Physical Therapy Asst

Baltimore, Maryland
Sep 15, 2021
Sep 23, 2021
Full Time


The Advanced Practice Physical Therapy Assistant is responsible for treatment that promotes the prevention, remediation, and rehabilitation of acute and chronic physical and psychological dysfunction. 1- Loch Raven and 1- Baltimore: These positions are located in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS), Physical Therapy Section within the VA Maryland Healthcare System.
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PTAs at this level apply advanced practice skills to treat complex patients. PTAs possess an advanced level of clinical competence and serve as a SME in specialty practice areas. They serve as a subject matter expert in a rehabilitation program such as, but not limited to, geriatrics, amputee, brain injury, cardiac rehabilitation, orthopedics, neurological, safe patient handing, or any other functional debilitative conditions. They possess advanced practice skills and experience with a wide range of patient complexity. They apply advanced methodologies to a vast array of functional impairments and patients. They independently recommend and apply evidence-based treatment approaches within the plan of care.

Establishes and maintains contact with other key staff involved in patient care via written, telephone and personal communication on regular basis at VA Medical Center and VISN level.

Receives and interprets requests or instructions for procedures from the physical therapist or physician. Plans and implements specialized treatment programs and applies physical therapy procedures to patients under the general supervision of a physical therapist. Employee may carry out or oversee the work of lower graded assistants to accommodate requests.

Completes a preliminary review/examination of patient data (including medical history), compiles and organizes pertinent information, and develops/presents a patient profile to be used in assessing patient's status. Assists with or renders a course of treatment based on the assessed needs of the patient, developing progressive types of physical therapy treatment programs . This is done in consultation with a physical therapist or physician.

Assists therapist in development of a comprehensive specialized treatment plan that includes long- and short-term goals. Persuades and motivates veterans and family members to participate in treatment plans and comply with indicated regimens and post-discharge activities. Interacts with the patient and family regarding goals for treatment.

Assists in the performance of, or independently performs, highly specialized and diversified treatment procedures. Utilizes the full range of modalities including heat, cold, sound, electricity, and massage. Administers non-complex active and passive therapeutic exercise. Fits, adjusts and instructs patients in use of orthoses, prostheses, and mobility appliances. Instructs motivates and assists patients to learn activities of daily living and improve functional activities. Prepares and maintains appropriate equipment and supplies required for these treatments.

Varies procedures or positions to adjust for veterans' medical conditions. Modifies intervention environment, tools, materials, and activities in response to each veteran's response to treatment. With prior approval of the therapist, adapts the technical procedures and approaches involving new and unusual treatment and rehabilitation objectives to meet the individual veteran's needs. Modifies or adapts specialized treatment approaches within the scope of the established treatment plan to reflect the changing needs of the veteran.

Prepares and presents written and oral reports for the ward physician, physiatrist, nursing staff, fellow therapists and all other professionals concerned with the patient's care. Participates in family and multidisciplinary team meetings to identify patient's needs, report on patient's goals and progress and to assist in planning patient's treatment program.

Maintains a safe work environment to include non-technical maintenance of equipment, safety checks, cleaning, stocking, etc. Develops safe work habits to prevent injury to patients, co-workers and self. Reports to supervisor the need for equipment or items necessary for patient treatment.

Demonstrates and maintains full competency in the use, pre-cleaning and/or reprocessing of reusable medical equipment. Must ensure that the appropriate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and manufacturer's instructions are followed for any step in the use of RME (pre-cleaning, reprocessing, disinfection, sterilization, maintenance) in which the employee involved.

Maintains a high level of competence through participation in continuing education programs. Assists with the supervision and training of student physical therapy assistants, volunteers, work students and other healthcare practitioners.

Completes the Minimum Data Set (MDS) or Functional Independence Measure (FIM) as required by policy.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Work Schedule:
Telework: Available.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: PD000000
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - May provide clinic coverage at BT, LR or PP if needed.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
  • It is a requirement that all HCP receive the COVID-19 vaccination and annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons.
  • Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption has been granted. Health Care Personnel in violation of these directives may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service.


BASIC REQUIREMENTS. To qualify for appointment to this position, all applicants must possess the following:

a. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States (U.S.). Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7407(a).

b. Education. Individuals must meet at least one of the requirements below:

(1) Associate degree from an accredited community college, junior college, college or university in a physical therapy assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education;


(2) Graduate of foreign physical therapy assistant degree programs that meet the educational requirement and have successfully passed the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs.


(3) Graduate of military physical therapy assistant programs that meet the educational requirement and have successfully passed the NPTE for PTAs.

c. Licensure. Current, full, active and unrestricted license as a PTA in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e. Puerto Rico) of the United States, or District of Columbia


Physical Therapy Assistant, GS-9

(1) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate one of the following:

(a) A minimum of 2000 hours of clinical practice directly in the specialty area, and completion of 60 contact hours of selected continuing education coursework. This time must be within the past five years;


(b) Advanced Practice Proficiency (APP) in the specialty area recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA);


(c) An additional academic degree related to the health care mission.

(2) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the basic requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

(a) Ability to mentor other staff in advanced clinical guidelines and best practices.

(b) Ability to serve as a subject matter expert (SME) for healthcare providers in specialty practice areas regarding physical therapy care.

(c) Ability to present] advanced knowledge in the therapeutic interventions and clinical practice guidelines with the healthcare team.

(d) Ability to interpret and apply clinical practice guidelines.

References: January 28, 2021 VA Handbook 5005/139 PART II APPENDIX G23 II-G23-7

The full performance level of this vacancy is 9.

Physical Requirements: The Physical Therapist Assistant position has physical requirements that include: heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over; use of fingers, both hands required; reaching above shoulders; walking (8 hours); standing (8 hours); sitting/typing at computer workstation (4 hours); both legs required( 1 prosthetic); far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; ability to distinguish basic colors; ability to distinguish shades of colors; hearing (aid permitted), and mental and emotional stability. Sitting is required for meetings and administrative work. May be exposed to infectious diseases, medical and psychiatric emergencies


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: .

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

  • VA Form 10-2850c
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference .

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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