Program Accreditation Status:
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at The Praxis Institute is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 Telephone: 703-706-3245; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.capteonline.org
If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (305)642-4104 or e-mail email@example.com.
Feedback or comments regarding the PTA Program can be directed to the Program Director, Yessenia Roa in writing to 1850 SW 8th Street, 4th Floor Miami, FL 33135 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Physical Therapy?
The American Physical Therapy Association defines physical therapy as “…a health profession whose primary purpose is the promotion of optimal human health and function through the application of scientific principles to prevent, identify, assess, correct, or alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction”.
Physical Therapy is a profession whose primary purpose is the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health, function, and quality of life for people of all ages. The science of physical therapy involves the application of therapeutic modalities, techniques, and interventions that help rehabilitate a person to their maximum physical potential. The art of physical therapy is helping people help themselves.
In laws and regulations defining practice, physical therapy is often defined as the care and services provided by a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, and include:
- Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions;
Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation and disability; and Engaging in consultation, education, and research.
- More information about the profession of physical therapy may be obtained by visiting the American Physical Therapy Association’s web site at www.apta.org
Who are Physical Therapist Assistants?
Physical Therapist Assistants, or PTA’s, are skilled health care providers who work with and under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist to provide physical therapy services. In order for an individual to practice as a PTA, they must graduate from an accredited PTA program and successfully pass a licensing/certification exam.
PTA’s play an integral role in providing physical therapy services for people with various disabilities. When a patient seeks or is referred for physical therapy services, the physical therapist performs an initial evaluation and outlines a plan of care. The PTA can then carry out all or part of the treatment plan as instructed by the physical therapist.
The American Physical Therapy Association recognizes the PTA as the only individual who assists the physical therapist in the delivery of selected physical therapy interventions.
What does a Physical Therapist Assistant do?
The physical therapist assistant (PTA) performs physical therapy interventions and related tasks under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Such duties may include training patients in therapeutic exercise and activities of daily living, using physical agents such as cold, heat, electricity, or water for pain relief and healing, instructing persons in the use of assistive devices for walking, participating in wound care, promoting wellness and injury prevention, providing patient and family education, training patients in wheelchair activities, assisting the physical therapist in performing patient assessments and complex interventions, and much more.
The PTA also monitors the patient’s response to treatment, performs various tests and measures, documents relevant aspects of patient care, and maintains ongoing communication with the supervising physical therapist, as well as other health care professionals.
What is the difference between a PT and a PTA?
The physical therapist (PT) and the physical therapist assistant (PTA) differ in educational preparation and levels of responsibilities as it relates to the provision of physical therapy services.
Today, the overwhelming majority of PT schools educate physical therapists at the Doctorate level, although many practicing therapists were educated when programs required only a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree. The PTA is educated at the Associate’s degree level, which generally equates to two years of college.
The PTA has a working knowledge of the theory behind treatment interventions, knows pathological conditions being treated, and understands how to apply modalities and techniques used to treat those conditions.
The PT has extensive education in evaluative skills, research, and administration, as well as advanced coursework in human anatomy, neuroanatomy, orthopedics, pathology, and therapeutic techniques. Both the PT and the PTA must graduate from accredited programs and pass a licensing examination in order to practice in their respective roles.
Consumers/patients may seek the services of the physical therapist directly, or, the patient may be referred to a physical therapist by a physician. The PT performs the initial examination and evaluation of the patient. The evaluation will result in a physical therapy diagnosis, and as appropriate, the PT will establish goals or outcomes to be accomplished by a physical therapy plan of care and treatment plan.
The PTA cannot perform the initial examination or evaluation; however, the PTA may assist the PT in collecting data. Following the evaluation of the patient, the PTA may perform selected interventions and data collection as directed by the supervising PT. The PTA must always work under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. The collaborative relationship between the PT/PTA is highly effective and valued, and the team greatly contributes to the success of the overall rehabilitation process.
Where do PTAs work?
PTAs work in hospitals, private practices, community health centers, corporate or industrial health centers, sports medicine facilities, research institutions, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, schools, and pediatric facilities. PTAs may also teach in colleges and universities. Full-time PTAs generally work a 40-hour week, Monday through Friday, with some practice settings requiring weekend or evening hours in order to meet the needs of patients served.
What is the job outlook and job prospect for PTAs?*
Job Outlook – The employment outlook for PTAs is generally very good throughout the United States at the present time. Employment trends for the PTA have historically been positive, despite the profession moving through a changing healthcare market.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2017-2018 Edition, employment of physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2016 through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Changes to restrictions on reimbursement for physical therapy services by third-party payers will increase patient access to services and, thus, increase demand. The increasing number of people who need therapy reflects, in part, the increasing elderly population. The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of assistants and aides vital. In addition, the large baby-boom generation is entering the prime age for heart attacks and strokes, further increasing the demand for cardiac and physical rehabilitation.
Medical and technological developments should permit an increased percentage of trauma victims and newborns with birth defects to survive, creating added demand for therapy and rehabilitative services. An increase of Veterans or Military Officers returning after servicing in areas of conflict, do also add to the increasing demand of physical therapy services.
Job prospects – Opportunities for individuals interested in becoming physical therapist assistants are expected to be very good; with help from physical therapist assistants, physical therapists are able to manage more patients. In addition to employment growth, job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation permanently. Job opportunities should be particularly good in acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings, where the elderly are most often treated. Job prospects should be especially favorable in rural areas, as many physical therapists tend to cluster in highly populated urban and suburban areas.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, projects employment rates for the PTA to increase much faster than average in the coming years. Current graduates enjoy a variety of practice opportunities in an open employment market.
