Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Admission Information Packet
“Suffolk County Community College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educator. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, religion, sex, age, disability, or veteran or marital status.”
Table of Contents
Program Contact Information 1
Program Description And Curriculum Layout 2
Curriculum Plan 3
Fitting Your Life into our Program Requires…. 4
Class Schedule 5
Admission Requirements 9
What Is Physical Therapy? 10
What Qualities Are Important For Success In This Program? 10 What Is The Difference Between A Physical Therapist And A Physical Therapist Assistant? 11
When Do New Classes Begin? 11
Can I Complete This Program As A Part-Time Student? 11 Can I Complete This Program In Less Than 5 Semesters? 12 Can I Complete This Program As An Evening Student? 12 Can I Complete This Program On Any Other Campus? 12
Can I Work While Completing The Program? 12
How Is The Job Market And What Are My Potential Earnings? 12 Can My PTA Degree Transfer To A PT School After I Graduate? 13
How Do I Start The Admissions Process? `13
What Are The Requirements To Enter The Program? 14
Is There A Wait List? 14
Is There Any Requirements Specific To The PTA Program Once Admitted? 14
What Is The PTA Program’s Graduation Rates? 16
What Is The NPTE And How Does Suffolk’s PTA Program Graduates Perform On It? 16 What Do Past Students Have To Say About The Program? 16
Program Vision, Philosophy, Mission And Values 17
Program Student Learning Outcomes 18
Thank you for your interest in the Physical Therapist
This information packet has been prepared by the program to
address some frequently asked questions and provide information
you may wish to consider before applying to the program.
Please contact the program coordinator or admission counselor
with any questions.
Patricia Cella Admission counselor for the PTA program (631)451-4322
Professor Cheryl Gillespie Program Coordinator (631) 451-4017
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND CURRICULUM LAYOUT
The five semester* Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program prepares the graduate to work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist (PT). The PTA assists the PT in providing physical therapy services to individuals with changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease or other causes, and/or providing prevention services to promote health, wellness and fitness. Tasks performed by the PTA include instruction in therapeutic exercise and functional training, utilization of specialized equipment and physical agents, communication with the PT regarding the response of individuals to interventions, documentation of treatment sessions and interaction with other health care providers, patients and their families. Clinical experience in a variety of settings allows the student to explore various specialties.
The curriculum is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and leads to the Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS). Completion of the five semester program and the passage of the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) are required for certification and employment as a PTA in New York State. A misdemeanor or felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NPTE and become certified in New York State as a PTA. Applicants with questions should contact the Office of Professions/State Boards of Physical Therapy at http://www.op.nysed.gov/ for direction.
Graduates have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private physical therapy offices, rehabilitation facilities, schools, and skilled nursing facilities. Salaries compare favorably with other professions with similar academic preparation and may vary depending upon the type of facility and geographic location.
Applicants for this degree should have a desire to work with people, demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills and have a strong aptitude in science.
No transfer credits will be accepted for PTA designated courses. The PTA program is a terminal program and is not designed as a transfer program to an upper division Physical Therapy Program.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO STUDENTS APPLYING WITH PREVIOUS COLLEGE HISTORY:
The five semester curriculum layout is only applicable to students coming directly from high school. Students with college history would only be following the curriculum for four semesters (2nd through 5th semesters).
Student with college history: It is strongly recommended that semester one be used to complete general education courses required by the program (i.e. PED130, BIO232, PSY210, MAT103) to lighten further semester workloads.
