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physical-therapy-assistant

Physical Therapy Aide

In this online program, you will master all the skills you need to begin a career as a physical therapy aide. You will learn what physical therapy entails, identify the responsibilities of a PT aide, and develop a working knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology.

In addition, you will get a solid grounding in patient care skills, infection control, and the legal and ethical regulations that affect healthcare providers. By the end of the program, you will be fully prepared to obtain an entry-level position as a PT aide in a healthcare facility.

6 Months / 150 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website.

Financial Assistance Available*

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Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study at your own schedule

Contact Us

Physical Therapy Aide

Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study at your own schedule

Contact Us

Physical Therapy Aide Details + Objective

Course Code: GES125

You Will Learn
  • Have a fundamental understanding of the practice of physical therapy and the differences between PTs, PTAs, and PT aides
  • Be familiar with the organization of the human body and important anatomical terminology
  • Understand the basics of pathology, vital signs, and principles of treatment
  • Be knowledgeable about the history of infection control, specific types of pathogens, transmission of infection, the disease process, and how to prevent the spread of infection
  • Know how to transfer patients safely in a variety of settings
  • Be familiar with the correct way to position and drape patients
  • Know how to communicate effectively in a physical therapy setting
  • Be aware of the legal and ethical issues that affect PT aides
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 150 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Know how to communicate effectively in a physical therapy setting
  • Understand how you can best help and care for your patients
  • Open the door to new career opportunities as a Physical Therapy Aide

Physical Therapy Aide Reviews

Physical Therapy Aide Outline
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Introduction to Physical Therapy

Discover the history of physical therapy and the fundamentals of the practice. Learn the basics of physical therapy treatment, as well as the roles and responsibilities of workers within the field.

Organization of the Human Body

Learn extensively about the organization of the human body and its many functioning systems. Throughout this course, you can expect to cover body parts, muscle groups, and how to exercise the various muscle groups.

Pathology Basics

Master the basics of pathology. Learn vital signs, principles of treatment, and important definitions that relate to pathology within physical therapy.

Preventative Care

Study the science of how to limit infections and prevent injuries. Further course material covers how to treat and prevent pressure ulcers, as well as the importance of back and spine health.

Handling Patients and Understanding Bodily Systems

Master how to transfer patients safely as well as how to correctly operate and maneuver wheelchairs. Cover the language of joint movement as how it relates to a normal gait cycle, as well as how to safely and comfortably drape and position patients.

Navigating the Physical Therapy Industry

Cover the fundamentals needed to become an ambulation aide as well as ambulation activities. Learn how to effectively communicate within the physical therapy industry, as well as the legal and ethical issues faced by physical therapists.

Program Details
  1. Lesson 1 – Introduction to Physical Therapy
    • Your Instructor
    • History of Physical Therapy
    • The Physical Therapy Evaluation
    • Physical Therapy Treatment
    • The Rehabilitation Team
    • Responsibilities, Duties, and Roles of the PT, PTA, and PT Aide
  2. Lesson 2 – Organization of the Human Body
    • Levels of Organization
    • Body Regions
    • Body Cavities
    • Abdominopelvic Regions and Quadrants
    • Body and Body Parts Sections
    • Directional Terms
  3. Lesson 3 – Basics of Pathology
    • Homeostasis
    • Negative Feedback
    • Vital Signs
    • Important Definitions Related to Pathology
    • Principles of Treatment of Pathology
  4. Lesson 4 – Infection Control
    • History of Infection Control
    • Types of Pathogens
    • Transmission of Infection
    • The Disease Process
    • Preventing the Spread of Infection
  5. Lesson 5 – Pressure Ulcers
    • Causes of Pressure Ulcers
    • Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers
    • Staging of Pressure Ulcers
    • Treatment of Pressure Ulcers
    • Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
  6. Lesson 6 – Preventing Injuries
    • Introduction to Body Mechanics
    • Anatomy of the Spine
    • Importance of Correct Posture
    • Principles and Concepts of Proper Body Mechanics
    • Lifting Principles and Techniques
    • Pushing, Pulling, Reaching, and Carrying
  7. Lesson 7 - Transferring Patients Safely
    • Terminology for Transfers
    • Principles of Safe Transfers and Special Precautions
    • Mobility Activities for Bed
    • Specific Standing, Sitting, and Lifting Transfers
    • Use of Mechanical Equipment
  8. Lesson 8 – Use of Wheelchairs
    • Proper Selection and Fit of Wheelchairs
    • Patient and Family Education
    • Wheelchair Components and Features
    • Types of Wheelchairs
    • Assisted Functional Activities
    • Independent Functional Activities
  9. Lesson 9 – Gait
    • Language of Joint Movement
    • Muscles of the Lower Extremities
    • Normal Gait Cycle
    • Disorders That Can Affect Gait
    • Abnormal Gait Patterns
  10. Lesson 10 – Ambulation Aides
    • Measurement and Fit of Ambulation Aids
    • General Safety Precautions
    • Tilt Tables and Parallel Bars
    • Use of Walkers
    • Use of Crutches
    • Use of Canes
  11. Lesson 11 – Ambulation Activities
    • Changing Directions
    • Curbs and Inclines
    • Stairs
    • Doors, Elevators, and Automobiles
    • Floors and Falls
  12. Lesson 12 – Draping and Positioning of Patients
    • Principles of Correct Positioning and Draping
    • Applying Principles to Different Positions
    • Preventive Positioning
    • Draping Patients Correctly
  13. Lesson 13 – Muscular System
    • Functions and Characteristics of Skeletal Muscle Tissue
    • Anatomy of Skeletal Muscles
    • Contraction of Skeletal Muscles
    • Diseases Affecting the Muscular System
    • Common Injuries to the Muscular System
  14. Lesson 14 – Skeletal System
    • Organization of the Skeleton
    • Joints
    • Types of Bone Tissue
    • Common Diseases of Bones and Joints
    • Common Injuries to Bones and Joints
  15. Lesson 15 – Exercise for the Treatment of the Muscular and Skeletal Systems
    • How Muscles, Bones, and Joints Work Together
    • Exercise to Maintain Range of Motion
    • Exercise to Increase Muscle Strength and Endurance
    • Exercise Parameters
    • Supervising a Patient’s Exercise Program
  16. Lesson 16 – Physical Modalities for the Treatment of the Muscular and Skeletal Systems
    • From Injury to Disability
    • The Stages of Healing
    • Cold and Heat
    • Ultrasound, Traction, and Massage
    • Electrical Stimulation
    • Contraindications and Precautions
  17. Lesson 17 – Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems
    • The Heart
    • The Blood Vessels
    • Disorders of the Cardiovascular System
    • Anatomy of the Respiratory System
    • The Interaction Between the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems
    • Disorders of the Respiratory System
  18. Lesson 18 – Nervous System
    • Organization of the Nervous System
    • Nerves, Neurons, and Neuroglia Cells
    • How Neurons Work
    • The Brain and Spinal Cord
    • Disorders of the Nervous System
  19. Lesson 19 – Treatment of the Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Nervous Systems
    • From Pathology to Disability
    • Treatment of Cardiovascular Disorders
    • Treatment of Respiratory Disorders
    • Treatment of Nervous System Disorders
    • Special Concerns for Pediatric and Geriatric Patients
  20. Lesson 20 – The Rest of the Organ Systems
    • The Integumentary System
    • The Lymphatic System
    • The Endocrine System
    • The Digestion System
    • The Urinary System
    • Male and Female Reproductive Systems
  21. Lesson 21 – Communication in the Physical Therapy Facility
    • Communicating with the Physical Therapist
    • Communicating on the Phone
    • Communicating with the Patient and Family Members
    • Empathy, Respect, and Patience
    • Nonverbal Communication
    • SOAP Notes
  22. Lesson 22 – Legal and Ethical Issues for the Physical Therapy Aide
    • Law and Ethics
    • The APTA’s Code of Ethics
    • Patients’ Rights, Negligence, and Malpractice
    • Patient Confidentiality
    • Starting Your Career
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Physical Therapy Aide Instructors
Holly Trimble

