Are you an aspiring physical therapy assistant? Are you looking for an online degree for physical therapy assistant? Are you looking for colleges that have an online degree for physical therapy? If yes, this post is drafted out to give you answers and directions.
Here, we will be looking at physical therapy assistants’ concept, function, and career choices. We also look at the different online degrees that can qualify you as one.
Do go through it carefully.
What is a Physical Therapy Assistant?
A Physical therapist assistant is an individual that provides physical and therapeutic services under the direction and supervision of a licensed and professional physical therapist.
Physical therapists work at the forefront of the healthcare rehabilitation field, helping patients improve movement impaired by disease, injury or corrective surgery.
A Physical therapist usually examines individuals and develop a treatment plan to improve their ability to move, restore function, reduce or manage pain, and prevent disability.
Is online Physical Therapy Assistant Online Degree Good?
Online physical therapy assistant is not only pleasing but also convenient and flexible. As a high school graduate, working-class individual or adult learner who don’t have the time or finds it difficult to attend an on-campus physical degree, you can switch to an online degree program.
One thing you should know is that online degree programs in physical therapy are just as meticulous as the ones on-campus. Typically, schools often help students find a convenient location for clinical practice after online theoretical classes. So you are not left out on any of the syllabi when you take it online.
What are the Duties of a Physical Therapist?
The demand for physical and therapeutic services will always outpace the supply of PT professionals. This makes PTAs to be greatly demanded to meet up the needs of physical and therapeutic services.
As an aspiring Physical Therapy Assitant (PTA), you need to know the duties of the professional PT.
You can capture their duties in two terms:
Prevention and Wellness — PTs design customised wellness and fitness programs that help to prevent or minimise the risk of loss of mobility and physical functions before it occurs.
Rehabilitation — This involves designing fitness and medical programs to restore functions, alleviate pain, improve mobility, and limit disabilities in physically injured patients or have an impairment caused by an illness.
Assistants usually aid physical Therapists called the “physical therapist assistants” in carrying out their duites
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) often work directly with patients and physicians in carrying out clerical duties in the clinic.
Physical therapists can work in the hospitals, nursing homes, home health, fitness centers, schools and orthopedic facilities.
Other duties of a Physical Therapist include:
- Diagnosing patients and drafting out individual care and fitness plans
- Supervising and designing customised exercises and hands-on therapies for patients to help them recover impaired mobility or manage physical pain.
- Helping patients use aiding equipment like walkers as a part of the therapeutic plan.
- Fitness and physical consulting
- Conducting of research relating to man physical health.
What are the Jobs I can do as a Physical Therapy Assistants
As a PTA, you can work in a couple of places like hospitals, therauptic clinics, fitness centres, schools and research centres.
In specific, below are the varous careers in being a PTA.
- Rehabilitation aide
- Clinical rehabilitation aide
- Fitness Coach
- Restorative care technician
- Physical therapist aide
- Physical therapeutic researcher
- Occupational therapy aide
- Physical therapist technician
- Rehabilitation attendant
Choosing an Online Degree for Physical Therapy Assistant
Globally, Physical therapists rank 6th on the list of careers with the most remarkable per cent change of employment between 2016-2026, Also, physical therapist assistants rank 7th and 8th respectively.
Physical therapy aides may get a job with a high school diploma, but having a certificate in physical therapy can increase employability and potential wages.
For you to be a PTA, you have to run some level of education in it.
Nearly 80 per cent of physical therapists hold at least a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in physical therapy. This is one reason you must get educated too.
Levels of Online Degree for Physical Therapy
Online Certificate Programs in Physical Therapy Assistant
Online certificate programs for physical therapy aides are designed to get you acquainted with the needs of a physical therapy clinic or department.
In certificate-level program, you get an understanding of common illnesses and treatment methods used by physiotherapists.
- Duration: One year or less than
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
Coursework: Physical therapy certificate program include subjects related to the basic medical care methods for impaired patients.
The coursework covers:
- Introduction to medical terminology
- Exercise and mobility training
- Customer service and effective communication
- Patient positioning, body mechanics, and transfer techniques
- Wheelchairs, assistive devices, and gait training
Online Associate Degree Program in Physical Therapy Assistant
Online course content for an associate degree program in physical therapy includes subjects directly connected to patient care and treatment, including topics like pyschology, algebra and anatomy that can help them in their daily work.
