Physical Therapy Office Professional Program Outline

Four months of training online will open up crazy career options.

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This program sets you up to earn not one but two crucial certifications: physical therapy aide specialist (CPTAS) and electronic health record specialist (CEHRS). You’ll gain physical therapy equipment knowledge, office management skills, patient interaction best practices, and electronic healthcare record know-how, making you an ideal addition to any physical therapy or medical office team. If you’re ready to broaden your horizons, don’t snooze on signing up for the CareerStep Physical Therapy Office Professional program.

Program Timeline

With a commitment to full-time study, you can be ready to take the physical therapy receptionist certifying exams in just four months. Don’t have that much free time? Don’t worry—you can take up to 12 months.

Just 4 months of full-time study

Study Format

CareerStep training programs cater to you—no bending over backward to fit a fixed course schedule into your busy life. This fully online physical therapy aide and medical receptionist program is available 24/7, so jump in and complete the modules whenever (and wherever) works best for you.

Learn from home (or anywhere)

Study online (anytime)


This entire course is online, including the learning materials and interactive simulations. No books or supplies required, and we’ll send you a voucher to take the Certified Physical Therapy Aide Specialist (CPTAS) certification exam, a $175 value, as soon as you complete the course. (The CEHRS exam requires an additional fee.)


We’re always here to aid our aides-in-training. Our support teams are available to answer any questions you have, whether they’re about hardware requirements, course content, exams, or interview etiquette.

One-on-one support

Phone, live chat, and email

Physical Therapy Office Professional Program Modules

Our 381-hour curriculum is divided into 30 modules, which include simulations, demos, and exam prep.

Welcome to Physical Therapy Office Professional (1 Hour)

  • Identify the elements, expectations, and requirements of the program.
  • Navigate the program using the pages, menus, and buttons provided.
  • Use the program tools, including the study planner, grade book, and completion report.
  • Be able to contact CareerStep using communication tools, including phone, email, forums, chat rooms, and social media.
  • Identify and use program-specific resources.

Computer Fundamentals (7 Hours)

  • Identify basic computer hardware and interpret system requirements.
  • Navigate a Windows operating system environment as well as install and operate basic software utilities.
  • Use a web browser to navigate between websites in multiple tabs or windows, send and receive email, and access search engines to find information and troubleshoot basic computer problems.
  • Recognize basic technologies related to an office environment.

Microsoft Office Training Orientation (1 Hour)

  • Follow the lesson structure and download available study tools.
  • Navigate the Microsoft Office training modules using the buttons and icons provided.

Word 2019: Beginner (10 Hours)

  • Identify and use the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, tabs, scroll bars, cursor, ruler, and status bar.
  • Create, save, open, edit, navigate, print, share, and recover a document.
  • Edit and format text with options such as alignment, fonts, lists, spacing, tab stops, page format, layout, paragraph alignment and spacing, and copy formatting.
  • Employ the available search and review tools, including spell and grammar check, find and replace, copy, paste, and document view options.

Excel 2019: Beginner (12 Hours)

  • Use the Quick Access Toolbar, title bar, display options, formula bar, and worksheet tab.
  • Create, save, open, edit, navigate, and print a worksheet.
  • Create, edit, delete, and format cells with options such as cell alignment, applying cell styles, splitting cells, merging cells, row and column titles, row and column width, hide and unhide, and page setup and view options.
  • Edit cell data using options and tools such as cut, copy, paste, AutoFill, text tools, and cell references.
  • Create basic, logical, financial, and text formulas.

Outlook 2019: Beginner (12 Hours)

  • Navigate Outlook; delete, restore, and search for items; and use the view tab.
  • Use the mail tools to work with messages, including creating and sending email messages, using quick steps, managing junk mail and automatic messages, and organizing and sorting the inbox.
  • Manage contacts and calendars, including creating and organizing contacts and groups, creating and organizing appointments and events, sending and responding to meeting requests, and working with multiple calendars simultaneously.

