What does a Physical Therapist Aide do?

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.

Jobs Roles

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