What It’s Like to Be A Physical Therapy Aide - MedCerts

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A physical therapy aide helps sick or injured patients to regain movement and manage pain during the recovery process under the supervision of physiotherapists. An aide's daily schedule often involves a mixture of patient interaction, clerical work, and general housekeeping.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth rate of 24% in physical therapy aide job openings from 2021 to 2031. With the average aide earning around $29,200 each year, physiotherapy could certainly offer a promising career.

In this blog, we discuss what a typical day in the life of a physical therapy aide looks like so you can think about whether it's right for you.

Physiotherapy Settings

Physiotherapy can be carried out in a range of healthcare facilities including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, fitness centers,- or private clinics. In inpatient settings such as hospitals, patients are often recovering from a critical injury or illness and need round-the-clock care.

The exact duties of a physical therapy aide can vary quite a bit depending on the setting and specialties of their work environment. However, most of the time, physiotherapy is administered in an outpatient setting such as a community care center or private clinic.

Organizational Tasks

In an outpatient setting, physical therapy aides are often responsible for a variety of organizational tasks that support the work of physiotherapists in treating patients.

For instance, a physical therapy aide would stock therapists' workstations and charge electronic items such as laptops and iPads prior to a session. Other organizational tasks could include:

  • Cleaning and folding towels or other household items

  • Clearing workstations of any debris or dirt

  • Inflating or plugging in exercise equipment

  • Making sure charging stations are accessible

Clerical Tasks

When they're not getting the place ready for sessions, physical therapy aides act as an extension of the physical therapy assistant. This means they're responsible for general housekeeping and maintaining cleanliness as well as clerical tasks including:

  • Ordering equipment and other supplies

  • Printing out schedules for physiotherapists

  • Highlighting important information on schedules

  • Getting paperwork stocked and ready for patients

  • Filling out insurance forms

Patient-Facing Interaction

Last, but certainly not least, physical therapy aides are involved in a number of patient-facing interactions, including:

  • Welcoming patients to the therapy center

  • Making patients feel supported and cared for

  • Escorting patients to their therapists' workstations

  • Answering any questions patients may have

Overall, this career is a great choice for people who have a lot of compassion, patience, and love for helping others. It can be incredibly rewarding to see patients recover from their injury or illness and know that you've pitched into the process.

Start Your Career Now

If you're looking to pursue a meaningful career in this field, MedCerts can help. Our Physical Therapy Aide and Administration Specialist program is designed to help students enter the field quickly and without going into debt.

The program prepares students to take the Physical Therapy Technician/Aide Certification (PTTC) exam, helping them achieve the qualification needed to enter this field. Our program utilizes engaging e-learning components such as immersive recorded lectures, video demos, interactive training, and more. What's more, you can study at your own pace and alongside other responsibilities such as work or family.

Portrait of Dana Janssen
Written by Dana Janssen
Chief Product Officer

Dana has over twenty (20) years’ experience in Allied Healthcare and Education, and currently serves as the Chief Product Officer for MedCerts where he is responsible for product vision and strategy, research, and development.

Dana joined MedCerts upon its founding in 2009, and has led the research, development, and production of the entire catalog of programs that have helped MedCerts transform the distance learning landscape. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and innovative instructional design practices, Dana and his team have pioneered the development of the MedCerts 12 Elements of eLearning. Each MedCerts program contains a proprietary blend of these engaging, interactive, and entertaining elements that effectively accommodate learners of all types. Dana is deeply in-tune with the needs of today’s healthcare employers and is an expert in careers and certifications related to allied health.

Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Education (BS) degree from Valparaiso University, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Davenport University. Dana is an avid sports fan and in his free time enjoys mountain biking, woodworking, knifemaking, and spending time with his family and pets.

Published on March 29, 2023


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