Job Descriptions For Winning Wheels

Physical Therapist


The primary purpose of your job position is to plan, organize, develop and direct Physical Therapy Services in accordance with current applicable federal, state and local standard, guidelines and regulations, and as may be directed by the administrator, to assure that the highest degree of quality resident care can be maintained at all times.


As the Physical Therapist you are delegated the administrative authority, responsibility, and accountability necessary for carrying out your assigned duties.


Every effort has been made to make your job description as complete as possible. However, it in no way states or implies that these are the only duties you will be required to perform. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or is a logical assignment of the position.


1 = Tasks may involve exposure to blood/body fluids.
2 = Tasks do not involve contact with blood/body fluids but could result in performing a Category 1 task.
3 = Tasks do not involve any exposure to blood/body fluids.


  • Plan, develop, organize, implement, evaluate, and direct physical therapy, as well as its program activities, in accordance with current rules, regulations, and guidelines that govern long-term care facility. 3
  • Meet with administration, medical and nursing staff, as well as other related departments in planning therapy services. 3
  • Develop and maintain physical therapy standards.
  • Assist the Quality Assessment and Assurance Committee in developing and implementing appropriate plans of action to correct identified deficiencies. 3
  • Assist in developing, implementing, and coordinating policies and procedures, resident care plans, physical therapy procedure manuals, job descriptions, etc. 3
  • Interpret physical therapy policies and procedures to personnel, residents, family members, etc. as necessary. 3
  • Review physical therapy policies, procedures, manuals, job descriptions, etc., at least annually, and participate in making recommended changes.
  • Participate in discharge planning, development and implementation of resident care plans, resident assessments, etc., as necessary. 3
  • Interview residents, or family members, as necessary. 3
  • Perform administrative requirements such as completing necessary forms, reports, etc., and submitting to the administrator as required. 3
  • Assist in arranging transportation to other facilities when necessary. 3
  • Work with the facility's consultants as necessary and implement recommended changes when required. 3
  • Maintain treatment records, resident files, and progress notes as required. 3
  • Represent the facility at and participate in meetings as directed. 3
  • Ensure business office receives charges for physical therapy rendered to residents. 3
  • Assist in standardizing the methods in which physical therapy will be accomplished. 3
  • Maintain an adequate liaison with families and residents. 3
  • Maintain a reference library of written therapy material, law, etc., necessary for complying with current standards and regulations, and that will provide assistance in maintaining quality resident care. 3
  • Make written and oral reports/recommendations to the administrator, as necessary/required, concerning the operation of the physical therapy department. 3
  • Assume the authority, responsibility, and accountability of directing the physical therapy department. 3
  • Assist the Quality Assessment and Assurance Coordinator in developing, implementing, and maintaining an ongoing quality assurance program for physical therapy service. 3
  • Others as deemed necessary and appropriate, or as may be directed by the Administrator. 3


Serve on, participate in, and/or attend various committees of the facility as required. 3 Provide written and/or oral reports of the physical therapy programs and activities as required. 3 Evaluate and implement recommendations for established committees as they may pertain to physical therapy services. 2


  • Determine the staffing needs of the physical therapy department necessary to meet the needs of the residents. 3
  • Recommend the number and level of physical therapy personnel to be employed. 3
  • Assist the administrator and/or personnel director in the recruitment and selection of competent physical therapy personnel. 3
  • Provide guidance and training for new and/or less experienced personnel. 3
  • Develop work assignments and schedule duty hours. 3
  • Develop, maintain, and periodically update the written procedure for ensuring that professional physical therapy personnel have valid and current licenses as required by this state. 3
  • Review complaints and grievances made or filed by department personnel. 3
  • Make written and oral reports/recommendations to the administrator concerning the operation of the physical therapy department. 3
  • Maintain a professional working relationship with the medical profession and other health related facilities and organizations. 3
  • Attempt to maintain an atmosphere of warmth, personal interest and positive emphasis, as well as a calm environment throughout the department. 3
  • Develop and maintain a good working rapport with inter-department personnel, as well as other departments within the facility to assure that services and activities can be properly maintained to meet the needs of the residents. 3
  • Meet with and solicit advice from other department supervisors concerning physical therapy, assist in identifying and correcting problem areas, and/or the improvement of services. 3 Coordinate physical therapy with other departments. 3


