Program: Physical Therapist Assistant Program Program Code: (PTA)
Program Faculty: Clynch, Miller, Nelson* (*program director)
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program prepares students to assist the physical therapist in patient-related intervention activities. Through a variety of learning experiences and ability-based learning and assessment, the student acquires an understanding of, and learns to perform the technical skills of hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, light therapy, massage, electrotherapy, therapeutic exercise, ambulation, goniometry, muscle testing and functional training. Cognitive knowledge, psychomotor skills and behaviors are promoted in an environment that encourages reflective thinking, problem solving, questioning, decision making and personal growth.
Students extend their knowledge and skill in the application of physical therapy techniques in the clinical setting. By participating in the clinical interventions, students develop the ability to relate to and work effectively with patients, physical therapy personnel and those in other allied-health professions.
Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion, demonstration, practice in the fully equipped physical therapy laboratory, simulated intervention situations in the classroom laboratory and experience in the clinical setting. Shared learning experiences also are planned with students enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and those enrolled in other healthcare disciplines at the College. Evaluation of student learning is based upon stated objectives that are shared with students at the beginning of each course. Evaluation methods include performance tests of techniques in the classroom laboratory during unit, midterm and final examinations. Written tests include both objective and essay items. Clinical performance is evaluated by clinical instructors using a competency-based rating system.
Experience in a physical therapy setting is valuable in providing students with a basic introduction to the physical therapy profession. Prior to beginning course work in the Physical Therapist Assistant program, students must arrange to spend at least eight hours in a physical therapy setting. This experience may be as a volunteer, as an observer (with prior permission from the department or clinic supervisor) or through work experience. In order to begin first-year PTA program courses, students must present documentation of this experience to the admissions office prior to September 1 of the academic year of enrollment. Forms for documenting experience in a physical therapy setting are included in admission materials; they also may be obtained from the admission office. While eight hours of experience in a physical therapy setting are required, additional experience in a variety of physical therapy clinic types is recommended.
Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Students must have a current certification, valid through June 1 of their first year in the program, in Level C for Healthcare Providers Course offered by the American Heart Association. By October 1 of each academic year of enrollment, the student must have sent or submitted proof of CPR certification to the program director. This can be a two-sided photocopy of the certification card. However, the copy must show that the certificate is for the course listed above and must include the expiration date, the student's name, the student's signature and the instructor's signature.
Graduates of the program may sit for the national licensure examination for physical therapist assistants. After successful completion of the exam the individual will be a licensed physical therapist assistant. Most states have some form of regulation in order to practice. Although Minnesota does not require licensure to practice, graduates are encouraged to sit for the examination.
LIMITATIONS RELATED TO LICENSURE AND PRACTICE
There may be conditions related to a person's past history for which a state licensing agency may deny licensure or may prevent practice in states where licensure is not required.
LENGTH OF PROGRAM
Offered in two academic years. The curriculum requires 66 semester credits for graduation. Failure to complete credits during the specified year may result in delayed graduation or the need to take a greater number of credits than is necessary. Students who successfully complete all program requirements will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.
Major Requirements: Program requirements:
PTA 101 Patient Handling Techniques
PTA 102 Physical Therapy Intervention Techniques I
PTA 105 Orientation to Physical Therapy/Role of the PTA
PTA 109 Gross Anatomy & Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System
PTA 111 Kinesiology Integration
PTA 114 Physical Therapy Intervention Techniques II
PTA 115 Musculoskeletal Function & Dysfunction
PTA 117 Topics and Techniques in Soft Tissue Therapies
PTA 131 Clinical Experience I
PTA 132 Clinical Orthopedics
PTA 135 Healthcare Delivery System
PTA 200 Physical Therapy Intervention Techniques III
PTA 201 Introductory Concepts in Pediatric Physical Therapy (optional)
PTA 202 Advanced Geriatric Physical Therapy for the PTA (optional)
PTA 210 Clinical Experience II
PTA 220 Clinical Experience III
PTA 225 Topics in Physical Therapy and Second Year Project
BIOL 200 Summer Science Immersion or BIOL 240 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 242 Human Disease
HIMP 102 Medical Terminology
PHIL 200 Ethical Problems in Healthcare
PSYC 100 General Psychology
PSYC 201 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 2027 Lifespan Development: Adolescence, Adulthood and Death
SSCS 100 Power and Social Change
Liberal arts and sciences and CIL requirements:
ECOL 200 Human Ecology
ENGL 110 Composition I
CIL 150 Transcultural Learning through Community Connections
ENGL literature elective