Patients receive restorative care at various ages and life stages. This may be part of a rehabilitation treatment plan after an illness or accident where the aim is to restore abilities. It is also commonly used with older patients as part of long-term care treatments. The goal is to maintain levels of ability or to stop them from deteriorating to foster independence and quality of life. Restorative aides work as part of medical and therapy teams and are responsible for assisting with day-to-day exercises and program tasks.
As a restorative aide, you'll potentially administer a variety of treatments either independently or as part of a therapy team. This typically involves physical, occupational and speech therapies, although your job duties will depend on the facility and your patients. You may, for example, work on range of motion and progressive mobility exercises, muscle strengthening, ambulation skills and speech therapy. Aides also help with the development and maintenance of personal skills such as eating, bathing, dressing and grooming. Treatments may target rehabilitation or help people retain the ability to do simple everyday tasks. You'll also need to keep records of the work you do as part of a treatment plan; you may also be responsible for maintaining and cleaning equipment.
Restorative aides work in many different environments and with patients of all ages and treatment needs. Many work in general hospitals or medical centers; some are employed in outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation centers. Aides who work with older people often work in nursing homes, long-term care facilities or assisted living communities. Some jobs require you to work with patients in their own homes, giving either ongoing therapy or short-term treatment plans targeting a specific need.
Skills and Qualifications
Restorative aide jobs specify a minimum qualification of a high school diploma or equivalent. Most people moving into these roles typically already have a certified nurse assistant license with some months of on-the-job experience. It is possible to get a job as an aide without a restorative certification, but you may have to complete an accredited course within a few months of starting work as a condition of your job offer. The job requires good communication and people skills -- you need to build relationships with your patients and your team. You also need to be physically fit as the job potentially involves a lot of standing, walking and some lifting.
Restorative care classes give a basic introduction into the theory and application of this type of care, its patients and its treatments. This typically includes an overview of basic anatomy and the medical conditions and age-related issues of patients. You'll also learn about the procedures and techniques that you will need to assist in the physical, occupational and speech therapies you'll administer.
- Keith Brofsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images