Physical Therapy Aide

In this program, you will learn what physical therapy entails, identify the responsibilities of a PT aide, and develop a working knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology
Temecula, CA P.O. Box 760,, Temecula, CA 92593
(951) 9723600

Course at a Glance

Mode of learning : Online - Instructor Lead(LVC)

Domain / Subject : Medical/Healthcare/Pharma

Function : General

Trainer name : Holly Trimble

Duration : 150 Hours

Difficulty : Medium

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.


Upon successful completion of the Physical Therapy Aide program, you will:

  • 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.
  • Be able to identify the causes, risk factors, staging, treatment, and prevention of pressure ulcers.
  • Understand the anatomy of the spine, proper posture, and correct body mechanics.
  • Know how to transfer patients safely in a variety of settings.
  • Understand the features and functions of wheelchairs.
  • Appreciate the complexity of a normal gait pattern and how different types of disorders affect gait.
  • Know the basics about ambulation aids.
  • Be prepared to assist patients with ambulation-related activities.
  • Be familiar with the correct way to position and drape patients.
  • Have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the body’s muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems.
  • Understand principles of treatment of the muscular and skeletal systems.
  • Understand principles of treatment of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems.
  • Be familiar with the rest of the body’s organ systems.
  • Know how to communicate effectively in a physical therapy setting.
  • Be aware of the legal and ethical issues that affect PT aides.
  • Be prepared to begin your search for employment as a PT aide.


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


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.

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.

Course Content

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

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

Lesson 3 – Basics of Pathology

  • Homeostasis
  • Negative Feedback
  • Vital Signs
  • Important Definitions Related to Pathology
  • Principles of Treatment of Pathology

Lesson 4 – Infection Control

  • History of Infection Control
  • Types of Pathogens
  • Transmission of Infection
  • The Disease Process
  • Preventing the Spread of Infection

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

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

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

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

Lesson 9 – Gait

  • Language of Joint Movement
  • Muscles of the Lower Extremities
  • Normal Gait Cycle
  • Disorders That Can Affect Gait
  • Abnormal Gait Patterns

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

Lesson 11 – Ambulation Activities

  • Changing Directions
  • Curbs and Inclines
  • Stairs
  • Doors, Elevators, and Automobiles
  • Floors and Falls

Lesson 12 – Draping and Positioning of Patients

  • Principles of Correct Positioning and Draping
  • Applying Principles to Different Positions
  • Preventive Positioning
  • Draping Patients Correctly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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