A physical therapy aide is an individual who works under the direction of a licensed physical therapist. There are many job opportunities for those seeking such employment, as the need for physical therapy is continuously increasing in today's modern world.
The position is a good stepping stone for those who wish to enter the field of healthcare or pursuit a college education to become a licensed physical therapist.
Physical Therapy Aide
A physical therapy aide may be called upon to perform a variety of tasks and duties, which will vary depending on the type of facility where the person is employed. Physical therapy aides are typically responsible for keeping treatment areas clean and organized and completing preparatory set up for patients' therapy. They may also assist the physical therapist with helping to move patients during therapy sessions, and be required to perform clerical duties, such as answering phones or completing insurance forms.
Numerous clinics and rehabilitation facilities require their physical therapists to maintain high productivity levels. For this reason, adjusting schedules, doing administrative work, changing linens or cleaning equipment is what the job entails. Therefore, regardless of the duties an aide is asked to perform, the main role is to ensure that the physical therapist worked for can focus his or her time on hands-on patient care. Although those working in this profession typically have little formal training, they are an important part of many physical therapy facilities and are considered valuable employees in the eyes of those for whom they work.
Physical therapy aides are frequently mistaken for therapists or therapy assistants. This is because they often perform similar duties. Although they are legally able to perform certain functions under the direct supervision of a licensed therapist, they are not allowed to give advice to patients or make any alterations to the professional's directives.
An Ideal Foundation
As previously mentioned, an aide is typically considered as a valuable member of most physical therapy teams. However, such positions also offer benefits to the aides themselves. For example, an aide may intend to become a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the future. Therefore, the position is an ideal foundation for those who are pursuing or planning to pursue a higher education.
Many degree programs require a substantial number of observation hours in a health care setting to be completed before the student's application will be considered. Often, working as an aide in a physical therapist's office will count toward these observation hours.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2011 the average annual salary of a physical therapy aide was approximately $ 25,000. However, there is a wide salary range associated with the position, with the lower end being $ 19,000 per year, and the higher end being approximately $ 34,000. The best-paying positions are typically those in the area of voluntary rehabilitation or home healthcare.
Whether one chooses to work in this profession as a permanent career or as the first step in an ongoing career path, he or she will likely find that the job is both interesting and rewarding.