How Could You Benefit from a Physical Therapy Certificate Online?

From playground warriors to weekend warriors, bodily mishaps are inevitable. But physical therapy is not simply restricted to a demographic of elite athletes; other demographics such as the senior citizen population have chronic or debilitation conditions that drive the demand for physical therapy. This includes Baby Boomers, who are becoming increasingly vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes, as well as age- or sports-related neuromuscular and joint difficulties.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018,* much faster than the average for all occupations. Though a bachelor-level degree could often be required to practice as a physical or occupational therapist, it is often advantageous to consider furthering your studies with continual education in the field. That is where a physical therapy certificate online could come in handy. By enrolling in an online program and logging into a high-tech multimedia curriculum from the comfort of home, you could get up to speed on the latest industry topics and techniques.

Programs vary as widely as the field itself, and lend themselves to the specific career interests of students. For example, some programs are designed to help students gain the theoretical and hands-on knowledge necessary to pursue or enhance a career as an occupational therapy aide. Online coursework for this kind of program often may include a broad overview of important therapy-specific medical terminology, adaptive equipment, body systems, and different types of therapy approaches (such as Activities of Daily Living (ADL)). For students with an interest in becoming or enhancing a career as a physical therapy aide, pursuing a physical therapy certificate online is an option. This fulfilling, challenging career involves helping all kinds of patients — from pro footballers to elderly citizens — recover from their injuries such as stress fractures and hip replacements. Regardless of the demographic or patient, the overall goal of physical therapy is to restore individuals to an active, self-sustainable lifestyle.

Not all rehabilitation involves taping ankles or healing post-accident whiplashes, however. An intriguing and highly specialized sub-field has emerged in recent years: Vision rehabilitation. By earning a graduate certificate in vision rehabilitation therapy, you could dive into a quick, but in-depth curriculum that is focused on helping visually-impaired adults regain independent lives by using specific techniques as well as assistive technology. Vision Rehabilitation Therapists work with blind or visually impaired (including deaf-blind individuals), and may even oversee on-the-job training for these populations. Coursework may include both manual and electronic communication systems, home and personal management, logistics of daily living activities.

* The preceding information was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) online resource, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition," available at: