What does a Rehabilitation Therapist do?

Learn all about Rehabilitation Therapist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Rehabilitation Therapist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A rehabilitation therapist helps people with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities regain their abilities to function in everyday life.

Rehabilitation Therapist job duties include:

  • Assesses patients to determine their physical, mental, and emotional limitations and potential
  • Develops and implements individualized treatment plans that aim to restore patient function and independence
  • Provides direct patient care and treatments, such as exercises, stretching, and massage
  • Uses a variety of modalities and equipment to facilitate patients’ rehabilitation
  • Monitors patients’ progress and records their treatment outcomes
  • Communicates with patients’ families and other members of the healthcare team to coordinate care
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in the field of rehabilitation therapy
  • May supervise rehabilitation therapy assistants or aides
  • May provide consultation services to other professionals

Rehabilitation Therapist Job Requirements

A rehabilitation therapist has many job requirements. They must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation therapy, although some jobs may require a master's degree. They must also be certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). In addition, they must have at least two years of experience working with patients who have disabilities.

Rehabilitation Therapist Skills

  • Good communication skills
  • Patience
  • Good people skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Good writing skills
  • Good research skills
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

Related: Top Rehabilitation Therapist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Rehabilitation Therapist

There are many ways to become a rehabilitation therapist. The most common way is to complete an accredited rehabilitation therapy program. Many community colleges and universities offer these programs. Some programs may require you to complete an internship or externship as part of your training.

Once you have completed a rehabilitation therapy program, you will need to obtain a state license. Each state has different requirements for licensure, but most states require passing an exam. After you have obtained your state license, you can begin working as a rehabilitation therapist.

Most rehabilitation therapists work in hospitals or outpatient clinics. However, some therapists may also work in nursing homes, schools, or private practices. Therapists typically work with patients who have physical or mental disabilities. They help patients regain function and independence through various therapies and exercises.

If you are interested in helping others recover from injuries or illnesses, then becoming a rehabilitation therapist may be the right career for you!

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