Physical therapist assistants and aides just like other health workers who have specialized in the human health industry including dental assistants, medical assistants and pharmacy aides works under a physical therapist supervisor. They provide physical therapist with help in providing treatment, relieving patients’ pain and in other cases they help lessen physical disability of patients. Under instruction from the physical therapist the assistant physical therapist or aide may for instance help a patient get to know how to use crutches or help the patient in exercise.
A physical therapy aide may in part, bring together and make ready for use the therapy equipment, maintaining run out supplies, they encourage patients during the process of therapy and make sure that exercises done by the patients are done in the correct manner this is because patients who do not carry out the recommended manner may not benefit from the therapy and gaining some serious injuries. The aides also make sure that the therapy sessions are productive; in addition they are responsible for maintaining the treatment area clean as well as organized and arranging and organizing for every patient’s therapy.
In many instances physical therapy aides are not licensed and therefore cannot perform the function of a physical therapist, however they assist push patients on wheel chairs, they can also perform any other form of paper work including filling of insurance forms and clerical work like answering to phone calls. They normally handle a number of patients of a wide array ranging from patients with heart disease, cerebral palsy, minor and major fractures and head injuries to patients with lower back pain.
It’s also the responsibility of the assistant physical therapist to do the recording of how the patients are responding to the current treatment and its outcome to the supervisor: physical therapist. In ensuring that affected patients recover to retain their normal live skills the physical therapists offer a number of services to the patients and include paraffin baths, hot and cold packs, massages, traction ultrasound and exercise.
For example, if a patient is suffering memory loss the physical therapist may ask the patient to list a number of items so as to help in the gaining of memory. Physical therapists and aides in most cases need to be people with a well built physic because in some instances the patients may require to be lifted in addition to standing for long hours. Due to this demanding nature of their job most physical therapist assistant and aides work in part time.
Physical therapist and aides can work in hospitals nursing and personal care facilities, home health agencies, clinics that belong to physicians and outpatient rehabilitation centers. The increase in number of more the old aged people are likely to increase the demand of physical therapists and aides in the coming time because these people usually require additional care. Consequently the increased emphasis of fostering to increases outpatients and reduce hospital stays is likely to increase the demand on the already limited supply of physical therapists and aides.
In terms of educational requirement a physical therapy aide of diploma level of education can qualify for a job, in many instances however the employers usually offer clinical training as the aide continue with work. Physical therapy assistants on the other hand are required by law and the American physical therapy association to have at least an associate degree of which during the course one is supposed to have covered relevant topics in algebra, anatomy, biology chemistry, physiology and psychology in addition to skills in first aid.
The entire course is designed to last for two years which are equivalent to four semesters. For a physical therapist it always recommended to have clinical experience so that one can understand fully the roles and functions of a physical therapy assistant. Physical therapist assistant recommended in one states must obtain recommendation in another state before the person can carry out the professional functions. A part from the requirement to pass a written examination physical therapy assistant is also to be a person with caring, detail oriented and focused and above all well organized.
With regard to their profession they should be people who are willing to help their patients in need and have good interpersonal skills. The physical therapists aides in most instances can advance in their career to become physical therapy assistants; this provision is clearly stipulated in law. This can only be achieved in two ways that is either through advancement in education but in most cases after gaining relevant experience in the field.
On their part physical health assistants can advance in their career through specialization in a specific clinical area. However in most instances the advancement of physical therapy assistances is associated with advancement in administrative positions. Those who advance in a clinical area of study often gain experience through continued practice and through advancement of educational level. For example, through continuous handling of cases one can gain expertise in geriatric, a type of ailment such as injuries and pediatric.
The advance in administrative positions may involve positions where one organizes assistant physical therapists for example in a large physical therapy organization or consequently acting as a departmental head for example sports department. In addition to these administrative functions the physical therapist may also be recommended to teach physical therapist in during their academic programmes, or better still they may take the leading role in organizing community based activities that are aimed at promoting fitness and health classes for such people as the elderly and promoting risk reduction.
A day in a physical therapist aide is busy revolving around a few activities, that is, prepare a patient for therapy, help patients get to the treatment area and keeping the treatment area organized. In a real life situation if a patient get to hospital with a broken leg, the aide will ensure that the examination room is cleared and that all the equipment required for the examination are available for example the writing papers where the doctor will write his or her observations.
During the period during which the patient is waiting for the doctor the aide provides the support to the patient if he feels weak and the room is not comfortable. The physical therapist aid will then carry the patient to the examination room after which he assists the patients get to bed either on crutches or on a wheel chair of carrying the patient. In terms of license requirements it is not mandatory for physical therapists aides for practice. However, this is not applicable to all states, since some states require that physical therapists aides be licensed.
For both physical therapist and the aides that require licensing the requirement is usually a minimum experience usually of a few hours and certification by cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Before licensing one must undergo a criminal record check, federal record check, jurisdiction record check, and jurisprudence record check. For foreign physiotherapists requiring to be licensed in the united states must fulfill a number of requirements among the educational credentials review, eligibility to practice in the country in which education was obtained, English language proficiency and clinical internship.
Conclusion The in increased in demand for physical therapist assistants and aides to project upwards in the future because therapy needs are currently on the rise for example the number of individuals limited functions and individuals is on the rise. Due to this projected increase in demand the earnings for physical therapy assistants is going to be very good. Therefore those already with working experience are likely to benefit the most.
Courtney from Study Moose
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