  • Review request for physical therapy and physicians' orders. 3
  • Evaluate type of therapy most desirable after consulting with physician. 3
  • Interview resident to determine type of treatment and schedule therapy. 3
  • Assist in transporting resident to and from physical therapy room/area. 2
  • Perform physical therapy in resident's room as necessary. 1
  • Brief resident of procedures involved in physical therapy and prepare necessary equipment. 3
  • Demonstrate to residents and staff personnel, as necessary, the use of medical appliances involved in physical therapy (ie., wheelchairs, crutches, canes, braces, and prosthetic appliances and devices). 2
  • Prepare resident for treatment by dress/position and administer physical therapy in accordance with established policies and procedures. 2
  • Determine proper equipment usage, application and body position, and make adjustments as necessary in the administration of physical therapy treatments (ie., gait training, traction, whirlpool, etc.) 2
  • Apply agents such as diathermy, ultrasound, infrared, massage, therapeutic exercise, etc. as required. 1
  • Recommend modifications or changes in the resident's therapy program based on own evaluation of progress. 3
  • Reassure resident before and during therapy treatment. 3
  • Assure that all physical therapy notes are informative and descriptive of the care provided and of the resident's response to care. 3
  • Make rounds with attending physician/medical director, etc. as necessary. 2
  • ncourage attending physician(s) to record and sign progress notes, as well as review treatment plans, etc. 3
  • Participate in the development and implementation or resident assessments (MDS) and care plans, including quarterly reviews. 3


Develop and participate in programs designed for in-service education, on the job training and orientation classes for newly assigned personnel. (includes maintaining appropriate record keeping requirements of when classes were held, subject matter, attendance, etc) 3 Develop, implement, and maintain an effective orientation program that orients the new employee to the facility, its policies and procedures, and to his/her job position and duties. 3 Participate and assist in departmental studies and projects as assigned or that may become necessary. 3 Attend and participate in workshops, seminars, etc., to keep abreast of current changes in the health care field, as well as to maintain a professional status. 3


  • Assist in developing safety standards for the physical therapy department. 3
  • Assure that physical therapy personnel, residents, visitors, etc., follow established policies and procedures at all times, including appropriate dress code. 3
  • Be alert for resident safety during any/all therapy. 3
  • Assist the Infection Control Coordinator in the development, implementation, and revising of written aseptic and isolation techniques. 2
  • Ensure that therapy personnel follow established infection control procedures when performing duties. 3
  • Inspect physical therapy areas and practices for compliance with current applicable regulations at least monthly. 2
  • Assure that the therapy area is maintained in a clean and safe manner for resident comfort and convenience by assuring that necessary equipment and supplies are maintained to perform such duties/services. 2
  • Develop, implement, and maintain a procedure for reporting hazardous conditions or equipment 3
  • Assist in identifying and clarifying departmental procedures that involve exposure to blood or body fluids. Update as necessary. 3


Recommend to the administrator the equipment and supply needs of the department. 3 Provide necessary material/equipment for residents to perform required therapy. 3 Develop and implement procedures that ensure physical therapy supplies are used in an efficient manner to avoid waste. 3


Review the physical therapy requirements of each resident admitted to the facility and assist the attending physician in planning for the resident's care. 3 Involve the resident/family in planning objectives and goals for the resident. 3 Assist in developing physical therapy plans for individual residents. 3 Assure that physical therapy treatments are indicated on the care plan. 3 Participate in the development and implementation of care plans, including quarterly reviews. 3


Prepare and plan the physical therapy budget and submit to the administrator for his/her review, recommendation, and/or approval. 3 Keep abreast of economic conditions/situations, and recommend to the administrator adjustments in physical therapy that ensure the continued ability to provide quality care. 3