3 FIRST SEMESTER 15.5 Credits
Lec. Lab Clinic Cr
COL101 Freshman Seminar 1.5 - - 1.5
▲ENG101 Standard Freshman Composition 3 - - 3
▲BIO130 Anatomy and Physiology I 3 3 - 4
▲PSY101 Introduction to Psychology 3 - - 3 PED130 Lifetime Fitness - 2 - 1
▲*Humanities Elective 3 - - 3 CURRICULUM PLAN
TECHNICAL SEMESTERS SECOND SEMESTER: 14 credits
Lec. Lab Clinic Cr
●BIO132 Anatomy and
Physiology II 3 3 - 4
Psychology 3 - - 3 PTA101 Normal Movement
and Development 3 - - 3 PTA103 Interventions I - 3 - 1 PTA105 Introduction to
Physical Therapy 2 - - 2 PTA107 Interventions II - 3 - 1 THIRD SEMESTER: 17 credits
●BIO246 Anatomy and Physiology of Human Movement
3 3 - 4 PTA150 Clinical Practicum I - 3 - 1 PTA151 Kinesiology 3 3 - 4
PTA153 Acute Care Physical
Therapy 2 - 2
PTA155 Interventions III 2 3 - 3 MAT103 Statistics I 3 - - 3 All technical (PTA) courses must be taken in the semester scheduled
●Course must be completed no later than the end of the semester in which it is scheduled * Humanities elective must be selected from COM102, or COM107
**Physical Education elective must be selected from PED113, PED 126, PED144, or PED147
Full online course
Course has an evening component or must be taken in the evening
FOURTH SEMESTER 12 credits
Lec. Lab Clinic Cr
PTA200 Clinical Practicum II 1 - 10 3 PTA221 Musculoskeletal Physical
Therapy 2 2 - 3
PTA223 Neuromuscular Physical
Therapy 2 2 - 3
PTA225 Cardiovascular/Pulmonary and Integumentary Physical Therapy
2 - 1 PTA227 Interventions IV - 2 - 1 **Physical Education - 2 - 1 FIFTH SEMESTER 12 credits
PTA250 Clinical Practicum III 1 - 30 8 PTA251 Data Collection 1 - - 1 English Elective 3 - - 3 TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED: 70.5
REQUIRED CREDIT DISTRIBUTION
Humanities, including English ... 9 credits Social Sciences ... 6 credits Science and Mathematics ... 15 credits Physical Therapist Assistant ... 37 credits Physical Education ... 2 credits Freshman Seminar ... 1.5 credits
This first semester
is for students
directly out of high
Fitting your Life into our Program requires………..
PTA class days and times
PTA classes meet 4 days a
Clinical classes are an 8 hour
For 4 weeks in 4th
For 12 weeks in 5th
Rule of thumb is 2 hours
of study for each hour
For labs, we recommend
2 hours of practice for
each week in lab
School bus schedules
may conflict with class
starting and finishing
Sick days, snow days,
vacation days may be
out of synch with
Time for their homework
The following several pages demonstrate the schedule of our technical and clinical courses. You would be following this schedule.
Choose ONLY ONE lab section in each course PTA103 and PTA107
PTA103 Interventions I
PTA107: Interventions II
PTA 103: Interventions I
PTA105 Intro to PT
PTA 107: Interventions II
Choose ONLY ONE clinical practicum of PTA150 and ONLY ONE lab section of each of the courses PTA151, PTA155, and
PTA 150 Clinical
PTA 150 Clinical
PTA 150 Clinical
PTA 150 Clinical
PTA 150 Clinical
LAB 1 12:00-3:00
PTA153 Acute Care Physical Therapy ONLINE
Choose ONLY ONE lab section for PTA227; this semester is modulated. PTA221, 223, 225, and 227 will finish IN 10 WEEKS
and then PTA200 will begin FOR 5 WEEKS
PTA227 Interventions IV
PTA221 MSK PT
PTA223 NM PT
PTA221 MSK PT
PTA223 NM PT
PTA225 CPI PT
PTA227 Interventions IV
(last 4 weeks) (OFFSITE)
PTA 200 CLINICAL PRACTICUM: 4 WEEKS FULL TIME
Practicum II Seminar
PTA251 runs for 3 week , then PTA250 starts
PTA251 Data Collection
MINIMAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION CONSIDERATION* Direct from high school Continuing Student (College course history) • High school diploma
• 85 academic average unweighted
• High School mathematics sequence through Alg2/Trig
• 85 (regents exam and course average) in Biology, Chemistry and Math or equivalent • ACT score of 21 Reading and 22 Math or SAT
score of 500 in Critical Reading and 510 in Math
• C+ or higher BIO130*
• Minimum GPA 2.5 in BIO130, ENG101, PSY101, and COM (102 or 107)
*Anatomy and physiology course work may not be older than 10 years. Prerequisites of high school chemistry and algebra or their equivalents are required for BIO130. CHE100 is recommended for those without high school chemistry and MAT006 or MAT007 is recommended for those without Algebra.
The grade for BIO 130 and the GPA are
heavily weighted items in the candidate
The Continuing student must have ALL the pre-admission
courses completed in order to apply by the June 1st
exceptions are made.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IS PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Physical therapy is a dynamic profession within the health care field with the
responsibility to preserve, develop and/or restore maximum physical potential in people who are injured or at risk for injury. Treatment interventions may include procedures to prevent injury, promote wellness, restore lost function, or teach new compensatory mechanisms when there is permanent motor loss.
