As a rehab technician, you'll help therapists provide physical and occupational therapy services to people enrolled in rehab programs. These services can help restore function and prevent disability after a disease or injury or after someone loses a body part. You may also provide information to patients, their families and other caregivers and to other healthcare providers.
As a rehab technician you may talk to prospective patients about services they may need, evaluate their physical or mental condition, confer with therapists about possible diagnoses and treatment plans and share this information with your patients. You’ll set up equipment that you or the therapist needs and help prepare patients for therapy. A licensed therapist will direct and supervise any care or services you provide patients.
As a rehab technician, you will also perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks. You may need to update patient forms, copy records and file paperwork in line with employer standards. You may also need to maintain and clean equipment, help patients find work that they are capable of doing and suggest ways of improving job processes and procedures.
Education and Experience
You must have at least a high school diploma or GED to work as a rehab technician. Employers also want their rehab technicians to have previous experience providing direct patient care. Having previous experience in an acute-care setting can also increase job prospects. Given the administrative tasks rehab technicians perform, previous office experience can also come in handy.
Licensure and Certification
While you don’t need special certification or licensure to work as a rehab technician, some employers prefer it. For example, the Southeast Georgia Heath Care System prefers its rehab technicians to be certified as nursing assistants or as patient care technicians. Other employers require their rehab technicians to know CPR or sign language.
Having impeccable communication skills, knowing how to work well on your own as well as with others, being comfortable providing services to a diverse group of people and being willing to work flexible hours will help you succeed as a rehab technician. Familiarity with common word-processing and spreadsheet programs, like Microsoft Word and Excel, will also help. Some employers may also require you to be able to lift, carry, pull and push upward of 50 pounds.
William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.