Physical Therapist Assistant, Associate of Applied Science

Program Overview

The program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant designed to facilitate the development of each student into a competent, entry-level physical therapist assistant. The program regards each student as an active participant bringing a variety of individual needs and attributes to the educational process. The program is committed to preparing the physical therapist assistant students to become lifelong learners and critical thinkers who will be prepared to contribute to the body of knowledge in physical therapy. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in the delivery of rehabilitative care.

Program Outcomes

  • Prepare graduates for entry-level practice as physical therapist assistants who will work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner.
  • Prepare graduates who are competent in the implementation of comprehensive treatment plans developed by the supervising physical therapist and prepare to effectively monitor and modify the plan of care within the knowledge and limits of practice and communicate with the supervising therapist in a timely manner regarding the patient's status .
  • Provide a learning environment that recognizes individual differences and promotes caring behaviors in the health care community.
  • Promote critical thinking skills to effectively address patient care problems and to adapt the rapidly changing challenges in healthcare and physical therapist assistant.
  • Provide graduates with strong educational foundations for lifelong personal and professional growth
  • Prepare graduates to take the national licensure exam.

For additional information about the program outcomes, please see the Student Consumer Information (link to: http://www.ecpi.edu/medical/program/physical-therapy-associate-degree/ ) which provides additional information on the future careers, success, cost, and financing for this program. For information on the University Completion and Graduation Rates, please see Information About the University on the ECPI website (link to: http://www.ecpi.edu/services/about-ecpi-university/ )

In 1.5 years, through our year-round schedule, you can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Health Science in Physical Therapist Assistant.

About Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTA’s help manage patients with back and neck injuries, sprains and strains, arthritis, burns, amputations, wounds, neurological conditions, surgical intervention, and injuries related to work or sports. PTAs help individuals of all ages who are ill, injured, or have a health condition that limits their ability to perform daily activities needed for life. Care provided by a PTA may include teaching patients exercises and activities to increase mobility, strength, and coordination. A PTA will also use physical modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound, traction, massage, or electrical stimulation to help decrease pain, increase motion, and improve function.

Physical Therapist Assistants must be licensed in the state that they wish to practice. This requires graduation from an accredited institution and passing of the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs. Some positions may require criminal background checks, drug screening, and/or security clearances. A completed physical exam, evidence of immunization and current CPR certification may also be required.

Students making the decision to enter into this program should be aware of the physical nature of both the profession and their course of study. Students must be able to perform essential functions in order to successfully complete the program and work in the profession at large. Essential functions are the activities /skills that are necessary to ensure that the students are able to provide safe, competent, and timely care to patients receiving physical therapy services. The following standards reflect reasonable expectations of the PTA student for the performance of common physical therapy activities. Students must be able to obtain information in the classroom laboratory and clinical setting through observation, auscultation, and palpation. Students must have sufficient motor capabilities, balance, strength, coordination, and stamina to execute the movements and skills to provide safe and effective physical therapy interventions. Students must possess the ability to comprehend, recall, and process large amounts of didactic information. Students must be able to think critically, reason, prioritize, organize, and attend to tasks and responsibilities in a timely manner when performing data collection skills and physical therapy interventions during patient care. Students must be able to utilize effective and efficient communications in the English language to interact with peers, healthcare providers, patients, and family members. Students must demonstrate the ability to practice in a professional and ethical manner. Students must exercise good judgment, develop empathetic and therapeutic relationships patients and others and tolerate close and direct physical contact and broad and diverse populations. Personal attributes must include compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, cultural competence, and motivation.

The most common related job title is Physical Therapist Assistant. Physical Therapist Assistants work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and extended care facilities, homes, schools, occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities.

Recommended Certifications

Physical Therapist Assistants must be licensed in the state they wish to practice. This requires graduation from an accredited program and passing of the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants. ECPI University provides vouchers allowing students to take certification exams at a greatly reduced cost.

Program Outline

To receive the Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant, the student must earn 73 semester credit hours. The program requires a minimum of 5 semesters or 18 months of instruction. The program requirements are as follows:

Program Requirements

Core Curriculum

50 Semester credit hours

PTA101Professional Issues for the Physical Therapist Assistant

2

PTA105Musculoskeletal

3

PTA111Introduction to Physical Therapy

2

PTA120Kinesiology for the Physical Therapist Assistant

3

PTA135Rehabilitation I Assessment

2

PTA136Rehabilitation II Therapeutic Modalities

3

PTA138Rehabilitation IV Devices

2

PTA139Rehabilitation III Therapeutic Exercise

3

PTA145Medical & Surgical Conditions I

2

PTA146Medical & Surgical Conditions II

2

PTA147Medical & Surgical Conditions III

2

PTA205Neurological Rehabilitation

2

PTA210Motor Development & Aging

2

PTA250Clinical Internship I

4

PTA251Clinical Internship II

4

PTA252Clinical Internship III

4

PTA253Clinical Internship IV

4

PTA270Physical Therapist Assistant Licensure Review

1

PTA280Dimensions of Physical Therapy

2

Arts and Sciences

20 semester credit hours

BIO111Anatomy & Physiology I w/Terminology

3

BIO111LAnatomy & Physiology I with Terminology LAB

1

BIO116Anatomy & Physiology II with Terminology

3

BIO116LAnatomy & Physiology II with Terminology LAB

1

ENG110English Composition

3

HUM205Culture and Diversity

3

MTH120College Mathematics

3

PSY105Introduction to Psychology

3

Self Integration and Computer Literacy

3 semester credit hours

COR191Career Orientation

1

CSA128Computer Applications I

2

This program consists of 1,800 contact hours.