Duties and responsibilities
A rehabilitation therapists work in clinics, fitness centers, rehabilitation agencies and private practice clinics. They help people with a range of physical conditions recover through various forms of physical exercise. Many of the clients who a rehabilitation therapist works with have experienced stroke, accidents, diseases (e.g., arthritis) and paralysis. Rehabilitation therapists may help their patients to recover and walk again. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Assessing the rehabilitation needs of their patients
- Creating treatment plans and programs that are specific to each patient
- Analyzing their patients progress
- Keeping up to date documents on the patients progress
- Engaging patients in the therapy
- Evaluating interventions for effectiveness
Most rehabilitation therapists will need to achieve a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as sports and rehabilitation therapy. They may also need to be licensed in some states.
Skills and relevant work experience
Rehabilitation therapists will need skills such as:
- Problem solving skills, as rehabilitation therapist will have to create programs that solve their patients physical problems
- Patience, as working with disability can be a slow and frustrating process
- Compassion and empathy, as rehabilitation therapist will need to help people improve their lives and therefore must understand their needs and concerns
- Communication skills, both written and verbal, as rehabilitation therapists will need to communicate their ideas to patients and keep written documents up to date
Rehabilitation therapists tend to work full time. They may, however, have to work nights or weekends to accommodate to their patients schedule. They may have to spend time travelling from one client to another and they will spend a lot of their day on their feet.
According to glassdoor.com, the average annual salary of a rehabilitation therapist in the United States was $48,905 per year.
Vocational rehabilitation consultants can progress to more senior positions, where they instruct a team, or to opening their own practices.