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Become A Rehabilitation Aide

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Working As A Rehabilitation Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $37,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Rehabilitation Aide Do

Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, and physical therapist aides work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients. Physical therapist aides often do tasks that are indirectly related to patient care, such as cleaning and setting up the treatment area, moving patients, and performing clerical duties.

Duties

Physical therapist assistants typically do the following:

  • Observe patients before, during, and after therapy, noting patient status and reporting it to a physical therapist
  • Help patients do specific exercises as part of the plan of care
  • Treat patients using a variety of techniques, such as massage and stretching
  • Use devices and equipment, such as walkers, to help patients
  • Educate a patient and family members about what to do after treatment

Physical therapist aides typically do the following:

  • Clean treatment areas and set up therapy equipment
  • Wash linens
  • Help patients move to or from a therapy area
  • Do clerical tasks, such as answering phones and scheduling patients

Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists provide care to patients. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, they treat patients through exercise, massage, gait and balance training, and other therapeutic interventions. Physical therapist assistants record patients’ progress and report the results of each treatment to the physical therapist.

Physical therapist aides work under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. They usually are responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and organized, and preparing for each patient's therapy. They also help patients who need assistance moving to or from a treatment area. In addition, aides do a variety of clerical tasks, such as ordering supplies, scheduling treatment sessions, and filling out insurance forms. The types of tasks that physical therapist aides are allowed to perform vary by state. Contact your state licensing board for more information.

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How To Become A Rehabilitation Aide

Physical therapist assistants entering the profession need an associate’s degree from an accredited program. All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified. Physical therapist aides usually have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.

Education and Training

All states require physical therapist assistants to have an associate’s degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program. There were more than 300 associate’s degree programs for physical therapist assistants accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education in 2015.

Programs typically last about 2 years. Classroom study includes courses in algebra, English, anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Assistants also gain hands-on experience during supervised clinical work. They may earn certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other first-aid skills.

Physical therapist aides typically have a high school diploma or the equivalent. They usually gain clinical experience through on-the-job training that can last from about a week to a month. Employers often prefer to hire applicants with computer skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require physical therapist assistants to be licensed or certified. Licensure typically requires graduation from an accredited physical therapist assistant program and passing the National Physical Therapy Exam for physical therapist assistants administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Some states require that applicants pass additional state-administered exams, undergo a criminal background check, and be at least 18 years old. Physical therapist assistants also may need to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Check with your state board for specific licensing requirements.

Physical therapist aides are not required to be licensed.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Physical therapist assistants and aides should enjoy helping people. They work with people who are in pain, and they must have empathy to help their patients.

Detail oriented. Like other healthcare professionals, physical therapist assistants and aides should be organized and have a keen eye for detail. They must keep accurate records and follow written and verbal instructions carefully to ensure quality care.

Dexterity. Physical therapist assistants should be comfortable using their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. Aides should also be comfortable working with their hands to set up equipment and prepare treatment areas.

Interpersonal skills. Physical therapist assistants and aides spend much of their time interacting with clients, their families, and other healthcare practitioners; and therefore should be courteous and friendly.

Physical stamina. Physical therapist assistants and aides are frequently on their feet and moving as they work with their patients. They must often kneel, stoop, bend, and stand for long periods. They should enjoy physical activity.

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Rehabilitation Aide Career Paths

