Physical therapy aides work directly under the supervision of a physical therapist and physical therapy assistant. Physical therapy assistants are not often involved in direct patient care. They are responsible for helping get the patient care area ready for the physical therapist and physical therapy assistants to help a patient who has had an injury or some other ailment where they need help getting their range of motion back. Physical therapy aides are responsible for the following according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- Clean treatment areas and set up therapy equipment
- Wash linens
- Keep equipment organized
- Help patients move to or from a therapy area
- Do clerical tasks, such as answering phones, filling out insurance forms and scheduling patients
Physical therapy aides work in a variety of settings. The majority of physical therapy aides work within a physical therapist’s office. They also work within hospitals, extended care facilities, government building and other physician’s offices.
- Compassion- They should enjoy helping people. They work with people who are in a lot of physical and emotional pain and they must have empathy to help their patients.
- Detail oriented- They need to be organized and have an eye for detail. They must keep accurate records for the patient’s chart and follow written and verbal instructions carefully.
- Interpersonal skills- They spend much of their time working with patients, families and other healthcare professionals. They must be courteous and friendly.
- Physical stamina- They are always on their feet and moving while they work with patients. They must often stoop, kneel, bed and stand for long periods. They should enjoy physical activity.
The occupation of physical therapy aides is projected to grow 23% from 2018 to 2028. This is much faster than most other careers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The aging population and the increase in comorbidities such as diabetes and obesity have lead to an increase for needs of physical therapy for mobility. If you like to help people and do not mind physically demanding work, this may be the career for you!
Ed4Career offers a variety of medical certification programs including the Physical Therapy Aide Professional Program. Upon successful completion of our Physical Therapy Aide course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a Physical Therapy Aide and to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Physical Therapy Aide Specialist (CPTAS).