A physical therapist is a professional whom diagnoses and treats patients with injuries or illnesses that limit their physical movement. These limitations prevent patients from performing daily and functional activities. Physical therapists specialize in the areas of joints, bones and ligaments, muscles and tendons. With this said, many associate physical therapy with sports but in fact it helps patients with diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Osteoporosis and even brain damage. As PT work with mobility, treatment can range from fitness schedules to wellness programs. The physical therapy or treatment can also be performed by a PT assistant or aide.
As it is an important part of health care, Physical Therapists and their aides are in demand. And it is projected that employment opportunities for physical therapist aides will grow steadily. In the year 2008, more than a hundred thousand individuals registered as certified PT aides and the numbers are rising yearly. PT aides have good prospects and employment in the health care system provides good benefits, security and is usually very fulfilling. As the name suggests, a PT aide assist the physical therapist in providing treatment and helps patients exercise, massage, prepare therapy equipments and teach patients on how to use mechanisms or crutches and wheelchairs. A PT aide also performs some clerical work.
Physical therapy aides are required by law to hold a degree, obtain recognized certification, such as CPR and are trained on the job. There are many recognized programs in educational institutions or one can opt to take courses online. There are numerous online programs available which prepare PT aides with tutorials and teach subjects including anatomy, physiology and psychology.
One of the advantages of studying online is affordability. Online programs tend to be cheaper than the ones offered in colleges. However, programs would not vary much for they have to be approved and recognized by the same governing bodies. An online course will cost a few hundred dollars for a few weeks training including exam fees and certification. Another advantage in an online course is that students are able to study at their own time, with 24 hours access to the learning site. If you feel you have qualities to be a good aide, research courses online and make sure they are properly accredited and have proper registration and recognition from relevant governing bodies.