Physical therapy assistants (PTA) are important therapy team members as they work with patients performing exercises to regain the use of body parts affected by injury or illness. Each year the PTA remains on staff with the therapy department or company, he or she must be evaluated by his or her supervisor, who is most often a physical therapist. The assistant and his or her boss should work together to set annual goals during this evaluation.
Review previous goals. If the physical therapy assistant set annual goals a year ago, it’s important that these are reviewed before you begin setting new ones. Take time to review what goals were realized as well as look at why other goals were not achieved.
Set goals focused on job performance. The majority of annual goals for physical therapy assistants should focus on improving their performance. Whether increasing the number of patients they work with or recording more accurate details of therapy sessions, it’s important that they know areas for improvement.
Focus one or two goals on new responsibilities or advancement. To keep physical therapy assistants at your company, it’s important to allow them to grow and expand. Help them select one or two goals that give them more responsibility and the opportunity to grow and advance with your company. This may include taking on more of a leadership role or serving as a committee member or department liaison if working in a larger medical facility.
Develop professional goals. Physical therapy assistants also need goals that focus on their own professional development within the field. Goals relating to professional development may include attendance at conferences or additional training.
Create an accountability system. Accomplishing annual goals can be self-rewarding for some physical therapy assistants, but not all feel the same way. You may need to make them accountable for achievement of their goals by connecting them to raises and promotions.
Determine ways to check progress throughout the year. While annual goals are great for promoting personal and job growth in physical therapy assistants, they can quickly be forgotten if not reviewed regularly. Develop a way to review the goals periodically throughout the year to ensure physical therapy assistants are making progress.
Physical therapy assistants need to set their own job and professional goals with input from their supervisors if they are to be committed to achieving them.