Assists physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.
A person in this career:
- Instructs, motivates, safeguards, and assists patients as they practice exercises or functional activities.
- Observes patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress and provides results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes.
- Confers with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment.
- Administers active or passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, aquatic physical therapy, or heat, light, sound, or electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound.
- Measures patients' range-of-joint motion, body parts, or vital signs to determine effects of treatments or for patient evaluations.
- Communicates with or instructs caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.
- Transports patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements.
- Secures patients into or onto therapy equipment.
- Trains patients in the use of orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices.
- Assists patients to dress, undress, or put on and remove supportive devices, such as braces, splints, or slings.
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