Online Course to Be a Physical Therapy Assistant: Course Overviews
Physical therapy assistant programs teach students to provide rehabilitative care to patients while under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Some physical therapy assistant associate degree programs are available through distance learning; these programs may require some in-person lab or clinical work.
Physical Therapy Assistant Program Overview
Physical therapy assistants provide direct care to patients recovering from injuries and illnesses. They provide this care under the direction of physical therapists, performing the day-to-day tasks of helping patients become mobile and self-sufficient again. A physical therapy assistant program may lead to a career as a physical therapy assistant, or it may be used as a stepping-stone to a physical therapist career. Online courses in physical therapy assistance generally culminate with an Associate of Applied Science, which gives students the educational qualification necessary to sit for the National Licensing Exam for Physical Therapist Assistants given by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
Since the minimal requirement to become a physical therapy assistant is an associate's degree, many online physical therapy assistant programs recommend students complete general education requirements before enrolling in the program. The physical therapy assistant courses themselves are administered online through computer-based readings, assignments, video lectures and online classroom discussions. Due to the nature of the training, some classroom laboratory work is required for students to gain hands-on experience.
Intro to Physical Therapy
This course introduces students to basic professional practices and the medical issues inherent in physical therapy work. Students learn about common injuries, therapeutic exercise and functional training.
Clinical and Pathological Physiology
This course teaches human movement and body functions, while training students to understand abnormal functioning and the diseases that can lead to limited or painful movement. The course provides an overview of diseases commonly dealt with in physical therapy.
This course provides students with a basic understanding of the location and function of different parts of the body. As the course relies heavily on laboratory work, it may require more classroom time for students in distance education programs, though the ratio of online work to laboratory work varies from program to program.
Therapeutic exercise involves the different ways people can move and train their bodies to overcome an injury or movement-inhibiting illness. This course provides students with the theoretical understanding necessary to plan out and implement various exercise regimens.
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