Most people have a basic understanding of what a physical therapist does. But when you visit a physical therapy clinic you will notice other staff members, such as therapy assistants and aides. Each performs a specific role within the clinic to ensure optimal patient experience. This article will break down the differences between physical therapy assistants and physical therapy aides, and the role that each plays in a physical therapy care routine.
Physical Therapy Aides
Physical therapy aides are essential for making sure a physical therapy clinic runs smoothly and each patient has the best possible experience. Here are some of the tasks commonly performed by physical therapy aides:
- Helping patients into and out of the physical therapy area.
- Cleaning a treatment area after a patient appointment.
- Office and clerical tasks.
Typically, physical therapy aides have at least a high school degree or a GED. No additional schooling or experience is required for most physical therapy aide positions.
Physical Therapy Assistants
A physical therapy assistant has more responsibilities than a physical therapy aide, and works more directly with the patient and physical therapist during care. Here are some of the tasks that a physical therapy assistant may engage in on a daily basis in clinic:
- Helping patients with specific therapy exercises, under the supervision of the physical therapist.
- Working closely with the physical therapist to develop specific treatment plans for patients.
The education requirements for physical therapy assistants include a minimum Associates degree, as well as additional certifications. PT assistants are also required to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
The physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, and physical therapy aides at OrthoRehab Specialists have over twenty five years of experience treating Minnesota patients. We have physical therapy clinics in downtown Minneapolis and Edina, but treat patients throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. Our clinic offers direct access to physical therapy, so you can make an appointment without a prescription from your physician. Give us a call today to set up your appointment and see how a strategic physical therapy routine can help you live a more active life.