NCC NEASC Self-Study Report

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Physical Therapist Assistant

Course Descriptions

PTA 120 Introduction to Physical Therapy (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the PTA program

This course is designed to be an introduction to the Physical Therapist Assistant program. The student will learn the paraprofessional duties of being part of a healthcare team in a clinical setting as well as recognizing the professional relationship that they will have with the Physical Therapist. Patient management, communication, conduct, medical terminology, documentation, ethics, and laws, as well as related organizations and their history will be discussed.


PTA 125 Physical Therapy for Function (4 Credits)

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the PTA program

This course will provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary for patient education in the use of assistive and/or adaptive, protective, supportive, prosthetic and orthotic devices.  Concepts of gait, balance, and developmental activity therapy will also be discussed.  Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week.


PTA 235 Kinesiology for Rehabilitation (4 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 120 & PTA 125

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of human movement, anatomy, and biomechanics, and their application to physical therapy.  Students will explore the anatomical structure of each muscle/joint of the body as well as positioning variables, range of motion, applied forces, and joint kinematics.  Students will learn to assess, measure, and analyze posture, gait, range of motion, and biomechanics.  Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week. 


PTA 253 Pathophysiology for Rehabilitation (3 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 120 & PTA 125

This class is designed to address the structural and functional changes in tissues and organs of the body in a variety of conditions and diseases throughout the human life span. The student will come to understand the effects of rehabilitation on many special populations including those with neurological and orthopedic conditions.


PTA 230 Physical Agents in Physical Therapy (4 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 235 & PTA 253

This course is designed to provide the knowledge needed by Physical Therapist Assistants to safely administer physical and mechanical agents to their patient population.  Through case studies and problem-oriented management, the student will learn to administer modalities, as well as understand indications and contraindications for each agent.  Heat, cold, water, electrical, and mechanical forces will be discussed in detail.  Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week.


PTA 250 Therapeutic Exercise (5 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 235, PTA 253 & PTA 259

This course is designed to provide the student with the fundamentals and theory of safe and effective therapeutic exercise with patients.  Students will also become proficient in measuring physiological and anatomical parameters.  This includes but is not limited to manual muscle testing, aerobic capacity, and range of motion.  Three hours of lecture, six hours of lab per week.


PTA 258 PTA in the Healthcare Arena (2 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 230, PTA 250 and PTA 261

This course will provide the Physical Therapist Assistant student with the necessary knowledge for understanding the healthcare processes of the clinical setting. Research based decision making will also be covered. Other topics such as licensure, continuing education, data collection, and problem-oriented management will be discussed.


PTA 259 Clinical Experience Orientation (1 Credit)

Prerequisites: Approval from PTA Program Director

This course is designed as an introduction to and preparation for clinical education in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Students will become oriented to the clinical education process and come to understand provisions of the Physical Therapist Assistant in the clinical setting. Other topics such as learning opportunities, communication, leadership, supervision of staff, and problem solving will also be discussed.


PTA 261 PTA Internship I (3 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 259

PTA Internship I is designed to afford the student supervised clinical experience hours in observation and application of physical therapy services as a physical therapist assistant.  Principles of the curriculum will be applied to general skills needed in a clinical setting.  Consists of 120 clinical hours; one day per week for 15 weeks.


PTA 262 PTA Internship II (5 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 230, PTA 250 and PTA 261 and successful completion of all general education courses required in PTA program

PTA Internship II is an advanced clinical experience designed to afford the student supervised clinical experience hours in physical therapy services as a physical therapy assistant.  Theory and fundamentals of the curriculum will be applied to specific care plans and patient management as the student hones skills needed in a clinical setting.  Consists of 280 clinical hours; Full-time (approximately 40 hours per week) for 7 weeks in the first half of the semester. 


PTA 265 PTA Internship III (5 Credits)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of PTA 262 PTA Internship II

PTA Internship III is an advanced clinical experience designed to afford the student supervised clinical experience hours in physical therapy services as a physical therapist assistant.  The student will be able to focus on specific interests in the field of physical therapy as they finalize their transition from student to paraprofessional.  Consists of 280 clinical hours; Full-time (approximately 40 hours per week) for 7 weeks.  Takes place after PTA 262 in the last 7 weeks of the semester.