Physical therapist assistants work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. PTAs work with patients or clients who have conditions such as burns, amputations, stroke, vertigo, low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, brain injuries, and cerebral palsy. In addition, PTAs may assist in fitness and wellness programs and participate in teaching and administration. PTAs are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports and fitness facilities, schools, home health agencies, and nursing homes.
The minimum high school units required for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program include four secondary units of English, two units of mathematics (including one unit of algebra), two units of science (one unit must be biology), and five units of arts, humanities, social studies, and/or foreign languages.
The Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum combines general education, science, and technical courses. Students develop the knowledge and skills required to provide therapeutic exercise, functional training, soft tissue massage, electrotherapy, ultrasound, and other treatments included in the physical therapy plan of care. The program culminates with a full semester of clinical experience.
The size of each entering class is limited so that optimal clinical experiences and practical application situations can be maintained. Students are admitted into the program only during the fall semester and must progress through the program in the prescribed manner. Clinical affiliations are maintained over a wide geographical area. Students may be required to make special housing and transportation arrangements during the clinical phase. In order to accommodate the clinical practicum, this major requires five semesters to satisfy graduation requirements. For the associate in science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, a minimum of 68 credits is required.
For the graduating classes of 2017 and 2018, the ultimate pass rate on the national physical therapy exam (NPTE) for PTAs is 100%.
Of the 2017 and 2018 graduates responding to a graduate survey, 100% who sought employment as a Physical Therapist Assistant were employed within six months after achieving certification/licensure.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-706-3245 [email protected] website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 724-430-4105 or email [email protected].
Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.