Healthcare Structure and Organization (25 Hours)

  • Identify the involvement of everyone in the healthcare system, including consumers, providers, government and regulatory agencies, third-party payers, vendors, and trade associations. Recognize the basic differences between inpatient/outpatient/ancillary services, attending/consulting/referring physicians, and direct care/support services.
  • Identify and describe patient rights and responsibilities.
  • Identify the responsibilities of healthcare-related government agencies.
  • Identify third-party payers and appropriately use the associated terminology in a healthcare documentation context.

Grammar and Punctuation (10 Hours)

  • Identify and correctly use each of the parts of speech.
  • Recognize proper sentence structure and formatting.

Medical Word Building (15 Hours)

  • Identify common medical prefixes, roots, and suffixes.
  • Identify and properly combine word parts to create medical terms.

Mastering Medical Language (23 Hours)

  • Pluralize common medical words.
  • Define common medical slang, jargon, and foreign terms.
  • Distinguish between common similar medical words and word parts.
  • Recognize common medical abbreviations and their meanings.

Anatomy and Pathophysiology (35 Hours)

  • Identify and classify basic disease terms, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments.
  • Identify and describe the basic structure, organization, and functions of human body systems.
  • Identify, define, and accurately spell basic anatomical terms related to the basic structure and function of human body systems.

Working as a Physical Therapy Aide (3 Hours)

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of the physical therapy profession and describe the roles of rehabilitation team members in modern healthcare.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the physical therapy profession and different physical therapy environments. Demonstrate skills in searching for, applying to, and interviewing for positions as a physical therapy aide.

Patient Interaction (20 Hours)

  • Identify effective, appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication techniques in the physical therapy setting.
  • Delineate the difference between medical law and medical ethics, discuss the need to license medical personnel, understand the legal implications of a patient's medical record, and identify the ethical and legal issues affecting the field of physical therapy.
  • Describe the laws, acts, and regulations pertaining to health information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and adhere to privacy and security policies.

Documentation and Reimbursement (20 Hours)

  • Identify different components of a medical record, including types of information needed, and be able to demonstrate knowledge of proper healthcare documentation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the evolution of electronic health record technology, its impact on the healthcare industry, and its use in the medical field.
  • Demonstrate general knowledge of healthcare revenue as well as the ICD coding system and how it’s implemented in the United States.
  • Identify the steps of the claims cycle and demonstrate a basic understanding of the process for filing a claim.

Patient Preparation (20 Hours)

  • Provide a safe environment, prevent accidents, practice proper handwashing, explain the importance of proper alignment and body mechanics, and give verbal commands.
  • Prepare equipment and the environment for physical therapy treatments and position patients in the prone, supine, and side-lying positions.
  • Explain the aide’s role in turning and positioning patients, demonstrate types of sitting and standing transfers, and practice proper alignment and body mechanics.

Physical Therapy Modalities (25 Hours)

  • Demonstrate knowledge of normal and deviated gait patterns as well as appropriate methods and devices for training patients in ambulation.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of types of therapeutic exercises, principles of patient exercise programs, and the components of common therapeutic exercises.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of heating and cooling agents and therapeutic massage, competency in the administration of these therapy agents, and understanding of the indications and contraindications for use.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of specialized clinical procedures, competency in the administration of these therapeutic procedures, and understanding of the indications and contraindications for use.

Treating Common Medical Disorders (7 Hours)

  • Define the role of physical therapy in caring for patients with special medical conditions.
  • Discuss the role of the physical therapy aide in assisting with treatment of patients diagnosed with musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.
  • Understand the role of the physical therapy aide in assisting with treatment of patients diagnosed with cardiovascular and respiratory disorders
  • Identify the role of the physical therapy aide in assisting with the treatment of patients diagnosed with dermatological conditions and disorders of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.