There is opportunity for work specialization on a variety levels.
Populations: The Lifespan: Child through Seniors.
Pathology: Physical therapy intervenes with disorders of the
musculoskeletal (bones and muscles), neuromuscular (nervous system), cardiovascular/pulmonary (heart and lungs), and integumentary (skin) systems
Health Care Delivery Settings: Acute, subacute and long term care facilities
inpatient: hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers
outpatient: private offices, hospitals, clinics
community: home care, schools, industrial setting
A three-tiered personnel system exists in most physical therapy departments.
Physical Therapist (PT)
Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Physical Therapy Aide
New York State Law: Physical therapy services may only be delivered by the PT or PTA under the direct supervision of a PT. Physical therapy aides perform non-treatment related duties only.
2. WHAT QUALITIES ARE IMPORTANT FOR SUCCESS IN THIS PROGRAM?
Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential. You should also have a good aptitude in science. The PTA program is rigorous with challenging course work. Good study habits and time management skills are important. You need to be
committed to two years of hard work where personal life takes a back seat to the goal of a career.
113. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PHYSICAL THERAPIST AND A
PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT?
PHYSICAL THERAPIST (PT)
PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT (PTA)
responsibilities: examine, evaluate, establish physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis, goals, and treatment plan, and deliver all components of a treatment program
o graduate from an accredited program
o pass national licensing exam
education: varies from school to school; most common formats are:
o bachelors degree + three years of PT school
o three years of pre-requisites + three years of PT school
degree: entry level Masters or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree
NY State licensure
responsibilities: work under the supervision and direction of the physical therapist delivering selected components of the treatment program
o graduate from an accredited program
o pass national licensing exam
education: pre-requisite semester+ 2 years
degree: AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree
NY State licensure
4. WHEN DO NEW CLASSES BEGIN?
Twenty-six (26) students are accepted each June. The technical Physical Therapy classes begin in January. There is only one admission cycle per year.
5. CAN I COMPLETE THIS PROGRAM AS A PART-TIME STUDENT?
Yes. Depending on what courses you may have completed prior to applying to the program, it is possible to remain part-time (<12 credits) for this program. The Program’s 71.5 credits are a combination of general education and physical therapy courses. Some students enter the program with many of the general education (liberal arts and sciences) requirements completed leaving only the required PTA courses. These students can complete the program part-time. Recent high school graduates and continuing students with college coursework who enter the program without any of the program’s pre-requisites completed will most likely have to be full time. Students have an option of completing some general education courses (liberal arts and sciences) over the intersession and summer sessions but all general education courses must be
completed by the end of the semester in which they are scheduled.
12Special Note: Semesters 4 and 5 require participation in clinical internships that are scheduled all day. Courses, other than PTA courses, must be scheduled in the evening or on weekends. There are also two PTA courses (PTA200 and 250) which have an evening component to them for seminar meetings.
6. CAN I COMPLETE THIS PROGRAM IN LESS THAN 5 SEMESTERS?
Yes and No. Students who have been accepted into the program and have completed all the pre-requisite courses may not have to take semester 1 (Fall semester). These students will only have to take the four semesters of technical courses which begin semester 2 (January).
Special Note: Students who have completed all pre-requisite courses may use semester 1 (fall semester) to complete other general education courses required in the curriculum.
7. CAN I COMPLETE THIS PROGRAM AS AN EVENING STUDENT?
No. The PTA program is primarily a day program. There is one PTA course that is offered online semester 3 and two PTA courses, one in semester 4 and one in semester 5 that has a scheduled evening component. The clinical internships are scheduled in the day. All general education courses (liberal arts and sciences) can be taken in the
8. CAN I COMPLETE THIS PROGRAM ON ANY OTHER CAMPUS?
No. PTA designated courses are only scheduled on the Ammerman campus. General education (liberal arts and sciences) courses can be taken on any of the three campuses or transferred from another College.
9.CAN I WORK WHILE COMPLETING THE PROGRAM?
Yes. Many students work as they complete the PTA program, but strong consideration must be given to the amount of time available for course assignments and studying. Jobs must offer flexible hours as course schedules change each semester. There are also full-time clinical experiences scheduled in semesters 4 and 5 which preclude working during day hours.
