Our therapists evaluate each patient’s physical impairments and functional limitations
and establish a plan of care in cohesion with the patient’s physician in order to achieve
optimal rehab outcomes.
Physical Therapist Duties & Responsibilities
This job generally requires the ability to do the following tasks:
- Direct patient care under the authorization of a physician.
- Create and update treatment plans.
Test and measure patients’ strength and flexibility.
- Advise and consult with patients, family members, physicians, and other medical professionals on the care and treatment of patients.
- Complete appropriate paperwork as needed.
Oversee physical therapist assistants and physical therapy aides.
- The type of care a physical therapist provides is determined by the needs of individual patients.
Some PTs develop specializations, such as cardiac, geriatric, or pediatric patients. Physical therapists may also develop programs that encourage patients to adopt overall healthier lifestyles.
Physical Therapist Skills & Competencies
Successful physical therapists need to have the following skills and traits to perform their job successfully:
- Active listening: They must be able to listen carefully to patients’ questions and concerns about their treatment.
- Verbal communication: Patients must be able to understand their instructions for treatment to be successful.
- Service orientation: Success in any healthcare career requires a strong desire to help people.
- Physical strength: To manipulate patients’ bodies and move them around, they must be physically strong.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Skills & Competencies
Particular skills and competencies will contribute to your success as an OTA. These skills may have been acquired through previous life experience or prior employment experience. They include the following:
- Compassion: OTAs must have a strong desire to provide physical and emotional support.
- Interpersonal Skills: The ability to interact with patients and their families, team members, physicians, and other health care professionals is essential. You need excellent social skills, as well as superb listening and speaking skills.
- Physical Strength: You must be able to help lift patients, and kneel, stoop, and stand for a significant part of your day.
- Attention to Detail: The ability to precisely follow a treatment plan an OT has developed is imperative.
- Patient confidentiality: Respect for the patient’s privacy and confidentiality regarding medical records
Physical therapists can work in PT practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. The BLS notes that physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet. They are vulnerable to back injuries and so must be careful to use proper techniques when lifting and moving patients.
Jobs are typically full time, although some aides have part-time schedules. Patient schedules often require work on weekends, evenings, and holidays. Overnight shifts and live-in shifts are not uncommon.
- Assist with patient intake
- Preparation of equipment
- Preparing hot and cold packs
- Transporting patients
- Observing patients
- Documenting patients’ responses and progress
- Liaise with physicians’ offices and hospital personnel