Physical Therapy Aide

Physical Therapy Aide

Course Hours: 
Course Type: 
Mentor Supported
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  • Description
  • Objectives
  • Outline
  • Materials
  • Certification
  • Approvals
  • System Requirements
  • Watch a Demo

Thousands of people attend physical therapy schools every day to become a part of this hot career field. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of physical therapy aides is expected to grow by 29% over the next decade, which is much faster than the average job.

A physical therapy aide most often works under the direction of a physical therapist and/or physical therapy assistant. Physical therapy aide jobs often include keeping the treatment area clean and well organized, as well as to help escort patients in wheelchairs, perform clerical duties, order supplies and more. A physical therapy aide generally needs to be well organized, have patience, and enjoy working with others. 

Prerequisite(s): None

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • List the core elements of medical terminology
  • Name the core elements of the physical therapy profession
  • Identify the systems of the body and their functions
  • Recall the steps to treat common medical disorders
  • Recognize the steps to turn, transfer, and position patients

Physical Therapy Aide Module 1
Medical Terminology Review

  • Pronunciation
  • Spelling
  • Word Roots
  • Combining Vowels/Form
  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • General Rules
  • Word Building
  • Abbreviations
  • Procedural and Diagnostic Billing Codes
  • Body Structure
  • Organization of the Body
  • Anatomical Position
  • Body Planes
  • Directional and Positional Terms
  • Body Cavities

Physical Therapy Aide Module 2
The Profession of Physical Therapy

  • History and Evolution of Physical Therapy
  • Multidisciplinary Approach to Health Care
  • The Rehabilitation Team
  • The Role of the Physical Therapy Aide
  • History of Physical Medicine
  • Physical and Therapeutic Allied Health Careers
  • Understanding Medical Ethics and Medical Law
  • The Patient and the Health Care Worker
  • Patient Medical Records and the Law
  • Interprofessional Issues
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Communication in the Physical Therapy Setting
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Using Medical Abbreviations
  • Understanding the Patient's Medical Record
  • Administrative Role of the Physical Therapy Aide
  • Billing, Banking, and Insurance Processing

Physical Therapy Aide Module 3
Scientific Principles

  • Understanding the Human Body
  • Systems of the Body
  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • The Digestive System
  • The Circulatory System
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Nervous System
  • The Integumentary System
  • The Urinary System
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Reproductive System
  • The Skeletal System
  • The Axial Skeleton
  • The Appendicular Skeleton
  • Joints and Movement

Physical Therapy Aide Module 4
Physical Dysfunctions, Safety and Charting

  • Treating Common Medical Disorders
  • Using Physical Therapy to Treat Burns
  • Treatment of Amputation
  • Treatment of Genitourinary Disorders
  • Safety in the Working Environment
  • Practicing Good Body Alignment and Movement
  • Asepsis and Infection Control
  • Performing Proper Handwashing
  • Infection Control
  • Preparation for Patient Care
  • Management of the Environment
  • Body Mechanics
  • Verbal Commands
  • Patient Preparation
  • Transportation 

Physical Therapy Aide Module 5
Patient Care Skills & Physical Therapy Modalities

  • Turing and Positioning the Patient
  • Turing in the Prone Position
  • Turning on the Floor Mat
  • Turning from a Supine Position to a Side-Lying Position
  • Returning from a Supine Position to a Sitting Position
  • Types of Patient Transfers
  • Preparation for Beginning Transfers
  • Standing Transfers
  • Bathtub Transfers
  • Sitting Transfers
  • Drawsheet Transfers
  • Pneumatic Lift Transfers
  • One-Person Transfer from Floor to Wheelchair 

Physical Therapy Aide Module 6
Physical Therapy Modalities

  • Tips on Preambulation Teaching
  • Choosing the Appropriate Device
  • Gait Training and Gait Deviations
  • Therapeutic Exercises
  • Measuring Muscle Strength
  • Skill or Coordination Exercises
  • Range of Motion Exercises
  • Superficial Heating Agents
  • Deep Heating Agents
  • Ultrasound
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Cold Therapy
  • Massage
  • Cervical Traction
  • Specialized Clinical Procedures
  • Electroneural Stimulation
  • Application of a Cast
  • Administration of Medication
  • Specialized Reflex Tests
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics
  • Sports Bandaging and Taping
  • Pet Therapy
  • Career Skills and the Physical Therapy Aide
  • The Job Search
  • The Cover Letter & Resume
  • Interviewing
  • Finding Job Leads

**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**

Ed4Career is committed to being both environmentally conscious and making it easier for you to study! We’re making your education mobile! All of our textbooks are now provided as eTextbooks. You can access them on your laptop, tablet, or mobile device and can study anytime, anywhere.

The move away from physical books to eTextbooks means you get the latest, most up-to-date version available. This also makes your training more accessible, so you can study anywhere you have your phone or tablet. The best part is that all materials are included in your training cost so there are NO extra fees for books!

Upon successful completion of our Physical Therapy Aide course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a Physical Therapy Aide and to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Physical Therapy Aide Specialist (CPTAS).

**Certification exams are not included in the cost of the course.**

 International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

Ed4Career has been approved as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, Ed4Career has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of the Accredited Provider status, Ed4Career is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for courses and programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) was created by IACET as a measurement of continuing education. One (1) IACET CEU is equal to ten (10) contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. Under IACET's care, the IACET CEU has evolved from a quantitative measure to a hallmark of quality training and instruction. For more information on IACET, visit

Internet Connection

  • Broadband or High-Speed - DSL, Cable, and Wireless Connections

*Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Classroom pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.


Hardware Requirements

  • Processor - 2GHz Processor or Higher
  • Memory - 1 GB RAM Minimum Recommended

While our courses are accessible through multiple mobile learning platforms, some courses may include a CD or DVD with the Textbook, so you may need access to a computer with CD-ROM or DVD Drive.


PC Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems - Windows 7 or higher
  • Microsoft Office 2007 or higher. Also, you could use a general Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Internet Browsers - Google Chrome is highly recommended
    • Cookies MUST be enabled
    • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • Kindle Reader App is needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded for FREE onto your computer.)
  • PowerPoint Viewer (if you do not have PowerPoint)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • QuickTime, Windows Media Player &/or Real Player


MAC Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems - Mac OS x 10 or higher with Windows
  • Mac office programs or a Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Internet Browsers- Google Chrome is highly recommended
    • Cookies MUST be enabled
    • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • Kindle Reader App is needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded for FREE onto your computer.)
  • PowerPoint Viewer (if you do not have PowerPoint)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • Apple QuickTime Media Player
  • Courses that include a CD-ROM or DVD may require an external drive and Parallels software to view.