Physical Therapist Aides

Description

Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

Tasks

  • Clean and organize work area and disinfect equipment after treatment.
  • Administer active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, or heat, light, sound, water, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.
  • Instruct, motivate, safeguard, or assist patients practicing exercises or functional activities, under direction of medical staff.
  • Record treatment given and equipment used.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Observe patients during treatment to compile and evaluate data on patients' responses and progress and report to physical therapist.
  • Secure patients into or onto therapy equipment.
  • Change linens, such as bed sheets and pillow cases.
  • Transport patients to and from treatment areas, using wheelchairs or providing standing support.
  • Arrange treatment supplies to keep them in order.
  • Maintain equipment or furniture to keep it in good working condition, including performing the assembly or disassembly of equipment or accessories.
  • Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.
  • Administer traction to relieve neck or back pain, using intermittent or static traction equipment.
  • Schedule patient appointments with physical therapists and coordinate therapists' schedules.
  • Train patients to use orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.
  • Measure patient's range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
  • Participate in patient care tasks, such as assisting with passing food trays, feeding residents, or bathing residents on bed rest.
  • Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, adjusting fit as needed.

Knowledge

Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Clinical Rehabilitation Aide
Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA)
Occupational Therapy Aide
Physical Therapist Aide (PTA)
Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Physical Therapist Technician
Physical Therapy Aide (PT Aide)
Physical Therapy Aide (PTA)
Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
Physical Therapy Attendant
Physical Therapy Technician
Physiotherapy Aide
Rehabilitation Aide
Rehabilitation Assistant
Rehabilitation Attendant
Rehabilitation Helper
Rehabilitation Technician
Restorative Aide (RA)
Restorative Care Technician

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$11.48 hourly, $23,880 annual.
Employment (2008):
48,700 employees