Rehabilitation Aide
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Substitute Teacher Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Physical Therapist Therapist
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Registered Nurse Patient Care Coordinator
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapy Aide Massage Therapist Lead Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Occupational Therapist Senior Technician Specialist Manager
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Occupational Therapist Senior Technician Specialist Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Occupational Therapist Therapist Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Instructor Registered Nurse Case Manager
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant Therapist Service Supervisor
Patient Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Patient Service Representative Service Supervisor
Manager, Member Services
6 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant PRN Speech Language Pathologist
Therapy Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Clinician Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Lead Therapist Clinical Director
Director Of Rehabilitation
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Senior Technician Specialist Food Service Director
Director Of Support Services
9 Yearsyrs
Student Physical Therapist Staff Physical Therapist Therapy Program Manager
Rehab Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Restorative Aide 3.3 years
Therapy Aide 2.8 years
Rehab Technician 2.5 years
Service Aide 2.5 years
Rehab Aide 2.4 years
Therapy Technician 2.2 years
Aide 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Rehabilitation Aide
Cashier 10.8%
Internship 10.5%
Volunteer 8.8%
Server 4.1%
Assistant 2.3%
Waitress 2.1%
Manager 2.0%
Top Careers After Rehabilitation Aide
Internship 7.8%
Volunteer 5.6%
Cashier 5.6%
Server 3.2%

Do you work as a Rehabilitation Aide?

Rehabilitation Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

66.0%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.2%

French

5.3%

Hindi

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Italian

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Gujarati

1.5%

Dutch

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Russian

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Tagalog

1.5%

German

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Marathi

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Greek

0.8%
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Rehabilitation Aide Education

Schools

University of Illinois at Chicago

11.7%

University of Pittsburgh -

9.5%

Northern Illinois University

6.6%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

University of Utah

6.0%

Western Michigan University

5.4%

Community College of Allegheny County

5.4%

Northeastern University

5.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

Temple University

4.4%

Elmhurst College

4.1%

DePaul University

3.8%

California University of Pennsylvania

3.5%

University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences

3.5%

The Academy

3.5%

Governors State University

3.5%

Baker College

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.2%

Midwestern University

3.2%

Kean University

3.2%
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Majors

Kinesiology

18.8%

Physical Therapy

13.8%

Occupational Therapy

11.5%

Nursing

9.2%

Psychology

7.3%

Medical Assisting Services

6.3%

Business

4.7%

Biology

3.6%

Health Sciences And Services

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Nursing Assistants

2.7%

Social Work

2.4%

General Studies

2.2%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Athletic Training

1.6%

Medical Technician

1.6%

Education

1.5%

Human Services

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Exercise Physiology

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.1%

Other

22.5%

Masters

14.3%

Associate

13.6%

Doctorate

6.5%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

2.0%

License

0.8%
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Temporary

Highest Rehabilitation Aide Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Rehabilitation Aide Toni Mary Home Alf Corp Port Saint Lucie, FL May 12, 2016 $42,037
Rehabilitation Aide Physiotherapy Corporation Ridgecrest, CA Apr 01, 2011 $23,228
Rehabilitation Aide Physiotherapy Corporation Ridgecrest, CA Dec 18, 2008 $23,228
Rehabilitation Aide Physiotherapy Corporation Ridgecrest, CA Jan 27, 2009 $23,228
Rehabilitation Aides Physiotherapy Corporation Ridgecrest, CA Apr 13, 2009 $23,228

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Top Skills for A Rehabilitation Aide

  1. Occupational Therapists
  2. Occupational Therapy
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported physical and occupational therapists in providing various patient treatments, including taping, exercising and stretching
  • Build rapport with patients receiving physical and/or occupational therapy by welcoming them and providing a positive, empathetic attitude.
  • Performed direct patient care aimed at increasing comfort, psycho and social well-being by providing personal assistance to individuals with disabilities.
  • Assisted the therapists by implementing rehabilitation plans with patients by leading and guiding patients through rehabilitation exercises.
  • Set up and assist therapy with daily living/functional activities and therapeutic activities as determined by the therapist.

How Would You Rate Working As a Rehabilitation Aide?

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Top Rehabilitation Aide Employers

Jobs From Top Rehabilitation Aide Employers

Rehabilitation Aide Videos

Day in the Life: Community Mobility (Part 1) Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Day in the Life: Home Mobility - Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Cook Children's pediatric rehab team helps Abby through Walk-Aide technology

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