Physical Therapist Aides

What they do:

Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

On the job, you would:

  • Clean and organize work area and disinfect equipment after treatment.
  • Observe patients during treatment to compile and evaluate data on patients' responses and progress and report to physical therapist.
  • Instruct, motivate, safeguard, or assist patients practicing exercises or functional activities, under direction of medical staff.
  • Secure patients into or onto therapy equipment.
  • Transport patients to and from treatment areas, using wheelchairs or providing standing support.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
  • Record treatment given and equipment used.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.
  • Maintain equipment or furniture to keep it in good working condition, including performing the assembly or disassembly of equipment or accessories.
  • Administer active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, or heat, light, sound, water, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Psychology
  • Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Clerical
  • Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Communications and Media
  • Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination
  • Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing
  • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Instructing
  • Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition
  • The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Multilimb Coordination
  • The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Static Strength
  • The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.

Work Activities

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Interests

  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Concern for Others
  • Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control
  • Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Social Orientation
  • Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.