Help patients recover from physical illnesses, injuries, or surgeries.
A Physical Therapy Aide works under the supervision of a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapist Assistant, performing duties that the boss needs assistance with. These duties may include preparing the patient, as well as the treatment area, for therapy sessions. As the job title suggests, a Physical Therapy Aide is basically the Physical Therapist’s or the Physical Therapist Assistant’s helper.
On a typical working day as a Physical Therapy Aide, you might be assembling, disassembling, cleaning, and organizing equipment. As the Physical Therapist or Assistant is seeing patients, you’ll be observing treatment and writing reports, or assisting them in exercising the patients. You might also be asked to measure patient progress, administer therapeutic massage, and perform clerical duties for the clinic.
Needless to say, you have to be knowledgeable about physical therapy. But more than that, it is helpful to have some counseling skills in this job—many of the patients you work with have experienced a traumatic physical accident or illness. Apart from helping with their physical recovery, you might have to listen patiently as they vent their troubles. So you should have a generally positive attitude and a genuine desire to help those in need.
As a Physical Therapy Aide, you may not be the top dog…yet. But in this career, you have lots of opportunity to make a huge impact on the lives of the patients you work with.