Find a Satisfying Career as a Physical Therapy Aide
Do you derive fulfillment from working with others? Are you interested in the human body and how it functions? Does the thought of helping people achieve their health and wellness goals sound like something you'd enjoy doing? If so, a career as a physical therapy aide may be just what you've been looking for. Let's take a closer look at this increasingly in-demand field, along with why it may be a perfect fit for you.
What is Physical Therapy?
The World Federation for Physical Therapy defines the practice of physical therapy as "providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, pain, diseases, disorders, conditions or environmental factors."
Because functional movement largely deemed as a critical part of being healthy, the importance of physical therapy in helping individuals develop, maintain, and restore both movement and function cannot be overstated.
The Role of Physical Therapy Aides
Physical therapy aides play vital roles in the contemporary healthcare system. In fact, while they may be considered entry-level positions, they're an important part of ensuring that patients receive optimal care.
What are the typical duties associated with being a physical therapy aide? While it varies depending on each setting, physical therapy aides are involved in caring for patients in many different capacities ranging from behind-the-scenes tasks aimed at keeping physical therapy practices running smoothly to hands-on work with patients.
Specific responsibilities may include:
- Cleaning and organizing therapy areas in preparation for upcoming physical therapy sessions
- Setting up any necessary equipment for patient sessions
- Observing and documenting patient development for later use by physical therapists in evaluating the treatment's effectiveness
- Assisting patients as they move from one therapy area to another
- Attending to basic office and clerical tasks, including everything from calling patients to completing insurance paperwork
Not only are physical therapy aides more sought-after than ever before, but they're also more versatile. Growth in the field finds more opportunities for PT aides in a variety of locations, including everywhere from hospitals and clinics to rehabilitation centers and home care.
An additional benefit of working as a physical therapy aide? Because the settings in which they work are so variable, the hours can also be quite flexible.
Growing Demand Means Greater Opportunities
Physical therapy aides join physical therapists and physical therapists assistants as the sole providers of physical therapy in society today. Given escalating interests in these services, these professionals are often in great demand.
In fact, not only were physical therapy aides included in US News and World Report's roundup of "Best Health Care Support Jobs," but the profession is forecasted to grow at a staggering rate in the years ahead. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for both physical therapy assistants and physical therapy aides is extremely strong with a 40 percent growth rate expected between 2014 and 2024.
Of course, rising demand also equates to another incentive: higher salaries. While the median annual wage for physical therapist aides was just over $25,000 this year, it's possible to earn more in certain settings. Additionally, as demand continues to grow, so will the salaries physical therapist aides can expect to collect in the future.
Becoming a Physical Therapy Aide
While physical therapists are licensed professionals, the road to becoming a physical therapy aide requires less of an investment.
This doesn't mean anyone can become a physical therapist aide, but it does mean that finding the right program -- for example, SOCHi's leading physical therapy aide/sports rehab program -- can give you a critical inside edge when it comes to landing the PT aide job of your dreams.
Check for more information on SOCHi and its many offerings -- both in PT and a number of other promising healthcare fields. Request information today.