Holly Trimble has a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in pediatric physical therapy from Boston University. She completed an additional 15 credit hours in education at the doctoral level. She worked as a physical therapist for more than 15 years for a school district, infant learning program, and private PT agencies. In addition, she has worked as a private tutor for children with learning disabilities. Holly has lectured on health-related topics to all age groups, from school-age children to adults, and has been a guest speaker at colleges and universities including Wellesley College, Boston College, MIT, and Boston University. She is also an adjunct professor, teaching college-level anatomy and physiology courses online and in the classroom. She recently received the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award at the college where she teaches.

Physical Therapy Aide Requirements / Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this program. It’s ideal for you if you are interested in obtaining an entry-level position in the popular healthcare field of physical therapy.

This program is compatible with PC and a variety of browsers and browser versions. The software provided with this program is not compatible with Mac. You will need Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader. You will need an Internet connection (high-speed is recommended) and email capability.

The textbooks for this course are covered in your tuition. They are:

  • Principles and Techniques of Patient Care, 5th Edition 
  • Human Diseases, 3rd Edition
Physical Therapy Aide Frequently Asked Questions
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Can I register for programs if I am an international student?

Yes, because ed2go programs are online you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration. 

How long does it take to complete a program?

All of our programs are self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start them when you want and finish them at your own pace. Upon registering, you are given six months to complete this program.

Do I have to buy additional materials?

All the materials you'll need are included, and their cost will be covered by your tuition. ed2go will ship all materials ground service upon enrollment.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal aid. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses.

What happens when I complete the program?

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?

ed2go programs will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We don't provide direct job placement services, but our facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Who will be my instructor?

Each student is paired up with a facilitator for one-on-one interaction. The facilitator will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our facilitators are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach.

What software or hardware do I need in order to take online programs and what are the system requirements?

In order to take our online programs, you must have access to a computer and the Internet. You can access the program contents from any Web-enabled computer. You don't have to use the same computer to log-in to the program every time. We recommend that you have a word-processing program (Microsoft Word is best) and the latest version of Internet Explorer.

Can I use a Mac?

This software provided with this program is not compatible with a Mac.

How can I get more information about the program?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to contact us via LIVE chat (click the button toward the top of the page). If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the "Contact Us" form to the right. You may also call us at (855) 534-3690. We will answer your questions promptly.

When can I start the program?

Our programs are all open enrollment. You can register and start the program as soon as you are ready.

Please note: Once the program curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

Will this course license me to work as a physical therapy aide?

Physical therapy aides are non-licensed healthcare workers. The certificate you’ll earn through this program, however, will show prospective employers that you took the time and effort to obtain training for this career.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my program within the time frame provided?

The time allotted to complete your program has been calculated based on the number of hours for each program, so don't worry too much about not completing in time. If, after a concerted effort, you are still unable to complete, your Student Advisor will help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that a fee may be charged for an extension.

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Talk to an admissions counselor
Speak with an official admissions counselor via . During non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the "Contact Us" button. You can also reach us by phone at (855) 520-6806.