  • Maintain the confidentiality of all resident care information. 3
  • Ensure that all physical therapy personnel are knowledgeable of the residents' rights and responsibilities. 3
  • Ensure that resident's rights to fair and equitable treatment, self determination, individuality, privacy, property and civil rights, including the right to wage a complaint, are well established and maintained at all times. 3
  • Review complaints and grievances made by the resident, families, and/or visitors and make oral/written reports to the administrator indicating what action(s) were taken to resolve the complaint or grievance. 3
  • Maintain a written record of the resident's complaints and/or grievances that indicates the action taken to resolve the complaint and the current status of the complaint. 3
  • Abide by the resident's decision whether or not to participate in treatment. 3
  • Inform the resident of consequences of not participating in prescribed therapy and document such action in the resident's clinical record. 3
  • Allow the resident to participate in the planning and scheduling of his or her treatment. 3


  • Works in office areas, therapy rooms, resident rooms, etc.
  • Sits, stands, bends, lifts, and moves intermittently during working hours.
  • Is subject to frequent interruptions.
  • Is involved with physicians, residents, personnel, visitors, government agencies/personnel, etc., under all conditions and circumstances.
  • Is subject to hostile and emotionally upset residents, family members, personnel and visitors.
  • Communicates with the medical staff, nursing personnel, and other department supervisors.
  • Works beyond normal working hours and on weekends and holidays when necessary, as well as in other positions as needed.
  • Is subject to exercising and massaging residents.
  • Must be constantly alert for resident safety.
  • Attends and participates in continuing educational programs as may be required by current regulations.
  • Is subject to falls, burns from equipment, odors, assaults from hostile residents, etc., throughout the workday.
  • Is subject to lifting, carrying and supporting residents.
  • Maintains a liaison with the residents, their families, other departments, etc., to adequately plan for the resident's physical therapy needs.


Must possess, as a minimum, a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapy from a professional physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.


Must have, as a minimum, two (2) years experience in a therapist capacity in a hospital, skilled nursing care facility, or other related medical facility. Must have training in rehabilitative and restorative therapy practices. Must possess a current Healthcare Provider CPR Card.


  • Must possess a current, unencumbered license to practice as a Physical Therapist in this state.
  • Must be able to read, write, speak and understand the English language.
  • Must possess the ability to make independent decisions when circumstances warrant such action in a timely fashion.
  • Must possess the ability to deal tactfully with personnel, family members, visitors, government agencies/personnel, and the general public.
  • Must be a minimum of twenty-three (23) years of age.
  • Must be knowledgeable of physical therapy procedures.
  • Must possess leadership and supervisory ability and the willingness to work harmoniously with professional and non-professional personnel.
  • Must possess the ability to plan, organize, develop, implement, and interpret the programs, goals, objectives, policies, procedures, etc., of the physical therapy service.
  • Must maintain the care and use of supplies, equipment, etc., and maintain the appearance of therapy areas.
  • Must have patience, tact, a cheerful disposition and enthusiasm as well as be willing to handle residents on whatever maturity level in which they are currently functioning.
  • Must be willing to seek out new methods and principles and be willing to incorporate them into existing nursing practices.
  • Must be able to relate information concerning a resident's condition.

PHYSICAL AND SENSORY REQUIREMENTS (With or without the aid of mechanical devices)

  • Must be able to move intermittently throughout the workday.
  • Must be able to speak and write the English language in an understandable manner.
  • Must be able to cope with the mental, emotional, and physical stress of the position.
  • Must be able to see and hear or use prosthetics that will enable these senses to function adequately to assure that the requirements of this position can be fully met.
  • Must function independently and have flexibility, personal integrity, and the ability to work effectively with residents, personnel, support agencies, and outside agencies.
  • Must be in good general health and demonstrate emotional stability.
  • Must be able to relate to and work with the ill, disabled, elderly, emotionally upset, and, at times, hostile people within the facility.
  • Must be able to push, pull, lift and move a minimum of fifty (60) pounds.
  • Must be able to assist in the evacuation of residents.
  • Must be willing to perform tasks that may involve exposure to the resident's blood/body fluids.