,
- Re-evaluate and/or modify treatment plan and goals,
- Provide appropriate education to clients, families and other caregivers,
- Conduct discharge planning.
The physiotherapist is accountable for the appropriate assignment of duties to the physiotherapy support personnel under his/her supervision, and shall not delegate to a less qualified person:
- Any task that the physiotherapist has not observed the support personnel perform competently, or
- Any task that requires the unique skill, knowledge and judgment of a physiotherapist, or
- A task or procedure in a situation where risk requires the continuous clinical judgment of a physiotherapist.
Physiotherapists with questions regarding the clinical role of physiotherapist assistants and/or the supervision of assistants should contact the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thanks are extended to the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists for their contribution of content regarding Principles and Responsibilities.