Physical Therapy Aide Job Description
Physical Therapy Aides support Physical Therapists in a variety of ways. They do this by completing administrative tasks, helping to provide patient care and acting as a liaison between patient and physical therapist.
The Physical Therapy Aide works under the direct supervision of the Physical Therapist. They typically work in physical therapy offices but sometimes work in larger hospitals and care facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers as a Physical Therapy Aide or Assistant are expected to grow about 40 percent through 2024, much faster than average.
Physical Therapy Aide Duties and Responsibilities
In order to assist Physical Therapists, a Physical Therapy Aide performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Physical Therapy Aide in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.
Assist with Treatments
In order to facilitate the treatment process, the Physical Therapy Aide prepares treatment rooms for patients, ensuring necessary equipment and supplies are in place and ready to use, and also prepares the patient for treatment. They often perform less complex treatments themselves while assisting a Physical Therapist for more difficult tasks. After treatments, the Physical Therapy Aide will help the patient transition and assist with any post-treatment needs such as icing or heating areas of the body or transporting the patient.
Perform Clerical Duties
Physical Therapy Aides assist the physical therapy office by scheduling appointments, filing paperwork, responding to patient concerns and requests, fielding incoming phone calls and emails, and performing occasional organization and cleaning tasks such as arranging treatment supplies and changing bedding. They also take inventory and replenish supplies regularly to make sure that nothing necessary is out of stock.
Complete Patient Paperwork
In order to assist the Physical Therapist, the Physical Therapy Aide completes all patient paperwork, taking down their information, inputting it into the system, and guiding them through the completion of any follow up paperwork. They must also maintain patient files by updating them regularly and complying with confidentiality guidelines.
Physical Therapy Aide Skills
Physical Therapy Aides must be friendly, personable, and excellent communicators as they interface with patients often more than anyone else. Detail-oriented and organized, they’re able to successfully juggle multiple priorities and maintain the general organization of the office. They’re generally knowledgeable in anatomy and physical therapy, allowing them to assist Physical Therapists with a variety of tasks.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Physical Therapy Aides with these core skills. If you want to work as an Education Consultant, focus on the following.
- Knowing how to use physical therapy equipment
- Demonstrating some background in physical therapy
- Showing proficiency in relevant computer applications
- Having some knowledge of anatomy and physiology
- Basic Life Support certification
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Physical Therapy Aide toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Bilingual abilities
- Bachelor’s degree in related field
- Experience working with a physical therapist
Physical Therapy Aide Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Physical Therapy Aide. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
Clinicient’s Blog – Business-oriented advice for physical therapy clinics
Mike Reinold – Mike Reinold’s award-winning physical therapy blog
The Manual Therapist – An eclectic approach to physical therapy
APTA – American Physical Therapy Association
WCPT – World Confederation for Physical Therapy
FSBPT – The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy Assistant Books
Trail Guide to the Body – A comprehensive guide to locating muscles in the human body
Therapeutic Exercise Foundations and Techniques – Exercise guidelines for people with movement disorders
Healing Pelvic Pain – A strengthening, stretching, and nutrition program for pelvic healing
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