- Duration: Two years or less than
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED. A score mark in the Health Educations Systems Inc. (HESI) A2 Exam
Coursework: An onlin associate degree program include contents in:
- Introduction to PTA
- Fundamentals of clinical care
- Neurological/neuromuscular rehabilitation
- Physical therapy interventions
- Motor development/aging
- Therapeutic exercise and orthopaedic applications
Potential jobs you can work in with an associate certification are:
- Physical therapist assistant
- Per diem physical therapist assistant
- Outpatient physical therapist assistant
- Home health physical therapist assistant
Online Bachelor’s Degree Program in Physical Therapy Assistant
As a bachelor degree student, you will need to major in any of the following: The most common undergraduate majors among PT students include: Biology, Kinesiology, and Psychology.
If you have plans to pursue a graduate or doctoral program in physical therapy, it is pertinent you build a strong foundation in the sciences. You should take courses like anatomy, biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics and statistics seriously.
Duration: Four years
Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED. A Pass score in Health Education Systems Inc. (HESI) A2 Exam
Coursework: Basic courses in your bachelor’s degree program include:
- Evidence-based practice and ethics in physical therapy
- Concepts of leadership
- Advanced musculoskeletal system interventions
- Advanced neurological and cardiopulmonary interventions
- Outcome measures and reporting for the PTA
An online bachelor’s degree in physical therapy can open you up to various careers and occupations. Below are some of the potentail jobs as a gradute of an online bachelor degree in physical therapy:
- Certified physical therapist assistant
- Staff physical therapy assistant
- Physical therapist assistant and nurse aide
- Physical therapy technician
Online Master Degree Programs in Physical Therapy Assistant
As an individual making your first forays into the world of physical therapy, a masters degree will be required of you. This is for mostly those that want to be professionals.
Duration: One to three years (part-time study)
Prerequisites: Official transcripts from a CAPTE accredited physical therapist degree program, current physical therapy practising liecense, and you be required to submit some professional recommendations
The specific course content of an online masters program on Physical Therapy includes:
- Orthopedic physical therapy
- Medical screening
- Diagnostic imaging
- Health promotions
- Capstone course involving comprehensive case reports.
Possible electives include:
- Evidence-based exercise for the older adult
- Educational strategies for effective healthcare delivery
- Neurologic physical therapy
- Online Doctoral Degree Program in Physical Therapy Assistant
If you want to work as licensed physical therapist, that’s when you need a doctoral degree.
Doctoral degree courses are normally in the form of hybrid systems whereby you can complete all the theoretical aspects of the course online. Still, they are required to be available for clinical practices at your school or a deisgnated centre.
Duration: Three to seven years
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
Coursework: In alignment with APTA, most of the DPT curriculum comprises classroom (didactic) and lab study. Typical course contents include:
- Musculoskeletal anatomy
- Mechanics of gait
- Basics of patient management
- Differential diagnosis in physical therapy
- Life span motor control
- Principles of disease
- Compulsory internship program is a must to undergo. You will experience it at a medical centre under a professional PT.
You can work as a licensed physical therapist. You go for other specifictaion if you desire.
Scholarships and Financial Aid Programs For Online Degree for Physical Therapy Assistant
Scholarships and financial aid programs for online physical therapy programs may be made available to eligible candidates through professional bodies, private einstitution, or State/Federal-aid programs.
Some of the scholarships available for online PTA Programs are:
- Minority Scholarship Award
- Arctic Physical Therapy Fairbanks
- Mary McMillan Scholarship Award
- BMS Practice Solution’s Scholarship
- National AMBUCS Scholarship Program for Therapists
Physical Therapist Professional Bodies
Many countries and states have professional associations for physical therapists. Do well to get involve in any in your country or state.
Some of the professional bodies in the US are:
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
- American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
- California Physical Therapy Association
- Texas Physical Therapy Association
Colleges that Offers Online Degree for Physical Therapy Assistant
Below are the top five colleges where you can study for an online degree for physical therapy assistant
- Master’s in Sports Medicine
- Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services
- MS: Exercise Science and Wellness: Fitness and Performance
- MS: Human Performance: Fitness and Wellness
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Master of Science in Kinesiology
With the above information, I believe you now know what being a physical therapy assistant entails, the various stage of online degrees for a physical therapy assiatant—also, and the colleges you can enrol in to obtain an online degree.
I wish you success as you embark on this noble profession.