Physical therapy aides are employed under physical therapists' direction. They typically perform non-medical tasks, including helping with patient intake, setting up treatment rooms, and assisting with patient transportation to another health care facility. They are also responsible for documenting the responses and progress of patients and communicating with hospital personnel and physicians' offices. There are several skills and competencies to become a successful physical therapy aide, which include active listening skills, attention to detail, and compassion for patients.

Physical Therapy Aide Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real physical therapy aide resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage flexible schedule at various company facilities categorize as ILF, ALF, and SNF.
  • Administer ultrasound and electrical stimulation and start patients with their prescribe exercise programs.
  • Educate patients on supportive devices, such as braces, splints, and slings.
  • Earn repeated appreciations from supervisor, co-workers, and patients for providing the best quality care with compassion.
  • Work closely with PT's/PTA's; OT/COTA's and SLP in providing quality hands on care to rehab patients.
  • Create and maintain patient charts and paperwork including exercise, insurance authorization, insurance, HIPAA, and patient information.
  • Instruct patients on therapeutic exercises, apply therapeutic massage, and perform ultrasound therapy.
  • Shadow physical therapists, assist patients with routine treatment and exercise, and maintain the rehabilitation area
  • Work full-time at this rehabilitation organization; schedule patients, maintain and organize the documentation of patient files.
  • Supervise patients performing rehabilitation exercises.
  • Assist with CPR and Tracheas.
  • grab bars, tub lifts, stair lifts )
  • Coordinate client ADL goal assistance.
  • Well-Verse in Medicaid and Medicare claims submission.
  • Work with kids and adults with learning and functional disabilities

Physical Therapy Aide Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 42% of Physical Therapy Aides are proficient in Patients, Patient Care, and Rehabilitation. They’re also known for soft skills such as Time-management skills, Dexterity, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Physical Therapy Aides that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 42%

    Worked full-time at this rehabilitation organization; scheduled patients, maintained and organized the documentation of patient files.

  • Patient Care, 10%

    Provide direct patient care by assisting physical therapists and occupational therapists during inpatient, acute rehabilitation, and outpatient sessions.

  • Rehabilitation, 8%

    Supervised patients performing rehabilitation exercises.

  • Customer Service, 5%

    Provide a high level of customer service to patients, referring providers and other community stakeholders through punctual and professional communication.

  • Ultrasound, 5%

    Assist Physical Therapist with treatment using heat packs, electronic stimulus, ultrasound therapy, and demonstrating/supervising exercises.

  • Direct Supervision, 4%

    License and Certification Physical Therapist Assistant- Indirect Supervision, Pennsylvania #TE1001043, licensed through 12/31/16 Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, certified through 5/8/15

Some of the skills we found on physical therapy aide resumes included "patients," "patient care," and "rehabilitation." We have detailed the most important physical therapy aide responsibilities below.

  • Another trait important for fulfilling physical therapy aide duties is dexterity. According to a physical therapy aide resume, "physical therapist assistants should be comfortable using their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises." Here's an example of how physical therapy aides are able to utilize dexterity: "assist with lifting and moving patients, finding crutches, wheelchairs and other tools used in treatment. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among physical therapy aides is physical stamina. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a physical therapy aide resume: "physical therapist assistants and aides are frequently on their feet and moving as they work with their patients" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "assisted physical therapists with direct patient management and carrying out all therapeutic exercises assisted office personnel with appointment scheduling and paperwork"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "compassion" is important to completing physical therapy aide responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way physical therapy aides use this skill: "physical therapist assistants and aides should enjoy helping people" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical physical therapy aide tasks: "provided compassionate care using ice packs, manual therapy, and emotional support for each patient. "
  • Another common skill for a physical therapy aide to be able to utilize is "detail oriented." Like other healthcare professionals, physical therapist assistants and aides should be organized and have a keen eye for detail a physical therapy aide demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "recorded detailed prognosis, treatment, responses and progress notes in patient charts. "
  • Another skill commonly found on physical therapy aide resumes is "interpersonal skills." This description of the skill was found on several physical therapy aide resumes: "physical therapist assistants and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients, their families, and other healthcare practitioners; therefore, they should be courteous and friendly." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day physical therapy aide responsibilities: "cultivated strong interpersonal skills by aiding patients in therapeutic exercise, insurance verification, and administrative matters. "
  • See the full list of physical therapy aide skills.

