The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to educate and prepare students to work under the supervision of a physical therapist to provide therapeutic treatments to patients who have lost functional ability because of illness or injury. The program prepares students to sit for a state licensing exam and graduates must pass this exam in order to work as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
Upon successful completion of the PTA program, graduates will be able to do the following:
- Implement a plan of care established by the physical therapist using appropriate technology.
- Perform data collection through tests, measurements and observations and interpret results in compliance with the PTA role.
- Communicate verbally and in writing with patients, clients, health care delivery personnel and peers in an effective, appropriate, and capable manner.
- Demonstrate professional behavior that meets legal, ethical, responsible, and safe standards with respect for individuals and cultures.
- Demonstrate the cognitive knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary to work as a physical therapist assistant.
- obtain information during class time and outside of class from lecture, text, computer-based, and video formats.
- obtain information from the medical record.
- produce written responses to assignments.
- compose progress notes for the medical record.
- complete in-class small group assignments.
- receive and transmit information to the instructors, classmates, supervising physical therapists, and patients.
- perform physical therapy techniques in high (standing), medium (sitting), and low (squatting, stooping) body positions.
- operate equipment with knobs, switches, touch pads, and touch screens.
- lift and position classmates, patients, and equipment.
- assist and guard classmates and patients while they practice standing, walking, and moving into and out of wheelchairs.
- assist classmates and patients while they perform therapeutic exercises.
- perform physical therapy techniques and move about the clinical facility for up to 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week.
- assess the patient’s verbal and nonverbal response to treatment.
- complete multi-step work assignments.
- Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
- Be flexible to adapt to professional and technical change.
- Follow attendance guidelines appropriate for an entry level healthcare provider.
- Abide by the ethical and value based behavior defined by the Physical Therapy Profession.
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Employment Rate: Of the students who have graduated, passed their boards, and sought employment in the past 5 years, 100% were employed as a physical therapist assistant within 6 months of graduation.
Career opportunities for licensed PTAs can be found in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, offices of physical therapists in private practice, and in home health care.
According to the US Department of Labor, employment of PTAs is expected to grow much faster than average for the next several years, and the average annual salary is over $40,000.
Many PTA graduates continue their education in a baccalaureate field such as Allied Health Administration or Exercise Science. PTAs who wish to become physical therapists must first earn a Bachelor’s degree in a field that satisfies the pre-requisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program they wish to attend.
Admission to the PTA program is competitive. A numerical score sheet is used to select 20 students for each class. Points are assigned for GPA, ACT scores, grades in algebra, physics, and certain other college courses. The students with the highest scores are chosen. To be considered for admission, applicants must:
- Complete a Pierpont Community & Technical College application.
- Have at least a 2.0 grade point average.
- Have a score of 18 or higher on the English portion of the ACT; OR a C or better in English 1104.
- Have grades of C or better in physics and algebra taken in high school or college. If Algebra I and physics were not completed successfully in high school, potential applicants should take Math 1207 and PHY 1004, Physics in Health Careers.
- Complete a total of 10 volunteer/observation hours divided between at least 2 physical therapy practice settings.
- Complete and submit a separate PTA program application, official high school and college transcripts, official ACT or SAT scores, and 2 volunteer/observation forms to the Director of Admissions by January 31 for the next entering class.
Students must have a “C” or better in every course that is part of the curriculum and at least a 75% test average in PTA courses to continue in the program.
The Pierpont Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Pierpont Community and Technical College is accredited by:
If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 304-367-4043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program graduates must pass a state licensing exam (fee not included in tuition) in order to be employed as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
Program Prerequisite Courses:
Students must have grades of C or better in physics and algebra taken in either high school or college. If Algebra I and physics were not completed successfully in high school, potential applicants should take
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*ENGL 1109 may be substituted for ENGL 1108.
If needed, a paper version of the application is available by request. To request a paper application please call or email Student Services at 304-333-3684 or StudentServices@pierpont.edu