1477 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
Tel: (415) 563-0565 / Fax: (415) 738-2398

Physical Therapist

Duties and Responsibilities

Administrative and Surveillance Functions

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

Committee Functions

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

Personnel Functions

Determine the staffing needs of the physical therapy department necessary to meet the needs of the residents.
Recommend the number and level of physical therapy personnel to be employed.
Assist the administrator and/or the personnel director in the recruitment and selection of competent physical therapy personnel.
Provide guidance and training for new and/or less experienced personnel.
Develop work assignments and schedule duty hours.
Develop, maintain, and periodically update the written procedure for ensuring that professional physical personnel have valid and current licenses as required by this state.
Review complaints and grievances made or filed by department personnel.
Make written and oral reports/recommendations to the administrator concerning the operation of the physical therapy department.
Maintain an excellent working relationship with the medical profession and other health related facilities and organizations.
Create and maintain an atmosphere of warmth, personal interest and positive emphasis, as well as a calm environment throughout the department.
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.
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.
Coordinate physical therapy with other departments.
Report occupational exposures to blood, body fluids, infectious materials, and hazardous chemicals in accordance with the facility's policies and procedures governing accidents and incidents.
Conduct departmental performance evaluations in accordance with established policies and procedures.

Therapy and Consultation Functions

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

Staff Development

Develop and participate in programs designed for in-service education, on the job training and orientation classes for newly assigned personnel. (Includes maintaining appropriate recordkeeping requirements of when classes were held, subject matter, attendance, etc.)
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.
Participate and assist in departmental studies and projects as assigned or that may become necessary.
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.
Ensure that therapy personnel attend and participate in annual OSHA and CDC in-service training programs for hazard communication, TB management, and bloodborne pathogens standard.

Safety and Sanitation

Assist in developing safety standards for the physical therapy department.
Ensure that physical therapy personnel, residents, visitors, etc., follow established policies and procedures at all times, including appropriate dress codes.
Be alert for resident safety during any/all therapy.
Ensure that therapy personnel wear and/or use safety equipment and supplies (e.g., back brace, mechanical lifts, etc.) when lifting or moving residents.
Assist the Infection Control Coordinator in the development, implementation, and revision of written aseptic and isolation techniques.
Assist in identifying and classifying departmental procedures that involve exposure to blood or body fluids. Update as necessary.
Ensure that therapy personnel performing tasks that involve potential exposure to blood/body fluids participate in appropriate in-service training programs prior to performing such tasks.
Ensure that adequate supplies of personal protective equipment are on hand and are readily available to personnel who perform procedures that involve exposure to blood or body fluids.
Ensure that therapy personnel follow established infection control procedures when performing duties.
Inspect physical therapy areas and practices for compliance with current applicable regulations at least monthly.
Ensure 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.
Develop, implement, and maintain a procedure for reporting hazardous conditions or equipment.
Report missing/illegible labels or MSDSs to the safety officer or other designated person.

Equipment and Supply Functions

Recommend to the administrator the equipment and supply needs of the department.
Provide necessary material/equipment for resident to perform required therapy.
Develop and implement procedures that ensure physical therapy supplies are used in an efficient manner to avoid waste.
Ensure that MDSs are on file for hazardous chemicals used in the therapy department.

Care Plan Functions

Assist in developing physical therapy plans for individual residents in coordination and conjunction with the resident assessment (MDS).
Review the physical therapy requirements of each resident admitted to the facility and assist the attending physician in planning for the resident's care.
Involve the resident/family in planning objectives and goals for the resident.
Ensure that physical therapy treatments are indicated on the care plan.
Participate in the development and implementation of care plans, including quarterly reviews.
Prepare and plan the physical therapy budget and submit to the administrator for his/her review, recommendation, and/or approval.
Keep abreast of economic conditions/situations, and recommend to the administrator adjustments in physical therapy that ensure the continued ability to provide quality care.

Resident Rights

Maintain the confidentiality of all resident care information.
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.
Ensure that therapy personnel knock before entering the resident's room.
Ensure that all physical therapy personnel are knowledgeable of the residents' responsibilities and rights including the right to refuse treatment.
Ensure that therapy personnel honor the resident's refusal of treatment request. Report such requests to the Director of Nursing Services..
Abide by the resident's participation in treatment decision.
Inform the resident of consequences of not participating in prescribed therapy and document such action in the resident's clinical record.
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.
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.
Allow the resident to participate in the planning and scheduling of his or her treatment.

Working Conditions

Works in office areas, therapy rooms, resident rooms, etc.
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 call-back during emergency conditions (e.g., severe weather, evacuation, post-disaster, etc.).
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 injury from falls, burns from equipment, odors, assaults from hostile residents, etc., throughout the work day, as well as reactions from dust, disinfectants, tobacco smoke, and other air contaminants.
Is subject to exposure to infectious waste, diseases, conditions, etc., including TB and the AIDS and Hepatitis B viruses.
Is subject to the handling of and exposure to hazardous chemicals.
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 an accredited college or university.


Must have, as a minimum, 3 year(s) 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.

Specific Requirements

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, residents, family members, visitors, government agencies/personnel, and the general public.
Must be knowledgeable of physical therapy procedures.
Must possess leadership and supervisory ability and the willingness to work harmoniously with and supervise other 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 therapy services.
Must be able to relate information concerning a resident's condition.
Must not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace.