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Rehab Aide Duties and Responsibilities

Rehab aides perform many varied duties depending on the type of rehabilitation center where they work and the treatments provided. However, these core duties are associated with this job in all facilities and treatment programs:

Prepare Patients for Treatment Rehab aides transport and prepare patients for therapeutic treatment sessions. They also prepare supplies and equipment for treatment, which includes setting up treatment rooms.

Clean Rehab aides clean equipment and treatment rooms before and after sessions.

Maintain Stock Rehab aides maintain inventory supplies. This includes keeping stock areas clean and organized, and ordering new supplies as needed.

Maintain Records Rehab aides maintain and file patient records to keep them updated and accurate. They also perform general clerical work, such as copying and filing documents and sorting mail.

Monitor and Treat Patients Rehab aides apply therapeutic treatments under the supervision of therapists and assist with therapeutic treatments as directed. They also monitor patients during treatment.

Answer Phones Rehab aides greet patients and answer incoming phone calls to schedule treatment sessions. This includes coordinating therapist and treatment room schedules with patient availability.


Rehab Aide Skills and Qualifications

Rehab aides are patient professionals who display care and compassion to individuals attempting to overcome illness or disability. Employers look for rehab aides who have all the following skills needed to perform the various aspects of this job:
  • Bedside manner - because rehab aides work closely with patients, a compassionate and empathetic bedside manner is essential for this job
  • Physical fitness - because rehab aids assist patients with transport and treatment, they need the physical ability to lift and support patients and carry treatment equipment
  • Data entry - rehab aids use data entry skills to enter information into digital systems and patient records
  • Communication skills - rehab aides receive instruction from therapists and assist patients with their treatments, which requires excellent verbal communication skills
  • Computer skills - rehab aids add patient notes to files and coordinate schedules, so employers look for professionals who have at least basic computer skills

Rehab Aide Education and Training

Rehab aides must have a high school diploma or GED in order to pursue this job. Some employers also require candidates to have CPR certification, which is issued by the state. Employers may additionally require rehab aides to have past work experience in a clinical or treatment facility, but this is not a requirement. Because this is an entry-level job for many facilities, employers provide paid training for rehab aides. This training period varies by employer but typically lasts several weeks. During this time, rehab aides are closely monitored by a training supervisor while they learn basic job tasks.

Rehab Aide Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physical therapist assistants and aides (including rehab aides) earn $46,920 in annual median income, or $22.56 hourly. PayScale data shows that rehab aides earn a median hourly wage of $11.91. BLS data shows that physical therapist assistants and aides occupied over 100,000 jobs in 2016, a number that is projected to rise 30 percent through 2026. This is much faster than the national job growth average. A majority of employers offer medical insurance coverage to full-time rehab aides, though dental benefits are provided by less than half of them. Vacation days, sick days, and paid holidays are commonly offered by the vast majority of employers. Part-time rehab aides do not typically receive any of these benefits. Some employers provide additional perks to all employees, such as enrollment in wellness programs, free parking, and discounted cafeteria meal plans.

Helpful Resources

Use these resources to find job opportunities, networking events, job tips, and strategies for rehab aides of all types:

National Rehabilitation Association - find information about training conferences, look for job opportunities at the career center, and discover resources for rehab aides and other rehabilitation professionals

Physical Rehabilitation for the Physical Therapist Assistant - this book is written in simple, easy-to-read language and provides tips, text, and illustrations for rehab aides in the physical therapy industry

International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals - IARP offers career development resources, education tools, and information about upcoming networking and training events for rehabilitation professionals of all types

Documentation for Rehabilitation: A Guide to Clinical Decision Making in Physical Therapy - this book provides practical information for professionals who work in rehabilitation jobs of all types

Academy of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Recovery - find certification programs and job opportunities for rehab aides and other professionals in the psychiatric rehabilitation sector

Memory Rehabilitation: Integrating Theory and Practice - this book provides tips and strategies for memory rehabilitation professionals, including information about treating the anxiety and stress involved with this type of problem

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