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Physical Therapist Assistant Interview Questions

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  1. What do you do if one of your physical therapy patients decides to stop working with you? See answer
  2. Have you ever needed to work with a patient suffering from dementia or other mental disorders? See answer
  3. Have you ever needed to travel to a patient’s home to perform your duties as a physical therapist assistant? See answer
  4. How do you ensure compliance to laws and regulations, industry policies and company protocols? See answer
  5. What would you do if your organization wanted you to prioritize therapy procedures that can be billed to one insurance provider over another?
  6. Do you have experience in working with patients who need integumentary physical therapy to recover from burns and skin wounds?
  7. Tell me about the physical therapy treatments you provided in your last job.
  8. The physical therapist criticizes your performance on a task. How do you handle it?
  9. What software do you use frequently in this job?
  10. We pride ourselves on using cutting-edge physical therapy treatments. How do you stay informed about new therapeutic solutions?
  11. Do you enjoy learning about innovations in this field and incorporating them in your practice? Please explain your answer.
  12. Tell me about your experience in using adaptive equipment that can help patients to become stronger and more independent.
  13. What is your opinion on what an organization should prioritize when comparing the organization’s financial considerations with patient needs. Please explain your answer.
  14. What are your characteristics that make you good at a physical therapist assistant job.
  15. Tell me about any software you use to develop and maintain patient records.
  16. In this job, you will work under the physical therapist’s supervision. What do you find challenging in working under supervision?
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6 Physical Therapist Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What do you do if one of your physical therapy patients decides to stop working with you?

A:

Your candidate will need to support the needs of not only the physical therapist but also the needs of patients and their families. Patients may decide to stop therapy regimens prematurely for a variety of reasons. These reasons may range from lack of motivation to financial limitations. It is important that your candidate be supportive of the patient’s decision whether or not he/she agrees with it.

What to look for in answer:

  • Demonstrates empathy and tact
  • Strong communication skills
  • Supportive at all times

Example:

“If a patient suddenly stops working with us, I would first find out why he is she is stopping the sessions before working out a solution with the physical therapist to ensure the patient can continue getting proper support.”

Q:

Have you ever needed to work with a patient suffering from dementia or other mental disorders?

A:

Physical therapist assistants will work with a variety of different patients and families. As life expectancy increases across the board and more geriatric clients need help with improving mobility and physical health, there is an increased chance that your candidate will work with patients who experience dementia or other mental disorders. This may mean that your candidate will need to be careful in following up with regimens and tailoring them towards patients’ needs.

What to look for in answer:

  • Explains the level of experience with patients who have mental disorders
  • Patient and methodical approach to problem-solving
  • Positive disposition

Example:

‘I previously worked as a PTA in an elderly care home and have found that writing out a step-by-step therapy regimen really helps patients who suffer from dementia.”

Q:

What would you do if your organization wanted to you prioritize therapy procedures that can be billed to one insurance over another?

A:

Depending on the organization, physical therapist assistants may come across physical therapists or other members in the company who push them to sell certain therapies more than others due to their lucrative nature. Candidates should have a clear stance on where their ethics lie. Your candidate’s answer will allow you to gauge whether or not he or she takes the same stance as your organization on how therapy sessions are billed.

What to look for in answer:

  • A clear answer with how he or she would respond
  • Takes a clear ethical stance
  • Strong communication skills

Example:

“As a healthcare support professional, I believe that it is my duty to always put patients’ needs first. In this case, I would look for another organization to continue my work as a physical therapy assistant.”

Q:

Do you have experience working with patients who need integumentary physical therapy to recover from burns and skin wounds?

A:

Patients who have been through extreme physical trauma, such as suffering high degree burns or healing from open wounds, will need to follow a very careful physical therapy regimen to ensure that they are able to heal without aggravating existing wounds. For organizations that work with patients with this kind of trauma on a normal basis, it is important that your candidate has experience working with this type of patient or is interested in pursuing additional training to specialize in this type of care.

What to look for in answer:

  • Clearly outlines past experience with these types of patients
  • Shows interest in specializing in integumentary care
  • Deep understanding of physical therapy techniques

Example:

“Yes, I have worked a few times as a physical therapy assistant focusing on patients recovering from heavy burns.”

Q:

Have you ever needed to travel to a patient’s home to perform your duties as a physical therapist assistant?

A:

Depending on the needs of the patient, physical therapist assistants may need to travel to patients’ homes to help physical therapists complete the care regimens necessary for their recovery, particularly if patients have difficulties traveling longer distances due to physical limitations. Your candidate should be flexible in how care regimens are delivered. Additionally, you should check to make sure that your candidate is comfortable working in a stranger’s home as you would want to ensure that your candidates feel safe while working.

What to look for in answer:

  • Cites examples
  • Explains their level of comfort with working out of a patient’s home
  • Sets clear boundaries to stay safe

Example:

“Yes, I have worked with multiple patients in the comfort of their own home. When we first meet a patient who requests that we travel to them, I always accompany the physical therapist to ensure I can provide adequate assistance during the sessions.”

Q:

How do you ensure compliance to laws and regulations, industry policies and company protocols?

A:

Physical therapist assistants should maintain and improve an organization's compliance to relevant legal rules. An employer can use this question to find out if a job applicant can be a reliable hire in this area. An ideal physical therapist assistant candidate should communicate a practical strategy that can improve compliance.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Awareness of the importance of complying with laws, regulations and policies
  • Problem-solving, strategy, creativity and organizational skills
  • A viable strategy that can enhance compliance

An example answer to this question can look like this:

Example:

"I check healthcare journals and publications that carry updates on changes to legal and industry requirements for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Listing any new requirements, being mindful of them as I work and checking my work against them regularly help me maintain compliance."

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