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Career Profile: Physical Therapist Assistant - Chris Weaver

Career Profile: Physical Therapist Assistant - Chris Weaver

Chris Weaver – Physical Therapist Assistant, NCOIC, Army, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

Major Roles and Duties

• As a noncommissioned officer, I supervise, teach, and mentor seven soldiers and prepare them for their careers in the military. I teach them military-related subjects such as map reading, physical training, uniform policies, etc. Also, we are required to maintain our EMT license so we dedicate time to refreshing our medical skills such as CPR or cardio pulmonary resuscitation, first aid, wound care, etc.

More on Physical Therapy Assistants


Salary: $22,060
Min. Education: Associate's
Related Careers: Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist

• As an assistant, I work for the physical therapist and follow his plan of care for the patients. We provide services that help improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of injured patients. These services include assisting with exercises to improve strength, flexibility and endurance, teaching the use of adaptive devices like prostheses, and crutches or wheelchairs, and using electrical stimulation and hot or cold packs to relieve pain and reduce swelling. In addition, I talk to the patients about their injuries and provide feedback to the therapist about how the patients are doing, and make suggestions about what I think will be beneficial to them.

• As an administrator, I am in charge of managing the budget, ordering supplies, and tracking work orders for the facilities and maintaining equipment.

What I like best/least about my work …

What I like best about my work is interacting with the patients, helping them with their rehabilitation, and seeing them return to their pre-injury status and level of function.

What I like least about my work is the military aspect of being deployed outside the clinic and other tasks that take my staff or myself out of the clinic. Likewise, I dislike dealing with staff shortages due to staff deployment.

My career goals are …

My career goals are to attend college and earn a degree in physical therapy. Also, I am continuously working towards furthering my military career.


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