Physical therapy technicians are professionals that help physical therapists with activities that are indirectly associated with the care of the patients that they serve. These professionals are also referred to as “physical therapy aides”. Individuals that take part in this specialty most commonly work within physical therapy practices, home health care agencies, and hospitals.

If you have a desire to work closely with therapists and want to contribute positively to patient care, becoming a physical therapy technician is the perfect field!

Physical Therapy Technician

What is the Role of the Physical Therapy Technician?

While physical therapy technicians have many responsibilities, their primary role is to help in the full restoration of the functioning of patients. This is the primary focus so that disability may be successfully prevented after the patient experiences an injury or illness.

These specialists also work to ensure that individuals with diseases and various types of disabilities are restored to the highest level of independence so that their quality of life is improved.

What are the Requirements to Become a Physical Therapy Technician?

Physical therapy technicians must be at least 18 years old. They must have either a high school diploma or must have acquired a GED. Training occurs on the job under the direct supervision of either a physical therapy assistant or a physical therapist. It is preferred that the professional have a certification on Basic Life Support (BLS). Proficiency in Microsoft Office is preferred.

Each should possess a high level of skills in communication and collaboration techniques. It is highly beneficial to have previous experience in a healthcare environment. Time management skills are essential. The individual should be caring and attentive to detail. Finally, it is necessary to be able to perform activities that require a moderate to high level of physical strength.

How Much Does a Physical Therapy Technician Make?

The average salary for a physical therapy technician is $28,500 each year. Many states pay higher than this average. Also, those that work in management settings, the scientific sector, and the government typically average right around $38,000 a year.

These averages reflect that of technicians that are new to the field. As experienced is gained in the job, these annual averages increase.

Are There Activities That Physical Therapy Technicians May Not Perform?

Yes, the following outlines that which cannot be performed by a physical therapy technician:

  1. Engage in the process of an initial examination, evaluation, and diagnosis
  2. Making an initial prognosis
  3. Perform an interpretation of a referral of a patient
  4. Create or change a patient care plan
  5. Create a patient discharge plan
  6. Oversee the services rendered documentation
  7. Make a determination on when a patient should receive care

What is the Basic Job Description of a Physical Therapy Technician?

Physical therapy technicians help with the intake of patients. Preparing the areas where treatment occurs and the equipment used is common. Patients who have mobility issues may be assisted by technicians.

These professionals should know and understand the operations that occur on a daily basis within the facility, agency, or hospital where they are employed. These professionals should be attentive to detail, have organizational skills, and be highly insightful – in terms of patient care.

What are the Common Responsibilities of Physical Therapy Technicians?

The following outlines the most common responsibilities that individuals in the technician specialty have:

  1. Patient Intake Activities
  2. Preparing Treatment Areas
  3. Preparing and Maintaining Equipment Used During Treatment
  4. Liaising Between Patients and Others in the Physical Therapy Industry
  5. Assisting Patients with Movements
  6. Transporting Patients
  7. Observing Patients Perform Physical Therapy Exercises
  8. Reporting Concerns Associated with Patients
  9. Documenting Treatment Responses
  10. Updating the Files of Patients
  11. Applying Basic Patient Treatments
  12. Ensuring Equipment is Cleaned and Sanitized
  13. Changing Linen
  14. Performing Administrative Tasks
  15. Ordering Supplies

What Do Physical Therapy Technicians Wear?

In most instances, those that serve as a technician in the physical therapy field wear scrubs. These are often color-coded to successfully identify who is who in the medical field. Comfortable socks and shoes are worn as most in the profession are required to be on their feet for long periods of time each day.

What Types of Equipment Do Technicians Use?

Technicians are responsible for using a large assortment of equipment to aid in the therapy of the patients that they assist. These include exercise equipment, prosthetics, wheelchairs, crutches, toys, and items that are similar in nature.

The goal is to rehabilitate patients, increase their strength, and optimize their mobility.

Whatever is needed to accomplish those tasks may be used by technicians in the physical therapy field.

Are There Schools for Physical Therapy Technicians?

If you have an interest in becoming a physical therapy technician, you will find that there are many schools available that will lend to your overall success. These schools will help in the following:

  • You will obtain the skills that are necessary to successfully help your patients recover from the illnesses that they experience and/or the injuries that they sustain. Additionally, you will learn how to help patients in regaining their strength and their mobility. You will also be educated on how to assist patients to manage their pain in a natural and effective manner.
  • You will learn how to use a wide assortment of specialized techniques, devices, and various types of equipment that help patients during the recovery process.
  • You will learn how to compassionately and thoroughly educate patients and their loved ones on that which they experience and the treatment programs that they take part in. This is a part of the collaboration that is needed to work closely with patients so that they understand the “what”, “when”, “why”, “where”, and “how” of the physical therapy regimen that they must take part in to truly optimize their overall health.

Why Should I Choose Physical Therapy as a Career?

Physical therapy is a career that surrounds experts in the process of movements. These professionals prescribe exercises, provide education to patients, and provide hands-on care to patients so that they are able to live as independently as possible and improve their quality of life.

Physical therapy is a career that helps people of all ages and of all backgrounds.

If you are a people person and truly want to contribute positively to the lives of others, you should choose a career path in physical therapy.

If you are not ready to commit to the path – as a whole – just yet, you should consider becoming a physical therapy technician in order to explore it more. It is quite likely that you will find that it is for you!

What is a “PTTC Medical”?

In short, “PTTC” stands for “Physical Therapy Technician/Aide Certification. If you want to increase the amount that you earn and have a desire to advance in the physical therapy field, you should choose to obtain your PTTC medical paperwork.

Is Physical Therapy Tech the Same as a Physical Therapy Aide?

Generally speaking, a physical therapy tech and a physical therapy aide are the same thing; however, they could be distinguished from one another in that the tech is more of a general career which could mean that you work with a wide range of various professionals – such as speech therapists to physical therapists to general rehabilitation therapists.

How Long Will It Take to Become a Physical Therapy Technician?

If you go to a school that offers a PTA program, it will last two years or a total of five semesters. The curriculum will be varied.

You will likely be taught anatomy, biomechanics, neuroscience, behavioral science, ethics, physiology, values, kinesiology, clinical pathology, and even communication.

You must know a lot and be a well-rounded individual to achieve success in any career path within physical therapy; therefore, the certification program will be both comprehensive and thorough.

Are People in Physical Therapy Technician Careers Happy?

Yes, it has been found that individuals that work as physical therapy technicians are quite happy. Generally speaking, they rank their career satisfaction at 3.2-3.5 out of 5. Millions were surveyed to get this knowledge.

If you are passionate about people and about health, it is quite likely that you will be completely satisfied with your career as a technician. Over time, you may advance your career, increase your earnings, and move on to other aspects of physical therapy – even a physical therapist! This is the perfect job for people just starting out in the healthcare field.

Join Us Today

If you are interested in becoming a physical therapy technician, we encourage you to pursue your dreams today. In addition to that, we would like you to join us here at the Colorado Physical Therapy Network. Not only will you get to connect and network with like-minded professionals, but you will gain instant access to a wealth of information, tools, and resources that will allow you to achieve the highest level of success in your career. To find out more about what we have to offer, visit us now at:

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