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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

  • $28,752

    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 Demographics

Gender

Female

73.9%

Male

24.6%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

64.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.7%

French

6.6%

Hindi

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

Chinese

2.2%

German

2.2%

Dutch

2.2%

Mandarin

2.2%

Russian

1.1%

Marathi

1.1%

Hebrew

1.1%

Romanian

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Konkani

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%
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Rehabilitation Aide Education

Schools

University of Illinois at Chicago

10.4%

Community College of Allegheny County

9.1%

Temple University

7.1%

Western Michigan University

6.5%

Saint Catherine University

5.2%

Northeastern University

5.2%

San Jose State University

4.5%

Bay Path College

4.5%

Baker College

4.5%

Saint Louis University-

3.9%

California University of Pennsylvania

3.9%

Illinois State University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences

3.9%

University of Utah

3.9%

Springfield College

3.9%

Eastern Michigan University

3.9%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.9%

University of Phoenix

3.9%

Duke University

3.9%
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Majors

Kinesiology

17.2%

Occupational Therapy

14.5%

Physical Therapy

13.5%

Nursing

8.2%

Medical Assisting Services

6.8%

Psychology

6.1%

Business

4.7%

Nursing Assistants

3.2%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Biology

3.0%

Health Sciences And Services

2.8%

Social Work

2.6%

General Studies

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Human Services

2.0%

Education

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Medical Technician

1.6%

Public Health

1.5%

Athletic Training

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.1%

Other

22.0%

Masters

17.3%

Associate

12.9%

Doctorate

7.0%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.8%
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Internship
Temporary

Real 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

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  1. Physical Therapy Practice
  2. Occupational Therapy
  3. Physical Therapy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted patients with physical/occupational therapy under direction of therapist -Assisted patients with ambulation, transfers and activities of daily living
  • Prepared patients for physical therapy treatment by welcoming, comforting, providing and/or assisting patient into physical therapy apparel or apertures.
  • Assisted with wound care, acute PT and inpatient rehabilitation
  • Worked directly with clients in the Semi-Independent Living and Community-Based Programs assisting with individualized skill practice.
  • Prepared and dismantled treatment areas and therapy equipment between treatment sessions!

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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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