Physical therapy aides collaborate directly with other professionals like physical therapists (PT) to offer a positive and fulfilling experience for those experiencing physical therapy.
In this career path, you will clean and organize material following a physical therapy session, gather required materials, set up treatment areas, and prepare patients for their session with the PT.
If you are fascinated by the way the body works and moves, enjoy helping others, and would like to enter the healthcare field, then becoming a physical therapy aide might be the best career path for you!
Keep reading to learn more about this exciting and rewarding career path!
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online Physical Therapy Aide Program?
- 2 Can You Earn a Physical Therapy Aide Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does it Take to Earn a Physical Therapy Aide Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online Physical Therapy Aide Certification Cost?
- 5 Types of Physical Therapy Aide Certifications
- 6 Benefits of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs
- 7 Drawbacks of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs
- 8 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs – Summary Table
- 9 4 Self-Study Tips for Physical Therapy Aide Online Students
- 10 Schools Offering Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs
- 11 Summary
- 12 Sources
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online Physical Therapy Aide Program?
Although the specific courses differ based on the school, the same core courses exist:
- Anatomy and body systems terminology
- Common physical disorders
- Customer service
- Exercise and mobility training
- Introduction to physical therapy
- Physical therapy treatments
- The physical/occupational therapy aide
- Workplace health and safety
Can You Earn a Physical Therapy Aide Certification Completely Online?
Yes, a Physical Therapy Aide certification can be completely earned online.
The online courses teach the practices, skills, and concepts to excel in this position.
Upon completion of most physical therapy aide programs, students can take the American Medical Certification Association’s Physical Therapy Aide exam.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Physical Therapy Aide Certification Online?
While the length of schooling depends on the amount of education you would like to learn, a physical therapy aide certificate can be earned in as little as four months.
How Much Does an Online Physical Therapy Aide Certification Cost?
Depending on the amount of schooling you want, a basic online Physical Therapy Aide program starts at around $800 when paid in full.
A full associate’s degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant can run into the tens of thousands, depending on the school.
Types of Physical Therapy Aide Certifications
All online accredited courses end with an opportunity to take the PTTC exam offered by the AMCA.
Completion of this exam allows candidates to search for a job and enter the medical field.
The test is two-hours and comprised of 100 questions in the following categories: anatomy and physiology, law and ethics, patient care, patient pre/positioning, safety/infection control, and therapeutic modalities.
Each of these has a specific number of questions and is weighted differently within the 100% totality of the exam.
Benefits of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs
An online physical therapy aide training program can be an opportunity for those who need flexibility and can learn at their own pace.
There are many other benefits of taking an online physical therapy aide training program, including:
Can Enjoy a School-Life Balance
Many online physical therapy aide students opt for an online program to achieve a better school-life balance.
Most students work or have family responsibilities, so the online program allows for more flexible schedules.
When you are more in control of your schedule, your time management skills improve since it is easier to maintain a family, work, and social life while earning your physical therapy aide certificate or degree.
Improve Time Management Skills
Time management is always positive and negative when taking any program online.
If you lack time management skills before taking the physical therapy aide training program, you will be forced to learn them quickly or else struggle with the material.
Remaining organized is critical to being successful, so finding a time management technique that works for you will help.
Learn New Technical Skills
One of the greatest benefits of an online physical therapy aide training program is the opportunity to gain experience with new technical skills.
Since the entire program is online, you will need to learn how to use the school’s system to access training materials, submit assignments, participate in class chats, and post questions.
No Relocation Required
One of the biggest draws of an online physical therapy aide program is that you are not required to commute long distances to class or relocate to a different city.
You can complete the entire program from home or anywhere with Internet access.
Will Develop Healthy Habits
Another appealing benefit of an online physical therapy aide program is that you have more time to dedicate to self-care.
This could be in the form of weightlifting, yoga, meditation, self-reflection, or healthy cooking.
You even have the option of taking a power nap, which can improve learning and memory.
Drawbacks of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs
While there are many positive aspects of taking an online physical therapy aide program, several drawbacks also exist.
High Time Demand
While it may appear that an online physical therapy aide training program would require less time than in-class learning, it requires more.
Assignments, questions, and comments are all written on an online message board, which takes much longer than discussing in a classroom setting.
Text-based communication is always slower than verbal dialogue.
Less Instructor Access
In addition to more text-based communication, instructors are usually only available via email or the online message board instead of during office hours.
This can be challenging for students who need guidance or has questions about complicated medical topics.
Also, emails can easily be missed or lost, so questions may not be answered immediately.
Given that an online physical therapy aide training program uses a computer and internet connection, technological issues occur that could cause challenges in completing coursework.
To ensure the online classroom systems run smoothly, students must have updated equipment, plus schools regularly require expensive software programs.
Furthermore, when technology issues arise, it can be difficult to get live help or access the classroom, which can be a major drawback for deadlines.
As mentioned, time management is always positive and negative related to online learning.
Since you can access materials and complete the work whenever you wish, many students procrastinate, thus resulting in falling behind.
While you may develop better time management skills, it is also possible to not improve.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs|
|Can Enjoy a School-Life Balance||High Time Demand|
|Improve Time Management Skills||Less Instructor Access|
|Learn New Technical Skills||Technology Issues|
|No Relocation Required||Time Management|
|Will Develop Healthy Habits|
4 Self-Study Tips for Physical Therapy Aide Online Students
Whether you are an expert distance learner or new to online classes, everyone can benefit from the following several tips that will help you with the online physical therapy aide program.
