Physical Therapist Assistant

The physical therapist assistant (PTA) is a skilled health care professional who works under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA participates as a team member, contributing to total patient care by performing a variety of activities designed to restore physical function and prevent disability of patients of all ages. The program is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Program graduates find employment in a variety of settings including long-term care facilities, hospitals, school system, outpatient clinics, and home care agencies.

Prospective Students

Please download and read over this important letter to all students interested in Physical Therapist Assistant

Observation Hours

Please download this list of possible clinic locations to complete required observation hours required for the program.

Expenses

Please download this expenses list for estimated program costs.

Student Resources

Clinical Resources

Comments regarding the PTA program should be directed to the Health Careers department at (309) 999-4600.

Degree

Associate in Applied Science (Career Program)
Total Credit Hours: 66

Program Requirements

Select a course number below to see a course description.

Required General Education Courses

Course Name Credit Hours
ENGL 110 COMPOSITION I **** 3
COMM 110 INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION: PRESENTATION AND THEORY **** 3
PSY 110 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY **** 3
MATHEMATICS * 3
BIOL 140 HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY ** 4
HUMANITIES * 3

Required Program Courses

Course Name Credit Hours
PHTA 222 CLINICAL SEMINAR  2
PHTA 220 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT VI  4
PHTA 218 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT V  5
PHTA 216 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT IV  3
PHTA 130 CLINICAL I  1
PHTA 118 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT III  5
PHTA 116 FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY  4
PHTA 115 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT II  4
PHTA 114 FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT I  2
PHTA 112 INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL THERAPY  1
HEOCC 230 HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION AND RESOURCES  1
HEOCC 220 LEGAL ISSUES IN HEALTH CARE  1
HEOCC 200 DISEASE PROCESSES IN MAN **** 3
HLTH 121 MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY *** 2
PHTA 230 CLINICAL II  2
PHTA 232 CLINICAL III  4
PSY 202 CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT **** 3

* See specific requirements for Associate in Applied Science Degree.
** BIOL 140 or 205/206 within 5 years of admission into program with a grade of "C" or better.
*** Must be completed by the end of the first fall semester
**** Underlined courses may be taken prior to admission into the program.

High School Recommendations:  3 years English, 1 year Biology, 1 year Chemistry, 2 years Mathematics

 

Recommended Course Sequence

Semester Courses
Summer Semester PHTA 114; BIOL 140
Fall Semester 1 ENGL 110; PSY 110; HLTH 121; PHTA 112; PHTA 115; PHTA 116
Spring Semester 1 HEOCC 200; PHTA 216; PHTA 118; PHTA 130; Mathematics
Fall Semester 2 PSY 202; COMM 110; HEOCC 220; HEOCC 230; PHTA 218; PHTA 230
Spring Semester 2 PHTA 220; PHTA 222; PHTA 232; Humanities

Program Contact Information

Health Careers Department

Thomas Building
(309) 999-4600

Illinois Career Cluster

Health Science

Career Pathway:
Therapeutic Services

Accreditation

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

CAPTE
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 706-3245
[email protected]
capteonline.org

Mission

The mission of the PTA Program is to provide the knowledge and skills and develop attitudes, which prepare graduates to function as an entry-level PTAs who will work under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist to meet the needs of the community in a variety of clinical settings.

Philosophy

Faculty members believe that educational opportunities should be provided to prepare students for entry-level positions as a PTA. The curriculum for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapy is designed to meet accreditation standards and to provide a foundation in technical PTA courses and general education courses for both personal and professional growth. Additionally, the curriculum is designed to support and integrate the College’s core values and achievement of general education goals.

Educational objectives are developed to align knowledge, skills, and affective behaviors with appropriate classroom, lab, and clinical education opportunities. As the student progresses through the program, opportunities are provided to allow for increased responsibility for patient care under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Achievement of program goals and learning objectives are assessed using a variety of methods to enhance student success with the licensure exam and career as a PTA.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the skills necessary for entry-level practice as a PTA under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist in a safe, ethical, legal, and effective manner.
    Objective: 90% of graduates will rate their preparation at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) to function as an entry level PTA.
  2. Utilize critical thinking skills to progress, modify, and/or withhold interventions based on patient status as determined through observation, data collection, and problem solving skills.
    Objective: 90% of graduates will rate their knowledge at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) to progress, modify, or withhold treatment.
  3. Educate others (patients, family, staff, students, and other healthcare providers) using effective teaching methods.
    Objective: 90% of graduates will rate their knowledge at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) in the teaching of others.
  4. Demonstrate social responsibility, citizenship, and advocacy through the participation in community and service organizations and activities.
    Objective: 50% of graduates will indicate they participate with community service activities after graduation.
  5. Demonstrate sensitivity to individual and cultural differences in all aspects of physical therapy services.
    Objective: 90% of graduates will rate their knowledge at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) for those factors which affect the delivery of patient care.
  6. Recognize the need for continued personal and professional growth to ensure competence in current practices of physical therapy.
    Objective: 90% of employers will rate graduates at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) in advancing their knowledge and skills.
  7. Understand the PT/PTA relationship in providing quality physical therapy services.
    Objective: 90% of graduates will rate their knowledge at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) in understanding the role of the PTA and relationship with the PT.

Program Goals

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Graduates will pass the national licensure examination and be eligible for licensure/certification.
    Objective: 90% of students completing the program will pass the national licensure examination.
  2. Students will progress in and graduate from the program with entry-level skills as a PTA.
    Objective: 80% of students starting the program will graduate.
  3. Graduates will obtain employment as a PTA.
    Objective: 80% of graduates seeking employment will be employed as a PTA within six-months of graduation.
  4. Graduates will be satisfied with the program’s curriculum to prepare them for the role as an entry-level PTA.
    Objective: 90% of graduates will rate their preparation at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) to function as an entry-level PTA.
  5. Employers will be satisfied with graduates’ knowledge and skills as an entry-level PTA.
    Objective: 80% of employers will rate overall graduate performance at least 3.0 (0-5 scale) to function as an entry-level PTA.

Student Outcomes

For years 2014-2015, program statistics are as follows (2-year average):

2014 2015 2 year average
Graduation Rate 88% 66% 77%
Licensure Exam Pass Rate 100% 100% 100%
Employment Rate (after 6 months of passing licensure exam) 100% 100% 100%

Essential Skills and Abilities

A PTA must possess the following capabilities and abilities: communication, motor, sensory, problem solving, behavioral skills and professionalism, which are necessary to provide physical therapy interventions. The following Core Performance Standards are necessary for the student to perform while in the program and in the role as a PTA.

The Core Performance Standards are used to assist in the determination as to whether accommodations or modifications are necessary for a student to meet program requirements. A student who identifies potential difficulties with meeting the Core Performance Standards should communicate his/her concerns to the Program Director. The student has the responsibility to identify and document any disability and to request reasonable and appropriate accommodations as needed. All students must be otherwise qualified and able to perform independently in all areas. Determination is made on an individual basis as to whether any accommodations or modifications can be reasonably made.

A. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for safe clinical judgment

B. Interpersonal Behavioral and Social Skills

Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds

C. Communication

Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form

D. Mobility

Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces

E. Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective care

F. Hearing

Auditory abilities sufficient to monitor and assess patient needs, and to provide a safe environment

G. Visual

Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in the operation of equipment and care of patients

H. Tactile

Tactile ability sufficient for patient assessment and operation of equipment

I. Smell

Tolerate odors to allow care of patient

J. Mathematical Skills

Ability to perform basic mathematical calculations