Physical Therapist Aides

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Clinical Rehabilitation Aide
  • Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (LPTA)
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Physical Therapist Aide (PTA)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
  • Physical Therapist Technician
  • Physical Therapy Aide (PTA)
  • Physical Therapy Aide (PT Aide)
  • Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
  • Physical Therapy Attendant

What They Do

  • Participate in patient care tasks, such as assisting with passing food trays, feeding residents, or bathing residents on bed rest.
  • Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, adjusting fit as needed.
  • Train patients to use orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.
  • Administer traction to relieve neck or back pain, using intermittent or static traction equipment.
  • Measure patient's range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
  • Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.
  • Maintain equipment or furniture to keep it in good working condition, including performing the assembly or disassembly of equipment or accessories.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.
  • Arrange treatment supplies to keep them in order.
  • Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $26,700 with most people making between $20,030 and $35,870

Outlook

2.20%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 2,500 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 3,050 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 55 openings due to growth and about 35 replacement openings for approximately 90 total annual openings.