A physical therapy aide job description is very similar to that of a nurse’s aide or other medical aides, and for good reason. The aide works as an assistant to a number of individuals in a clinical physical therapy practice, including Physical Therapists and physical therapist assistants. They complete clerical duties and have responsibilities associated with caring for patients, though they do not provide direct medical care for patients themselves.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
The physical therapy aide job description may vary slightly from one physical therapy practice to the next; however, the majority of the job duties performed by an aide will be the same regardless of where they work.
- Caring for and Assisting Others
The physical therapy aide spends the majority of the work day providing assistance, support and attention to patients, co-workers, family members of patients, vendors and other medical professionals. That assistance may be in the form of helping patients and family members complete paperwork or providing physical or emotional support to those who are receiving treatment. As part of the physical therapy aide job description Physical therapy aides additionally help patients, vendors and other medical industry employees by providing information in person, via mail and by phone, fax or electronically. Aides are typically the first contact that individuals have with the clinical practice, as they staff the front office or reception and registration desks in the physical therapy office.
- Retrieving Information, Equipment and Supplies
A good portion of the physical therapy aide job description entails retrieving information from various sources. Within the clinical practice, the aide may be required to collect information from physical therapists, assistants, patients and family members. They are also typically responsible for requisitioning, transporting, organizing, storing and inventorying equipment and supplies, including both medical and office supplies and equipment. When equipment needs servicing or repairs, it is the physical therapist aide who schedules a technician visit.
- Documenting and Recording Data
In addition to the retrieval of information, the physical therapist aide job description includes the recording and appropriate documentation of information and other data. Aides ensure that all patient files are updated and meet standard requirements within the medical field. Aides maintain computerized and hardcopy documentation and may also be tasked with processing insurance paperwork, claims, and for providing patient information and documentation to other medical professionals, including referring physicians’ offices.
- Communicating and Coordinating with Others
As with any other clerical or support position in a physician’s office, the physical therapy aide job description requires an aide to spend a great deal of time communicating with others, including patients, co-workers, and others outside of the office. The aide must be capable of coordinating activities, communications and operations in order to facilitate effective service.
- Monitoring Materials, Processes and Facilities
Physical therapy aides monitor inventory levels and reorder supplies in a timely manner to ensure that all essential items are always available for patient care and for standard operations of the office. Aides additionally keep track of office and other processes and ensure that all their own activities adhere to standard procedures. More often than not, the physical therapy aide job description also includes maintenance of the front office, reception area, patient treatment areas and may even include the restroom facilities.
Physical Requirements and Working Conditions
The physical therapy aide job description has significant physical requirements. While individuals working in physical therapy aide jobs will spend a good portion of their work day on clerical or office duties, they will also be required to perform some rather physically taxing responsibilities on a daily basis. As a result, aides are required to be in good physical condition. They must be able to frequently climb, lift, stoop, bend, squat, balance, and have full use of their arms and legs.
Specifically, aides will move equipment, supplies and materials. They may also assist in moving patients who have mobility or balance issues. They may also secure patients in therapy equipment and assist in removing patients from that equipment, as well.
Physical Therapy Aide Job Description
Aides are also responsible for cleaning and organizing their work area and may be tasked with cleaning and disinfecting treatment facilities and rehabilitation equipment. Typical job duties also include the changing of linens on therapy and exam room beds and tables. They may, in some practices, also need to assist patients in dressing and undressing for treatment procedures or exams. They will sometimes help with the placement or removal of mobility assistance and therapeutic support aides.
Skills and Abilities
The physical therapy aide job description specifies a number of central skills and abilities necessary for successful performance in the role. These include the ability to estimate, categorize and evaluate information and data. Aides will also need to be detail oriented and able to inspect materials, equipment, structures, and information for defects or missing parts, components or other important details.
Strong interpersonal communication skills, as well as excellent customer service, computer and office/administrative/clerical skills and abilities are also required. Familiarity with different computer programs, including data entry software and Microsoft Office products is listed as a preferred skill in most physical therapy aide job descriptions.
Time management skills, multitasking abilities and the ability to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team are all important qualities in a physical therapy aide and are a big part of the physical therapy aide job description
Knowledge and Education
Most physical therapy offices provide some on the job training for aides, though those who have prior experience in the field are stronger candidates. The minimum education requirement usually listed on a physical therapy aide job description is a high school diploma or GED. Some college or training in a technical or trade school only adds to an individual’s attractiveness to employers.
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