Physical Therapy Aide

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Physical Therapy Aide job description involves helping physical therapists with their clients. As a Physical Therapy Aide, you're responsible for helping to prepare examination and treatment areas, escorting clients through their therapies, and helping them with exercises as instructed. You also help to maintain the equipment in the therapy room, and ensure that it stays clean and organized. Additionally, you'll help with administrative tasks such as taking appointments and updating medical records. 

To become a Physical Therapy Aide, you should have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Most employers will provide on-the-job training, but prior experience in a healthcare setting is beneficial. As a Physical Therapy Aide, you need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work well with patients and therapists. 

If you're passionate about helping others and want to work in the healthcare industry, a career as a Physical Therapy Aide may be a great job for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist physical therapists with exercises and therapies to help patients recover from injuries and illnesses
  • Keep treatment areas clean and organized to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients
  • Help patients move and transfer safely, such as helping patients get in and out of beds and wheelchairs
  • Prepare equipment and materials for treatment sessions, such as setting up exercise equipment or applying hot and cold packs
  • Monitor and document patient progress and report any changes to the physical therapist
  • Educate patients on exercises and therapies that they can do at home to aid their recovery
  • Handle administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments and maintaining patient records
  • Follow all safety and infection control protocols to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for staff and patients
  • Provide emotional support and encouragement to patients during their recovery process.

Experience and Education Requirements

If you want to become a Physical Therapy Aide in the healthcare industry, you will typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers may prefer candidates with some college coursework or an associate's degree in a related field, like kinesiology or exercise science.

Experience in physical therapy or a related field is also essential for a Physical Therapy Aide position. This includes work in healthcare or fitness settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or gyms. Previous experience working with patients or clients, such as through volunteering or internships, is also highly regarded.

Training in basic medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology is necessary for this role. CPR certification and a clean criminal background are often required, as well. With these qualifications, you can start a rewarding career as a Physical Therapy Aide and help patients recover from injuries or illnesses.

Salary Range

Physical Therapy Aides are an essential part of a rehabilitation team that assists patients in recovering from illnesses or injuries. If you're looking for a job as a Physical Therapy Aide, you may be wondering about the expected salary range. In the United States, the median hourly wage for Physical Therapy Aides is $12.28 per hour; this can range from $9.11 to $17.00 per hour depending on factors such as location, qualifications, and experience. In Canada, the salary range is between C$12.54 to C$22.87 per hour. In the UK, the salary range is between £7.00 and £9.00 per hour. The demand for Physical Therapy Aides is expected to increase as the population ages, making it a promising career choice.



Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Physical Therapy Aide in the healthcare industry is projected to have a steady growth over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to increase by 26% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. This is due to the increase in demand for physical therapy services as the population ages, and more people require therapy for various injuries and illnesses. Physical Therapy Aides work under the supervision of licensed Physical Therapists, and they assist with patient care, such as preparing treatment areas, helping patients with therapy exercises, and performing clerical tasks. With the aging baby boomer generation, the need for physical therapy services is expected to continue to grow, which will only increase the demand for Physical Therapy Aides.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Physical Therapy Aide?

A: A Physical Therapy Aide is a healthcare professional who assists physical therapists in providing treatment to patients, helping with exercises, setting up equipment, and maintaining the therapy area.

Q: What are some of the duties of a Physical Therapy Aide?

A: Some duties of a Physical Therapy Aide include setting up equipment, preparing the treatment area, assisting patients with exercises under therapist supervision, and maintaining a tidy therapy environment.

Q: What qualifications are required to become a Physical Therapy Aide?

A: Typically, only a high school diploma or equivalent is required to become a Physical Therapy Aide. However, employers may also require CPR certification and previous experience working in a healthcare setting.

Q: What kind of work environment does a Physical Therapy Aide have?

A: A Physical Therapy Aide may work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They must have strong communication skills and be comfortable interacting with patients of different ages and backgrounds.

Q: What are some potential career paths for a Physical Therapy Aide?

A: Some Physical Therapy Aides may choose to further their education and pursue a career as a licensed physical therapist, while others may advance to become a physical therapy assistant or pursue other careers in healthcare.

Cover Letter Example

I am excited to apply for the position of Physical Therapy Aide in the healthcare industry at [organization]. As someone with a deep passion for helping people enhance their physical abilities, I am confident that my [experience] and [qualifications] make me an excellent candidate for this role. At [previous organization], I was responsible for supporting licensed physical therapists in administering treatment to patients with various conditions, including cerebral palsy and orthopedic injuries. My experience in documenting patient progress and teaching them exercises to do on their own has honed my skills in time management and communication.

Furthermore, my [certification or degree] in [related field] has equipped me with valuable knowledge in anatomy and physiology, therapeutic techniques, and medical terminology. I am eager to apply this knowledge to my work in this role, and I am committed to continuing my professional development through opportunities for training and learning. If given the chance to join [organization], I believe I can make a meaningful impact in helping patients to achieve their recovery goals and improve their quality of life.

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