10. HOW IS THE JOB MARKET AND WHAT ARE MY POTENTIAL EARNINGS?
There is good potential for employment. All employment statistics including the US Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics predict continued growth in the job market for the Physical Therapist Assistant... An article in Newsday in February 2009 stated: “health care is considered one of the recession-proof job sectors of the
Full- time and part-time positions are available. PTAs generally start at roughly at 2/3s of a PT salary. Data posted in the 2009 Newsday article reported the starting salary of a
13PTA on Long Island as $39, 960 with an experience salary of $54,360. Program data collected in 2009 demonstrated salaries for part-time positions ranged from $17-27.00 for the new graduate. Time Magazine May 2012 cited Physical Therapist Assistant as a career likely to grow 46% in demand from 2012-2020. The median 2010 annual wage was given to be $49,700. 100% of graduates on returned 6 month survey returns report employment
11. CAN MY PTA DEGREE TRANSFER TO A PT SCHOOL AFTER I GRADUATE?
No. The general education courses (liberal arts and sciences) are the only potential transferable courses. Although PT and PTA courses cover similar material, especially in the area of treatment interventions, there is a difference in the depth and breadth of coverage. The PT courses encompass the material of PTA courses plus the elements of total patient management including examination/evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and the development of goals and a treatment plan.
Should your goal be a PT degree, it is recommended that you matriculate in a Liberal Arts and Sciences program in order to complete the pre-requisite requirements for PT school. Since each PT program has different admission requirements, it is important that you contact the school you are interested in attending for a listing of their
A list of all PT and PTA educational programs can be found at
.Just follow the links to the education programs.
Most of the PTA program credits transfer towards the Massage Therapist degree program at the New School in Syosset. A number of graduates have pursued this licensure after graduation to have as a second license in conjunction with their PTA license.
12. HOW DO I START THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS?
FILE AN APPLICATION: File an application with Admissions stating your program choice.
New Students to the College: file a paper or on-line application
Continuing Students Attending: file a change in emphasis form
Program Admission Contact Patricia Cella in the Admissions office on Ammerman campus. She is the admission counselor for this program. Make an appointment to discuss your educational history and file an application.
Program Coordinator Cheryl Gillespie if you have any questions regarding the program or the field of Physical Therapy.
14All questions regarding admission to the program, transcripts, course substitutions, and application process should go through the
Ammerman Admission department
Please check the Program’s website for informational seminars run by the Admission department.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER THE PROGRAM?
The program admits a class of 26 students. There are five semesters of course work which includes all required prerequisites, general education, liberal arts and sciences, technical and clinical courses. Application deadline is June 1st. The PTA program is competitive and meeting minimum requirements does not assure acceptance into the program. Please refer to the admission criteria on page 4.
Preference is given to applications filed by June 1st.
Suffolk County residents are given preference (please refer to the College
Catalog, for further information on eligibility).
Students accepted to the program and enrolled in semester 1 must achieve a
minimum passing grade of C+ in BIO130, a minimum 2.5 GPA in the four program prerequisites (BIO130, ENG101, PSY101, and the restricted COM elective). Any student accepted to the Program direct from high school who does not meet these requirements upon completion of semester 1 will not be able to proceed to the technical phase of the program in semester 2.
13. IS THERE A WAIT LIST?
Yes. Not all students accepted into the Program decide to attend and not all students accepted to the program may achieve the requirements to pass into semester 2. There are seats in the technical phase of the program (semester 2) for 26 students. Any empty seats will be filled with students on the wait list and students can be accepted up until the first day of classes in January. Any student who is not accepted in a given year may re-apply the following year.
14. IS THERE ANY REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIC TO THE PTA PROGRAM ONCE ADMITTED?
Yes. There are a number of requirements specific to the PTA program and several expenses that are in addition to the College cited expenses found in the College Catalog.
15Requirements to begin Program
Incoming students must meet the health requirements of the College. (Refer to College Catalog)
Requirements while Attending the Program
Students must achieve a minimum passing grade of C+ in BIO130, a minimum 2.5 GPA in the four program prerequisites (BIO130, ENG101, PSY101, and the restricted COM elective) in order to progress to the technical phase of the program semester 2.
Students will be required to meet the health requirements of the Physical
Therapist Assistant program which include in addition to College requirements of proof of immunization, a physical examination and PPD. Two physical
examinations and PPDs will be required during attendance of the program:
o End of Semester 2 prior to beginning PTA150: Clinical Practicum I. o End of Semester 4 prior to beginning PTA250: Clinical Practicum III
Students must provide proof of certification in adult CPR, which includes training on an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), through the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or a College-credit CPR course. This certification is required for semester 3 (prior to the start of PTA150 Clinical Practicum I) and must be maintained over the rest of the program.