What do PTAs earn?*
Earnings of PTAs depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual’s training and experience.
Median annual wages of physical therapist assistants was $57,430 in May 2018.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Associate in Science
|COURSE NUMBER||1ST SEMESTER||CREDITS|
|ENC 101||English Composition I*||3|
|HSC 100||Anatomy & Physiology I (+Lab)*||3|
|HSC 103||Introduction to Psychology*||3|
|MAT 100||Institution College Algebra*||3|
|SPC 100||Basics of Speech Communication*||3|
|HSC 102||Anatomy & Physiology II (+Lab)*||3|
|ENC 102||English Composition II*||3|
|PTA 100||Introduction to PTA||4|
|PTA 101||Kinesiology (+Lab)||4|
|PTA 202||Patient Care Procedures (+ Lab)||4|
|PTA 205||Pathological Conditions||5|
|PTA 220||Clinical Experience I||2|
|PTA 102||Physical Agents (+ Lab)||4|
|PTA 103||Intro to TE||1|
|PTA 203||Documentation, Test & Measurements (+ Lab)||4|
|PTA 208||Neuro-Rehabilitation (+ Lab)||4|
|PTA 200||Therapeutic Exercises I||3|
|PTA 221||Clinical Experience II||5|
|PTA 201||Therapeutic Exercise II (+ Lab)||4|
|PTA 222||Clinical Experience III||5|
* Courses offered online
This program is offered only in the Miami campus.
Students Learning Outcome
Upon successful completion of the AS degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, the graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate entry-level competency, consistent with current practice and literature, for all required skills of a PTA, including psychosocial and cultural proficiency, for employment in the variety of PT clinical settings applying scientific principles and knowledge of diseases/conditions as they interact and affect a patient/client’s rehabilitation process.
- Proficiently implement the plan of care and intervention in a safe, effective, efficient, and appropriate manner to promote patient progression and address patient needs, under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
- Effectively perform necessary data collection skills as they pertain to patient/client diagnosis and the plan of care established by the PT to demonstrate response to care.
- Demonstrate use of clinical problem-solving skills in clinical scenario to recognize need to communicate with evaluating PT for modification of care.
- Adeptly perform as a PTA heeding the APTA Core values, Standards of Ethical Conduct of the PTA, the Guide for Professional Conduct of the PTA, and legal & safety standards of the profession.
- Recognize the value of a self-directed plan for career development and lifelong learning based on self-assessment, performance appraisals, and a commitment to maintaining abreast of current evidence-based research and practice.
- Produce documentation that is accurate, effective, and timely to support the need and rationale for physical therapy intervention using appropriate format and terminology.
- Display appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication, manifesting sensitivity and attentiveness to individual psychosocial and cultural diversities in all aspects of physical therapy services.
- Provides skilled education to patients, coworkers or healthcare providers about physical therapy, the role of the PTA addressing primary and secondary preventions, including health and wellness promotion, using effective teaching strategies appropriate for the anticipated audience.
- Skillfully manage resources including appropriate supervision of support personnel, time management, and equipment to achieve goals of the respective clinical setting.
- Demonstrate respect for the local and national professional organizations, commitment to patient advocacy, and responsibility to meet the needs of the patients and community they serve as they relate to health promotion, wellness, and injury preventions.
Transfer of Credits
The PTA Program at The Praxis Institute (TPI) awards transfer credit according to the guidelines established by the institution. The institutions reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at other institutions of higher education. In general, it is the institutions policy to only accept general education credits earned at institutions fully accredited by their regional accrediting association for colleges and universities, provided that such credits have been earned through university-level courses appropriate to the associate degree program at TPI.
- The basic policy regarding the acceptance of courses by transfer is to only allow credit for general education courses completed with satisfactory grades (C or better) in other accredited colleges provided the courses correspond in time and content to the equivalent courses offered as part of the PTA program.
- For international students – only official transcripts in conjunction with official report from a state approved evaluative agency may be used to evaluate and/or award credit.
- Course work that is more than five years old will not be considered for credit transfer.
- The PTA Program at TPI reserves the right to test proficiency of any student in course work transferred from other institutions and to disallow credit in courses in which the student cannot demonstrate acceptable proficiency.
- TPI does not grant credit for professional certificate programs, life/work experience, or portfolios work.
- The following items are among other circumstances in which credit is NOT granted:
- Remedial Courses
- Courses with essentially non-academic content
- Vocational courses
- Non-credit courses
- Learning support courses
- Physical Examination (MD clearance)
- Vaccinations (PPD and Hepatitis)
- Police Background Check
- Drug Testing (5 panel)
- Evidenced of CPR certification (BLS level)
- Evidence of Health Insurance
- High School Diploma
- Admission Exam (Accuplacer) with the following minimum scores:
- English Reading 246
- English Writing 246
- Algebra 229
- Applicant’s personal letter of application.
- 15 Hours of observation in a Physical Therapy Setting
- Two professional/character references
Satisfaction of minimum requirements does not imply guarantee admission. Admission is competitive among eligible applicants. Candidacy is also influenced by applicants’ interview/assessment and applicants display motivation and knowledge of the field.
|Class of:||Graduation Rate||NPTE Board Pass Rate||Employment Rate|
* Preliminary Data: statistics to be updated as incoming statistics can be compiled.