The main goal of a staff physical therapist is to work with clients to help them regain physical fuction. A staff physical therapist works with people who are the victims of an accident, live with debilitating diseases, and have been confined to bed rest for a long period of time, among other conditions. A staff physical therapist both devises a plan for treatment and helps carry out that plan. Further, the staff physical therapist is in charge of the patient's documentation on recovery, so strong organizational skills are important.
The staff physical therapist helps repair muscle damage or deterioration through massages and/or stretching techniques. Additionally, staff physical therapists are in charge of tracking and analyzing patient progress through assessments of the person's physical condition and taking images via ultrasound or infrared machines. Additionally, the staff physical therapist works closely with individuals having their limbs amputated, helping prepare and fit prosthetic limbs. Moreover, the staff physical therapist is involved in the discharge of a patient. The staff physical therapist also draws up a plan for follow-up treatment once the patient leaves the medical facility; this may range from exercise plans to suggestions on home-based assistance machinery to return visits.
A staff physical therapist primarily deals with their patients directly. At times, however, the staff physical therapist works closely with other doctors/caregivers, as well as various aides and technicians.
The position of staff physical therapist generally requires at least a bachelor's degree - possibly a master's degree as well - in physical therapy. State-level licensing is often required, and additional certifications may be preferred.
Staff Physical Therapist Tasks
- Administer manual exercises, massage or traction to help relieve pain, increase patient strength or decrease or prevent deformity.
- Perform an initial exam, evaluate medical records and physician's referral and determine a diagnosis prior to intervention.
- Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.
- Discharge patient from physical therapy when projected outcomes have been attained and provide for follow-up care or referrals.