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    What Rehab Technicians Do

    A rehab technician's role is to assist physical therapists and patients in a hospital or similar facility. Typically, their responsibilities revolve around gathering a patient's personal information and medical history, escorting them to corresponding rooms, and conducting initial tests and assessments. It is also essential to maintain records of all transactions, updating medical accounts promptly and accurately. Furthermore, a rehab technician may also perform basic treatments under the supervision of a physical therapist. There are also instances when they have to sanitize and clean therapy equipment, all in adherence to the facility's safety regulations and policies.

    In this section, we compare the average physical therapy aide annual salary with that of a rehab technician. Typically, rehab technicians earn a $2,655 lower salary than physical therapy aides earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both physical therapy aides and rehab technicians positions are skilled in patients, rehabilitation, and customer service.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A physical therapy aide responsibility is more likely to require skills like "patient care," "ultrasound," "strong customer service," and "appointment scheduling." Whereas a rehab technician requires skills like "physical therapy," "cpr," "cleanliness," and "taking care." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Rehab technicians receive the highest salaries in the health care industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $29,851. But physical therapy aides are paid more in the health care industry with an average salary of $29,450.

    On average, rehab technicians reach similar levels of education than physical therapy aides. Rehab technicians are 0.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Aide?

    Aides are personal employees of their clients who commonly have health issues that render them unable to do certain tasks. They help out their clients with activities they may need assistance in. They may do personal errands such as grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking. They also provide care for their clients by helping them bathe, dress, brush their teeth, and other personal hygiene activities. Aides also help their clients walk, sit, and eat if their clients' motor functions are compromised. Aides are expected to be patient, caring, and trustworthy.

    The next role we're going to look at is the aide profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $3,367 lower salary than physical therapy aides per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both physical therapy aides and aides are known to have skills such as "patients," "patient care," and "customer service. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real physical therapy aide resumes. While physical therapy aide responsibilities can utilize skills like "rehabilitation," "ultrasound," "strong customer service," and "hipaa," some aides use skills like "cpr," "compassion," "home health," and "behavioral issues."

    It's been discovered that aides earn lower salaries compared to physical therapy aides, but we wanted to find out where aides earned the most pay. The answer? The health care industry. The average salary in the industry is $27,848. Additionally, physical therapy aides earn the highest paychecks in the health care with an average salary of $29,450.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, aides tend to reach similar levels of education than physical therapy aides. In fact, they're 1.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Restorative, Rehab Aide Compares

    A rehabilitation aide is responsible for assisting patients with injuries, mental disorders, and illnesses in their treatment plans and medications. Rehabilitation aides monitor the patients' progress and update attending physicians regarding their conditions. They also prepare treatment rooms, including the materials and equipment for the medical procedures, and discuss the process with the patients. A rehabilitation aide must be highly organizational, especially in attending to different patients' needs and ensuring the safety and security of all facilities and assets.

    Let's now take a look at the restorative, rehab aide profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than physical therapy aides with a $2,477 difference per year.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from physical therapy aide resumes include skills like "patients," "patient care," "rehabilitation," and "customer service," whereas a restorative, rehab aide might be skilled in "healthcare," "adl," "cna clinical," and "patient therapy. "

    When it comes to education, restoratives, rehab aide tend to earn similar education levels than physical therapy aides. In fact, they're 3.5% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 2.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Rehabilitation Aide

    Now, we'll look at rehabilitation aides, who generally average a lower pay when compared to physical therapy aides annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $2,876 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, physical therapy aides and rehabilitation aides both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "patients," "rehabilitation," and "direct supervision. "

    Each job requires different skills like "patient care," "customer service," "ultrasound," and "strong customer service," which might show up on a physical therapy aide resume. Whereas rehabilitation aide might include skills like "cpr," "cleanliness," "data entry," and "occupational therapy."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The health care industry tends to pay more for rehabilitation aides with an average of $29,100. While the highest physical therapy aide annual salary comes from the health care industry.

    In general, rehabilitation aides reach similar levels of education when compared to physical therapy aides resumes. Rehabilitation aides are 0.8% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.9% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.