Associate in Physical and Occupational Therapy
Associates in Physical Therapy programs are designed for students who want to pursue a career as assistants to physical therapists. These professionals apply exercise and rehabilitation techniques in order to treat injuries or abnormalities that hamper an individual’s physical activity and their assistance can facilitate them. They work under the supervision of physical therapists to improve the patients’ mobility in addition to reducing their pain. Also, they teach patients therapeutic exercises, keep an eye on the patient’s progress and operate medical equipment.
An associate’s degree in Physical Therapy requires 2 years to complete. This program is offered at both traditional and online schools. This program focuses on rehabilitation methods and includes courses such as Healthcare Law, Therapeutic Exercises, Physiology, Medical Terminology and Human Development. Students also learn about rehabilitation procedures in addition to clinical practicums. In order to get into this program, students must hold a high school diploma or GED.
Physical therapist assistants also need to complete postsecondary programs accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association's Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Most states also require these professionals to have licensure or certification. As licensing requirements vary by state, it is important for students to find the requirements of the state that they belong to. Generally, students need to complete a CAPTE-accredited physical therapy assistant program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination as well.
Once students obtain an associate’s degree in Physical Therapy, they can work in a number of settings such as hospitals, fitness centers, clinics, nursing homes, and patients' homes where they are required to assist physical therapists and offer rehabilitation services to patients. These professionals can earn around $35,000 to $83,000 on an annual basis.
Students can also enroll in an online associate’s degree in Physical Therapy if they cannot attend regular schools. In these programs they will cover the basics of physical therapy, clinical and pathological physiology, gross anatomy and a variety of other courses that will help them pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant in a convenient manner. As these programs are highly flexible and self paced, they can make an excellent learning option for working professionals looking for a career switch without making major changes to their existing schedule.