Special Note: Students who do not meet these last two requirements will not be permitted to participate in the clinical portion of the program.
Students must achieve a C in all PTA classroom and laboratory courses and a C+ in all clinical coursework in order to continue in the program sequence.
Any non-PTA-designated course scheduled semester 4 and semester 5 must be taken in the evening or on weekends in order to accommodate the scheduling of clinical experiences.
Two PTA courses in semester 4 and semester 5 have an evening component.
Three off-campus fieldtrips are scheduled to local facilities outside of class time during the course of the Program. Students are responsible for their own transportation.
Clinical courses require students to travel to a wide variety of physical therapy facilities in Suffolk County and students are responsible for their own
transportation. Students work the hours of the clinical facility. Work schedules may have to be adjusted accordingly and it is not possible to schedule any day classes other than PTA courses during semester 4 and 5. A liability insurance fee is incorporated into the cost of all clinical courses
A criminal background check is required prior to starting PTA 150. The fee is currently $37.95.
Drug testing/fingerprinting may be required by some clinical facilities. Students are responsible for the cost of these services.
Students shall maintain student membership in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) during semesters 4 and 5. The fee is currently $85.00 a year
Students are required to complete 16 hours of community service and participate in 8 hours of professional activity while in the Program.
Students must pass a computerized exit examination during semester 5 and to graduate. Proof of score must be submitted. Fee is currently $95.
15. WHAT IS THE PTA PROGRAM’S GRADUATION RATES?
• Class 2014: 69.23 • Class 2013: 60.71 • Class 2012: 62.06
16. WHAT IS THE NPTE AND HOW DOES SUFFOLK’S PTA PROGRAM GRADUATES PERFORM ON IT?
New York State requires the passage of the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to work in this state as a PTA. It is a 250 question multiple choice computerized examination. Student are required to take and pass the practice version in semester 4
NPTE PASS RATES:
2014: 93.75% 2013: 100% 2012: 94.12%
17. WHAT DO PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAM?
Hear what our 2014 Graduates had to say:
“Are there any comments you would like to share?
Although the PTA program is intense at times, I fell well prepared to start my career because of the knowledge and support given to me by the Professors & classmates.
I wasn't to thank the Professors on a job well done teaching & helping us get through the program.
I will miss the PTA program staff!! I'm going to miss you guys!
17Incredible program with incredible professors! This program/education is unmatched to any other school. The standard is set very high for SCCC PTA Students
Love the dedication of the professors.
The succeeding pages provide an overview of the PTA program’s vision, philosophy, mission, values, learning outcomes, and required essential functions necessary to perform physical therapy functions.
PROGRAM VISION, PHILOSOPHY, MISSION AND VALUES VISION
Suffolk County Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program is recognized as a program of excellence by potential applicants, the physical therapy community and the consumer of physical therapy services in Suffolk County. Graduates will be actively recruited by physical therapy clinics for their reputation of professionalism and
excellence in care.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program has a duty to three distinct communities: the students, the physical therapy field, and the residents of Suffolk County. The
commitment to all three is to prepare graduates to be skilled, competent, ethical, self-assured, adaptable, continuous learners who will seek best practice and effortlessly assume a multifaceted role of clinician, patient educator and advocate. The means to this end is a broad-based high quality education integrating foundational knowledge, evidence, problem solving, technical skill and practical experience in an enriched learning environment that stimulates cognitive, affective and psychomotor processes and promotes the beliefs that learning is continuous, patients are people, and physical therapy is a career, not a job.
The mission of the physical therapist assistant program is to provide students the
opportunity to explore their potential for continuous growth and intellectual development; to connect and become part of the physical therapy community; and to improve society through service, delivery of best practice, and responsiveness to changes in health care and culture.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is responsible to students to prepare them in two years to be competent entry-level generalists with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the role of an entry-level physical therapist assistant under the direct supervision of a physical therapist; to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination for the Physical Therapist Assistant; and to obtain employment upon graduation.
The Physical Therapist Assistant program is committed to the physical therapy community in Suffolk County to graduate sufficient numbers of physical therapist assistants to meet their employment needs; to support continuous learning in physical therapy; and to stand as a resource for professional, legal, and ethical queries about the practice of physical therapy and the scope of work of the physical therapist assistant.
