Physical Therapist Aides

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Some Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Physical Therapist Aides include:

Experience and Education

Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

  • 42.34% said they needed a High School Diploma.

  • 21.51% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Essential Tasks

    Observe patients during treatment to compile and evaluate data on patients' responses and progress and report to physical therapist.

    Schedule patient appointments with physical therapists and coordinate therapists' schedules.

    Record treatment given and equipment used.

    Train patients to use orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.

    Clean and organize work area and disinfect equipment after treatment.

    Instruct, motivate, safeguard, or assist patients practicing exercises or functional activities, under direction of medical staff.

    Secure patients into or onto therapy equipment.

    Arrange treatment supplies to keep them in order.

    Perform clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, or filling out forms.

    Transport patients to and from treatment areas, using wheelchairs or providing standing support.

    Change linens, such as bed sheets and pillow cases.

    Maintain equipment or furniture to keep it in good working condition, including performing the assembly or disassembly of equipment or accessories.

    Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.

    Administer active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, or heat, light, sound, water, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.

    Measure patient's range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.

    Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, adjusting fit as needed.

    Participate in patient care tasks, such as assisting with passing food trays, feeding residents, or bathing residents on bed rest.

Regular Tasks

    Administer traction to relieve neck or back pain, using intermittent or static traction equipment.

    Assist patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.

Occasional Tasks

What Tools and Technologies do Physical Therapist Aides use?




Upper extremity prosthetic devices

Therapeutic ultrasound equipment

Personal computers

Parallel bars

Orthotic devices

All Tools

Orthopedic splint sets

Notebook computers

Lower extremity prosthetic devices

Hydrotherapy immersion baths

Hydraulic lifts

Hot packs

Gait belts

Electronic blood pressure units

Electrical stimulation equipment


Cold packs


Blood pressure cuffs

Anti-embolism elastic stockings


MEDITECH software

Medical procedure coding software

Patient record maintenance software

Scheduling software

What Skills Do Physical Therapist Aides Need to Have?


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.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Teaching others how to do something.


No abilities found

Everything Physical Therapist Aides Should Know…


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.


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.

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