Explore These Vastly Different Degree Paths in Healthcare

April 29th, 2014 by

Begin a Physical Therapy Career in Under 2 Years With an Online Associate Degree

It is no secret that one of the industries that is thriving most despite a sometimes gloomy economy is healthcare. Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are still in high demand, but you may not be interested in spending seven or eight years in higher education before you can start earning money in a new career.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other options. If you enjoying working with others, then a career as a physical therapy assistant could be the right fit. Uncover more about how you can earn an associate degree in physical therapy assisting online in less than two year.

Requirements For Applicants

If a career in physical therapy assisting sounds like it could be for you, then spend some time ensuring that you meet the prerequisites for enrollment into a college program. Just about every college will expect applicants to be 18 or older, but having written parental permission may also be allowed.

You will also need to submit high school transcripts, but proof of a general education degree may work as a substitute. It is not at all unusual for colleges to ask applicants for written essays along with their online application, and you might also need references or SAT scores depending on the competitiveness of the college you plan to attend.

Courses Included in the Curriculum

On average, it takes students between 18 and 36 months to complete their associate degree online, and most finish in just under two years. Over that time, you will complete roughly 60 credits, which totals 20 different classes.

Although each college offers its own array of classes, most students who decide to become physical therapy assistants will all cover the same basic principles. On your associate degree syllabus, expect to see class names like pathology, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and patient communication.

Daily Life of a Physical Therapy Assistant

Before deciding to pursue an associate degree in a subject like physical therapy assisting, you should have a thorough understanding of what individuals in this line of work do each day. Generally, physical therapy assistants will work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or private practices.

You might spend time helping the physical therapist during appointments with patients, and you might also help patients develop healthy stretching habits over time. You might also deal with some administrative tasks or set up the room before sessions begin.

Understanding the Online Associate Degree

Once you have decided to pursue physical therapy assisting with an associate degree, you will need to choose between a traditional campus program and an online program. Both are readily accepted by employers, and they often cost the same amount as far as tuition is concerned.

However, students studying online enjoy the flexibility of working at their own pace and completing all of the related coursework and exams from the comfort and convenience of their own home.

If you have the drive and desire to become a physical therapy assistant, then earning an associate degree from an accredited online college may be the ideal place to start.

Become a Holistic Health Practitioner in a Specific Area of  Health Care

While the medical field is rapidly growing in the United States and around the world, there is also a rising interest in nontraditional homeopathic and holistic healthcare. From massage to nutrition to acupuncture, individuals are beginning to want to eliminate the cause of their problems rather than just treating the symptoms with medicine or surgery.

If this field is of interest to you, then earning a certification is a good way to begin a new career in holistic health. While you can study this subject in general, this guide also helps detail some of the various specializations you might want to consider when completing your online holistic health practitioner program.


This specialty involves using thin, almost painless needles to stimulate blood flow in certain areas of the body. It can reduce inflammation, relieve joint pain and even aid in fertility treatments for some women. Acupuncture is becoming increasing popular as an alternative to traditional treatments, and many hospitals even offer it to patients.

You can find a holistic health program that includes acupuncture courses, or you can study it exclusively and then receive a license, which is required for practice in 32 states.

Massage Therapist

Although getting a massage may be something that many do simply to relax, there are also plenty of health benefits. Massages can help increase circulation within the body, which is key for those who have arthritis or any similar conditions.

Massage also plays an integral role in sports therapy and recovery, and it can help disperse lactic acid build-up for serious or amateur athletes. Massage programs are offered online, and you can get registered upon completion.


A large part of holistic health is chiropractic work, which can help to align hips, reduce back pain and even reduce insomnia in patients. Many holistic health practitioner degree programs include specializations in chiropractic care, and you can also choose to include introductory courses in your syllabus.


There is no question that a person’s health is directly linked to the kind of food that they consume. Food is the key to better energy, an improved immune system, peak sports performance and the ideal weight. Food can also be the cause of obesity, heart disease and intestinal distress, especially if the patient has a food allergy or sensitivity.

Those with the right training and education can help patients get the most nutritional benefits from their diet as well as any necessary supplements.

Herbal Medicine

For centuries, herbs and plants have been a part of healthcare and the treatment of ailments. With the rise of pharmaceutical companies, however, more and more people turn to patented medicines rather than the original ingredients. By studying herbal medicine as part of the holistic health program online, you can find out which herbs and plants can help heal patients and preserve better health.

Thanks to accredited online colleges, you can become a holistic health practitioner from the comfort of home, and you will have the option of choosing one of the specializations listed above.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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