University Physical Therapy Courses Available Online

If you have a passion for helping others outside of a hospital or clinical setting, you should consider an online degree in physical therapy. Those majoring in physical therapy will participate in basic science and math courses early in their degree program, before tackling more advanced patient care techniques later in the program. Basic courses include medical terminology, anatomy, and psychology among others. In the latter half of a physical therapy degree, you can expect more advanced health care courses in mental health, adult physical disabilities, gerontology, and pediatrics.

Students participating in more advanced degree program, such as a master’s in physical therapy, will participate in courses like neuroscience, biomechanics, and in some cases, radiology. Typically, physical therapy programs are offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level. Almost all programs will require some clinical study as well, where you will gain hands-on care techniques with patients under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Depending on the degree level, school, and program, most physical therapy degrees should take anywhere from two to six years to complete.

While physical therapy is a highly specialized field, taking an online course in physical therapy can be advantageous for anyone currently working in a healthcare field. Learning the skills needed to rehabilitate someone after a significant injury, illness, or disease can provide valuable insights to nurses who hope to gain a better beside manner. Online physical therapy courses can also be beneficial for athletic trainers and coaches by providing them with information on the psyche of an athlete recovering from a sports-related injury.

There are a number of programs available online which can be particularly helpful for anyone currently working or even those pursing another degree. Online physical therapy courses can even be taken by someone currently pursuing a degree. Most online courses taken through a reputable and accredited online school can often be used as credit towards a degree, as long as you earn your course credit through an accredited school and program. You can make sure the school of your choice is accredited by checking the U.S. Department of Education’s database of accredited institutions.

Physical Therapy and Your Career

Earning a master’s degree in physical therapy is the best route to becoming a physical therapist, since you must complete a master’s degree in physical therapy to apply for a state license. It is also important to remember that you must earn your state license to legally practice. Another option for those hoping to work in the field is to become a physical therapy assistant. The most common method of becoming an assistant is by completing an associate degree program in physical therapy. An associate degree in physical therapy will provide courses in anatomy, physiology, and psychology in addition to clinical study that includes courses in first aid and field experience in a treatment facility. You can check the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE) website for a list of accredited schools that offer physical therapy and physical therapy assistant programs.

Overall, taking physical therapy courses online or in a traditional format can help anyone involved with direct patient care. In addition to developing skills needed to help patients recover from an injury or illness, the job market for physical therapists, and assistants is particularly strong. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that positions for physical therapists will increase by 30% through 2018. Jobs for physical therapy assistants are also expected to increase, growing by 35% through 2018.

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