Treating Physical Dysfunctions (3 Hours)

  • Discuss the role of the physical therapy aide in assisting patients with various physical dysfunctions, including burns and amputations and dermatological, genitourinary, eye, ear, nose, and throat disorders.
  • Discuss the role of the physical therapy aide in treating patients who have had joints replaced.
  • Discuss the role of the physical therapy aide in treating patients with sports injuries.

Physical Therapy Aide - Simulations (15 Hours)

  • Utilize interactive simulations and videos to enhance application of various physical therapy skills, including transferring patients, taping and wrapping, and applying TENS units.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of optional career paths related to physical medicine and an understanding of the history of these industries and the current professional outlook.
  • Have the option to view demonstrations of a number of orthopedic and sports massage techniques to enhance your knowledge of this physical therapy skill and to gain familiarity with the massage therapy career path.

Basic Life Support (8 Hours)

  • Recall the basic steps of CPR for adults, children, and infants.
  • Demonstrate the basic steps of CPR for adults, children, and infants.
  • Perform rescue breathing for adults, children, and infants.
  • Administer breaths using a bag-valve mask device and pocket face mask.
  • Perform CPR as a lone rescuer or as a part of a two-rescuer team.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate procedure and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Electronic Health Records Career and Certification (1 Hour)

  • Identify the most common EHR features and standards.
  • Describe the EHR systems available to healthcare providers.
  • Understand Computerized Provider CPOE, patient engagement, population health management, and reimbursement in relation to EHRs.
  • Understand requirements for exchanging and protecting electronic patient health information.

HIPAA (5 Hours)

  • Understand and learn to comply with HIPAA regulations.
  • Learn to apply national and state laws to create and maintain facility policies.
  • Define HIPAA regulations and identify all covered entities and their responsibilities.

Medical Records Management (60 Hours)

  • Maintain electronic health record software and databases.
  • Learn to add and edit data, run reports, and manage templates in the electronic health record software.
  • Use EHR software to integrate with other devices and share patient data securely.

Office Procedures (13 Hours)

  • Identify effective purchasing and collections procedures related to office supplies and client billing.
  • Efficiently use your time to plan and prioritize schedules, meetings, events, and travel arrangements.
  • Demonstrate methods for preventing physical security breaches in an office.

Business Writing (16 Hours)

  • Identify appropriate methods of communication for a variety of situations.
  • Apply all steps of the writing process to create professional documents, including pre-writing, organizing, writing, and editing.
  • Create professional and accurate letters, memos, and emails; identify the qualities of professional communication, modern communication trends, etiquette, and professional document formatting.
  • Identify and use program-specific resources.

Professional Soft Skills (10 Hours)

  • Sharpen written communication skills in a business context.
  • Apply problem solving steps and tools.
  • Analyze information to clearly describe problems.
  • Identify appropriate solutions.
  • Think creatively and be a contributing member of a problem-solving team.
  • Select the best approach for making decisions.
  • Create a plan for implementing, evaluating, and following up on decisions.
  • Avoid common decision-making mistakes.
  • Understand the value of meetings as a management tool.
  • Recognize the critical planning step that makes meeting time more effective.
  • Identify process tools that can help create an open and safe forum for discussion.
  • Develop and practice techniques for handling counterproductive behaviors.
  • Understand what conflict is and how it can escalate.
  • Understand the types of conflict and the stages of conflict.
  • Recognize the five most common conflict resolution styles and when to use them.
  • Increase positive information flow through nonverbal and verbal communication skills.
  • Develop effective techniques for intervention strategies.
  • Manage conflicts to enhance productivity and performance.

Final Exam Preparation (1 Hour)

  • Identify the steps needed to take to be eligible for and effectively prepare for and access the final exam.
  • Identify the format, restriction, and policies of final exams, including scoring, retakes, allowed resources, and time limits.

Physical Therapy Office Professional Certifications

Once you complete the physical therapy office professional course, you’ll be set to take the CPTAS and CEHRS national exams and earn the respective certifications, qualifying you for countless front-desk and PT roles.

Certified Physical Therapy Aide Specialist (CPTAS)

Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)