Physical Therapy Assistant

Baltimore, Maryland
Sep 21, 2021
Sep 28, 2021
Full Time


The Physical Therapist Assistant is assigned to the Physical Therapy Department within Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS) of the VA Maryland Healthcare System, which is a Complexity Level Ib facility. Incumbent has the ability to use professional knowledge effectively and must possess initiative, tact, resourcefulness, and good judgment in exercising authority.
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Incumbent primarily serves as Physical Therapist Assistant at the Baltimore MC in the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service. The duties and responsibilities are carried out throughout all clinical and patient care areas involved with the service but may also be called upon to help in the physical therapy clinic, the ICU, telemetry unit, medical unit, surgical unit, and/or CLC.

The physical therapist assistant provides direct support to mainly outpatient care, though may be asked to cover inpatient duties as needed as well. Various diagnoses are addressed by the therapist ranging from orthopedics, medical/cardiovascular issues, and neurological.

The physical therapist assistant accurately interprets physical therapist evaluations for treatment of the patient. The physical therapist assistant practices under the supervision of a physical therapist, making recommendations and referrals to other medical specialties/services as clinically indicated during ongoing assessment of patients under their care.

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.

The therapist reports on patient's progress both orally and in writing to interdisciplinary team members; maintains and replenishes adequate materials necessary for patient treatment; and is responsible for the training and clinical direction of physical therapy assistant students, and volunteers assigned to therapist's clinical area.

PTAs at this level collaborate with the primary PT then draw upon a broad base of practical knowledge and a well-developed treatment skill set in order to reach predetermined patient goals by independently modifying techniques within the established plan of care.

They implement the plan of care for patient cases, advance the program and continually review the patient's condition to determine their medical and functional status.

They provide evidenced based skilled interventions including, but not limited to, therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities, therapeutic modalities, gait training, transfer training, manual treatment, neuromuscular re-education, self-care and management training, patient/caregiver's education and group therapy.

They meet with the physical therapy staff and other healthcare team members to evaluate and discuss patient information for planning, modifying and coordinating treatment programs and discharge planning.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
Telework: Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Clinic coverage at Loch Raven or Perry Point 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:

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).

English Language Proficiency . PTA candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).

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.

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.

Grade Determinations:

Experience : One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade.

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

(a) Ability to independently implement treatment plan using knowledge of techniques related to the patient's disability and needs.

(b) Ability to independently provide varied and multifaceted physical therapy interventions based on the established care plan (e.g., therapeutic exercise, balance, body mechanics, flexibility, strength, gait training, neuromotor development, physical agents, functional training, etc.).

(c) Knowledge of physical therapy data collection and assessment techniques in order to perform specific interventions and to monitor and capture progress of the patient/client.

(d) Ability to instruct patient on varied interventions to provide materials to enhance compliance with home programs.

(e) Ability to modify treatment techniques based on the learning needs and perceptions of the patient.

(f) Ability to identify critical changes (e.g. vital signs, pain, mobility and alertness) in patient conditions to determine their medical and functional status.

(g) Ability to work with PTs and other interdisciplinary healthcare team members to evaluate patient information for planning, modifying and coordinating treatment programs and discharge planning.

References: VHA Handbook 5005/139, Part II, Appendix G23

The full performance level of this vacancy is 8.

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

Required Documents

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

  • License
  • 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.

  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • License
  • VA FORM 10-2850c
  • Other (2)
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

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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