18The Physical Therapist Assistant program is accountable to the community served by Suffolk County Community College to offer a quality program that provides an avenue to employment in two years and to promote quality in health care delivery by graduating qualified physical therapist assistants who will strive for excellence in practice by being lifelong learners and connoisseurs of best evidence in practice.
Professional, legal, and ethical behavior
Program faculty will at all times promote and model the professional core values and standards of the American Physical Therapy Association and the legal and ethical standards of New York State law.
Tolerance, civility and respect for the rights and diversity of all individuals
Program faculty will create and maintain a classroom atmosphere that fosters mutual respect and understanding.
Lifelong self-improvement and professional development
Program faculty will promote and engage in continuous professional development, and strive to instill in students, a lifelong desire to grow and expand their potential.
PROGRAM STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
The Graduate will:
Demonstrate the knowledge base required of an entry-level physical therapist
assistant as defined by Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
Demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and legal, ethical, interpersonal
behaviors expected of the entry-level physical therapist assistant by the
institution of employment, profession and society.
Explain the responsibilities of the physical therapist assistant in patient care
delivery following a review of the physical therapist’s plan of care.
Perform selected physical therapy interventions, under the direction and
supervision of a physical therapist, to patients across the lifespan in a manner
that is safe, competent, and at the expected entry-level of a physical therapist
Perform data collection safely, competently, and under the direction and
Perform education of patients and caregivers that is intelligible,
comprehensive, and accurate.
Perform documentation of a patient treatment session that is intelligible,
comprehensive, accurate, timely, and consistent with institutional, legal, and
Determine the clinical application of reviewed literature relating to the field of
The Program has a responsibility to health care consumers and employers to assure graduation of competent, effective, and safe individuals to work as Physical Therapist Assistants under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Graduates are expected to be able to perform specific expected physical therapy functions and pass a written licensing examination in order to fulfill the role and responsibilities of a PTA in any physical therapy setting. The PTA program maintains that minimal technical
standards must be present in order for the student to meet those criteria. Students must
possess certain physical, observational, behavioral, communication, and critical thinking abilities to meet the full requirements of the program’s curriculum and graduate. The following essential functions reflect the expectations of the PTA student for reasonable performance of physical therapy activities in the program. Any student disclosing a properly certified disability will receive reasonable accommodation but must be able to achieve the minimal technical standards of the program to graduate. Available
accommodations may include but are not limited to: group counseling, peer counseling, referral to community services, faculty advisement, architectural accommodations, and testing accommodations including readers, extensions in time and private testing areas.e.
MOTOR SKILLS: Sufficient motor capabilities to execute the movements required to provide safe and effective physical therapy interventions.
1. Sufficient coordination, balance, speed, agility and strength to assist and safely guard people who are walking, exercising or performing other activities.
2. Adjust/ position people and manipulate equipment which may involve bending, stooping freely to floor level and reaching above the head.
3. Move, transfer and position people which may involve lifting and pulling.
SENSORY AND OBSERVATIONAL SKILLS: Ability to observe and respond to changes in patient status in laboratory and clinical situations by obtaining information through observation, auscultation, and palpation.
1. Visual ability: to observe facial expressions, body language, movement
patterns, skin status, skin reactions to physical agents, read and set parameters on physical therapy equipment.
2. Auditory ability: to respond to patient’s voice, equipment alarms and timers, and effectively use devices for measurement of blood pressure.
203. Tactile ability: to palpate pulse, detect skin changes in texture, temperature and
contour, palpate for changes in muscle tension and joint movement.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Effective and efficient communication to execute physical therapy interventions and interact with patients, families, health care personnel.
1. Read, write, speak and comprehend the English language at a competency level to assure safe execution of a procedure or assignment based on review of pertinent documents or an equipment operation manual.
2. Correctly and effectively express information regarding the response of a patient to an intervention as well as instruction of the activity.
3. Participate in department and team meetings.
BEHAVIORAL SKILLS: Tolerate close physical contact, behave in an expected manner in the clinical arena and develop therapeutic relationships.
1. Act professionally, ethically and in an expected manner in the classroom and clinical setting.
2. Attend to assigned tasks.
3. Demonstrate organizational skills necessary to meet deadlines and exhibit time management.
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS: Exercise good judgment, interpret and synthesize information to perform in a safe, appropriate and expected manner.
1. Prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information and make judgments. 2. Collect and analyze data to respond appropriately in patient care.
3. Apply knowledge for appropriate clinical reasoning regarding delivery of physical therapy interventions.