Physical therapy aides may apply for voluntary massage certification upon completion of a training program. This can be especially helpful for those who will be using massage therapy under the direction of a physical therapist. Job duties may include setting up and maintaining a safe and clean environment for physical therapy services, transferring patients and positioning them for physical therapy, and assisting physical therapists by providing props and other tools. They may also assist in reviewing charts for daily notes and treatment plans.
Massage therapy is often used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments for a range of conditions. Massage therapy can help with control of blood pressure, anxiety management, and pain relief. It can also benefit patients by stretching tight muscles, improving circulation, and increasing joint flexibility. These are services that can benefit many patients undergoing physical therapy. Southern California Health Institute (SOCHi) trains students in physical therapy techniques, sports therapy, and massage therapy, for an integrated approach to wellness. The treatment of back and limb disorders, in particular, can often benefit from medical massage that physical therapy aide students learn.
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After finishing the physical therapy aide program, students typically qualify for entry-level clinical positions as physical therapy and sports rehabilitation aide. Career prospects for physical therapy aides are quite positive, due to a population that is aging and requiring more healthcare services.
How to Become a Physical Therapist Aide? Some physical therapy aides may elect to continue their education and become licensed physical therapy assistants. Becoming a physical therapy assistant generally requires graduating from an accredited physical therapy assistant program and sitting for the National Physical Therapy Exam. Every state except Hawaii requires licensure or certification for physical therapy assistants. While physical therapy aides are not required to be licensed, voluntary certification in massage therapy after completing a training program can help improve job prospects.
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