Physical Therapy Aides
To follow-up on last month’s blog entry on physical therapy assistants, this month, we’ll focus on physical therapy aides (PT aides).
PT aides are expected to be in high demand, and the percentage of jobs is expected to increase by 46% between 2010 and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average wage for PT aides in New York is $26,910. If you like to interact with people, enjoy moving around, and work in a team setting, becoming a PT aide might be for you.
Like physical therapy assistants, PT aides work under the supervision of a physical therapist. PT aides are also supervised by physical therapy assistants. Together with the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant, PT aides are part of an important team that helps patients improve mobility and function.
In New York State, PT aides have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, and often learn their duties in the workplace. PT aides do not need a license to work, but that also means that they cannot provide direct patient care. PT aides may be asked to help a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant while a treatment is being given to patient.
PT aides perform a range of duties, like preparing the treatment room and ensuring that the area is clean and organized, helping patients move within the treatment room, and completing administrative work, like answering the telephone and helping patients complete insurance forms.
As a member of a team that interacts with patients, many who are recovering from surgery or trauma, PT aides must have compassion and good interpersonal skills. PT aides must also like to be on their feet most of the day and move around — physical therapy treatment areas are large with multiple patients and providers working together at the same time. PT aides must be ready to gather and provide a resource to the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in an efficient manner.
Jenny Tsang-Quinn M.D. is the Executive Director for the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH). At NYACH, Jenny is overseeing a project that engages healthcare employers in the analysis of current and future labor force needs and partners with workforce training organizations to meet those needs.
On the 2nd Friday of each month, Jenny will share advice and insight on jobs in the healthcare industry. If you have a question or comment for Jenny, drop her a note below. And, don’t forget to share this with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.