Physical Therapy Aide Training Programs and Classes

Physical therapy aides help physical therapists with essential clerical skills and basic patient care. Continue reading for more information about a physical therapy aide career, including training requirements, common course topics and typical duties. Schools offering Physical Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a physical therapy aide, you'd perform clerical work and prepare treatment spaces for exercises performed by patients during a physical therapy session. While secondary school training is not required, some schools offer brief programs to better prepare you for a career in this field.

License and CertificationNot required for aides; physical therapy assistants may need licensure
Responsibilities Office tasks; preparation for patient appointments; verify information; take medical histories
Training On-the-job training, diploma and certificate programs

Which Schools Offer Physical Therapy Aide Programs?

Diploma and certificate programs are available at a few vocational schools and community colleges and through the continuing education departments of some institutions. These programs might offer you the opportunity to observe or participate in the duties of a physical therapy aide in a professional environment. Schools offering physical therapy aide programs include:

  • California State University Long Beach
  • University of Georgia
  • Brookdale Community College
  • Jefferson State Community College
  • College of the Desert
  • Ocean County College

What Are Typical Classes?

Your curriculum could be a single course or a series of modules and labs. Certificate programs usually take about six weeks to complete. You'll usually learn about basic health issues, common diseases and injuries, physiology and kinesiology. Course topics you might cover include:

  • Role of an aide
  • Medical terminology
  • Safety practices
  • Transporting patients
  • Human anatomy
  • Preparing medical spaces

Which Duties Do Physical Therapy Aides Have?

Unlike the job duties of a physical therapist assistant, which includes participation in the treatment of patients, you could be asked to help in front desk duties, such as booking appointments, checking patient insurance and information, filing documents and answering the phone. You might be required to offer some brief patient contact, such as helping a patient from one place to another, taking a medical history or offering non-medical services during a therapy session.

What Level of Training Do I Need?

To become a physical therapy aide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that you usually just need a high school diploma and on-the-job training (www.bls.gov). The BLS indicates that on-the-job training programs usually last for about one month. Experience in the field could give you an advantage over those with no formal training.

Do I Need to Be Licensed or Certified?

As of 2018, no states require that you obtain a license to become a physical therapy aide. In fact, you don't need any form of credential to work in this position. If you choose to advance in the field to become a physical therapist assistant, you'll need to complete a formal training program, usually at the associate degree level, and some states require licensure at this stage.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • The George Washington University

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