If you are considering pursuing a career as a physical therapy aide, now is a perfect time to join the industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapy aide careers will increase 39 percent between 2014 and 2024, making it one of the fastest growing jobs in healthcare.
There are many opportunities available for skilled, trained physical therapy aides in a variety of healthcare environments, from hospitals and assisted living facilities to physical therapy clinics and doctors’ offices. If you’re a motivated individual who wants to help others and is ready to take the next step toward a career in healthcare, here are a few things to know about working as a physical therapy aide.
Why is the Occupation Growing?
A few factors can be attributed to the rise in jobs for physical therapy aides:
Advancements in medicine are enabling people of all ages to stay active and live longer.
The aging baby boomer population is creating an increased need for services like cardiac and physical rehabilitation, as well as the management of chronic and debilitating health conditions, like diabetes and obesity, that can affect mobility.
Health insurance reform has increased the number of patients who are able to access physical therapy services overall.
To meet these demands, physical therapists are increasingly depending on physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides to reduce the cost of services while maintaining quality care for patients.
What do Physical Therapy Aides Do?
The role of a physical therapy aide typically includes:
Helping patients move to or from a therapy area
Performing clerical tasks, such as answering phones and scheduling patients
Cleaning treatment areas and setting up therapy equipment
In order to be successful and find fulfillment through working as a physical therapy aide, individuals should possess the following personality traits:
Compassion – Physical therapy aides should enjoy helping patients and have the empathy to work with people who are often in pain.
Attention to detail – Working in healthcare requires individuals to be detail oriented. From handling clerical tasks to setting up equipment, physical therapy aides need to be able to follow instruction closely to ensure quality patient care.
People skills – Physical therapy aides work directly with physical therapy assistants and physical therapists and have daily interactions with patients and their families, making interpersonal skills a must.
Stamina – This job requires individuals to spend a lot of time on their feet. Those pursuing a job as a physical therapy aide should be comfortable being physically active for most of their day.
One of the most prominent examples of how technology is changing nurses’ roles is the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs). EMR systems are becoming mobile, allowing nurses to access records at the point of care rather than at their nursing station, improving the level of care nurses are able to provide.
Interested in pursuing a career in this field? Learn more about physical therapy aide programs.
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