Certified Physical Therapy Aide

physical therapy aide helping patient

There's a growing need for physical therapy aides. In fact, PT aide jobs will grow over 29 percent through 2029. This online course will help you master the skills you need to work as a physical therapy aide.

Not only will you be prepared for the AMCA's Physical Therapy Technician/Aide certification exam, but an externship starter kit will also walk you through everything you need to know to land a. job in PT.  

This program is offered in partnership with ed2go, one of the nation's top online education providers.

Course Objectives

  • Prepare to take and pass the AMCA Physical Therapy Technician/Aide certification exam
  • Understand the role, responsibilities, and qualifications of the certified physical therapy aide in various healthcare settings
  • Build knowledge of human anatomy, functional body movements, and system disorders as they relate to physical therapy
  • Identify proper positioning, patient transfers, common exercises, modalities, and medical equipment
  • Demonstrate ethical and legal behavior specific to healthcare settings
  • Differentiate between tasks appropriate for a certified physical therapy aide and other healthcare professionals
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for pharmacy technicians will grow 12% through 2028 – that equates to over 30,000 new jobs!
  • The BLS notes that on average, pharmacy technicians earn an annual salary of $32,700. Top earners can make up to $47,000 per year. .

Physical therapy aides are responsible to support the overall therapy environment. They usually manage the cleanliness and safety of the clinic or work environment and help prepare the equipment for each patient's visit. And they often help patients as they arrive and move around in the treatment facility. Some common duties include:

  • Cleaning the treatment areas
  • Setting up therapy equipment
  • Washing linens
  • Helping patients move to or from a therapy area
  • Handling clerical tasks, such as answering phones scheduling patients and checking patients into the clinic
  • Physical therapy assistants work directly with patients to facilitate treatment. They may assist patients with exercise, massage, balance and other forms of therapeutic interventions. Physical therapy assistants often supervise the work of physical therapy aides.

The AMCA exam covers the following areas:

  • Patient care
  • Practice administration
  • Law and ethics
  • Patient preparation and positioning
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Safety and infection control
  • Therapeutic modalities

Each of these areas is critical to patient care, effective treatment and limiting liability for the physical therapist or employer organization.

  • Changes in health coverage after then Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2014 have shifted many physical therapy activities from the healthcare setting and into the patient's home. As a result, physical therapy support activities now also take place in the home. The shift to homecare has also opened opportunities for independent and even traveling physical therapy professionals.

About Your Instructor

Holly Trimble earned a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from the University of Colorado, a master's degree in pediatric physical therapy from Boston University, and a master's degree in biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. After working as a physical therapist for many years, Trimble transitioned into teaching. She has lectured on health-related topics to all age groups and works as an adjunct instructor of anatomy and physiology. She received an Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award and is the author of "College Success Now!"