Create a Schedule
By maintaining a weekly and semester calendar, you can better implement time management.
On the first day of class, read through the syllabus and add every due date to your calendar, along with reminders a day or two before that date.
Commit to participating in your online class and studying at least three hours each week for every course credit hour.
The most experienced online learners recognize that time management is one of the most important tips to follow since there is nobody to nag you about due dates.
Furthermore, prioritize your work based on upcoming due dates and ask these questions:
- What is the next due date?
- What information is most critical to learning?
- What assignments will grant the most points?
Always make smart decisions around how to spend your time.
The organization is one of the most crucial tips to being successful in a physical therapy aide online program.
To do so, designate a specific study space that allows you to focus on work and is free of television, video game, and mobile device distractions.
Also, an amazing online learning tip is to prepare as if you must teach the information you are studying to another student.
This includes creating chapter and concept maps, flashcards, study guides, outlines, and charts.
You can even go as far as creating practice exams to evaluate your material proficiency.
Another great tip for being organized is to implement smart test-taking strategies.
Before an exam, write down valuable information you think you will need.
When you receive the exam, survey it to determine how much time to budget for each question.
Start with the easy “low hanging fruit” test questions and proceed to the more challenging questions.
In anticipation of memory blocks, if you move on to other questions, then the information will eventually return.
Since there will not be a physical instructor to help you with assignments, be immediately available to answer questions, and remind you of deadlines, it is critical to remain engaged with physical therapy aide coursework and other students.
The best ways to do this are to review and prepare for every lesson in advance, attend all virtual class sessions, and take active notes.
Also, you must analyze every returned exam or quiz to understand instructor feedback and virtually collaborate with the teacher to create an improvement plan, if necessary.
Furthermore, many instructors offer virtual office hours to allow students to ask questions, so take advantage of this time.
Even if you do not have questions, listen to your fellow physical therapy aide online students who may have important questions you did not consider.
Chatting with your online peers can help you learn more tips ad course information.
Take Care of Yourself
Since you require a high level of independence when taking an online physical therapy aide program, it is crucial to take care of yourself.
Always look inside for motivation and remember that the graduation goal will help you work through the challenges of being an online student.
Also, always remain healthy by getting exercise, eating properly, and acquiring adequate rest.
Since you will be sitting in front of a computer for extended periods without contact with other students, it is important to be physically and mentally healthy.
Additionally, use positive self-talk to help reduce school anxiety and always schedule a time to spend with your family and friends to help take care of yourself.
Furthermore, maintain a growth mindset throughout the entire e program.
Your success is related to your effort and ability, so always stay positive and upbeat, especially during challenging times.
Schools Offering Online Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs
|Borough of Manhattan Community College||199 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007|
|SUNY Corning Community College||1 Academic Drive, Corning, NY 14830|
|U.S. Career Institute||2001 Lowe Street, Fort Collins, CO 80525|
|Blackstone Career Institute||1011 Brookside Rd, Suite 300 Allentown, PA 18106|
|Penn Foster||14300 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 125 Scottsdale, AZ|
|Lansing Community College||419 N. Capitol Avenue Lansing, MI 48933|
|MedCerts LLC||14143 Farmington Road Livonia, MI 48154|
|New York City College of Technology Division of Continuing Education||300 Jay Street, Howard Building, 4th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201|
|Ashworth College||5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200 Norcross, Georgia 30092|
|Prince George's Community College||301 LARGO ROADLARGO, MD 20774|
|UTRGV Continuing Education||101 St Joseph Dr, Brownsville, Texas 78520|
|Brookdale Community College||765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738|
|University of Central Missouri||P.O. Box 800 Warrensburg, MO 64093|
|Division of Continuing Education||12351 Research Parkway RM 113 Orlando, FL 32826|
|UNH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING||145, Cole Hall • 34 Sage Way, Durham, NH 03824|
Becoming a physical therapy aide can be accomplished via in-person or online classes.
For those looking at an online program, many pros and cons exist that you must consider before enrollment.
However, if you can overcome the challenges of distance learning, becoming a physical therapy aide is a lucrative and rewarding career that could lead to other positions within the medical field.
To become a physical therapy aide, you must be physically strong while having a compassionate instinct to assist others in their greatest time of need.
Social skills and effective communication, as well as the ability to manage tasks and organize, are paramount qualifications.
If you possess these qualities with an interest in health, then becoming a physical therapy aide might be the right fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Physical Therapy Aides and Physical Therapy Assistants the same position?
No, Physical Therapy Assistants require an associate degree, licensure (based on the local or state requirements), hands-on training, and can assist with patient training sessions under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist.
Where can I work as a Physical Therapy Aide?
Physical Therapy Aides hold positions in many locations including outpatient clinics, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, and hospitals.
Is there future growth potential as a Physical Therapy Aide?
Yes, according to the U.S. BLS, there is an expected 32% job growth between 2020 and 2030.
What is required to become a Physical Therapy Aide?
The bare minimum education is a high school diploma or GED and official training from a qualified institution within the industry.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant