Physical Therapy Aide
Penn Foster

Program Details

Gained through Penn Foster, interested students have the opportunity to earn a Diploma by completing Physical Therapy Aide courses. This independent, online program consists of five Instruction Sets that students complete on their own schedule. In order to meet the course requirements, students must have access to a Windows-based computer running Windows XP or Mac OS X or later, with high-speed Internet.

Students receive a history of physical therapy and the settings in which it is practiced. Students learn the role of a physical therapy aide, as well as the responsibilities they obtain. Students study treatment setup, therapeutic activities, direct patient care, and Medicare regulations governing the use of aides. Students are taught body regions, anatomical positioning, directional terms, and common medical abbreviations.

Students learn about disorders of the musculoskeletal system, such as joint diseases, soft tissue injuries, osteoporosis, and hernias. Students then learn about dysfunctions and disorders concerning the nervous system, including carpal tunnel syndrome, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy.

In an introduction to therapeutic treatments, students learn about cryotherapy, deep healing treatments, and superficial heat treatments. By learning therapeutic exercise, the students are able to help patients with motion exercises, strength exercises, and coordination exercises. Students interact with patients and other personnel, practicing conflict resolution and problem solving. The application for the Physical Therapy Aide can be found on Penn Foster’s website.


  • Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent

School Accreditation Statement

Penn Foster Accreditation and Licenses

  • Penn Foster Career School and Penn Foster High School are regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. And, nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Penn Foster Career School and Penn Foster High School are licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools.
  • Penn Foster College is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postseconday Education.