Physical Therapist Assistant

74 credit Associate of Applied Science program

Placement Data: CLICK HERE

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Program Description:
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program provides an opportunity to become an educated health care provider who delivers physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA is able to observe and assess the patient's condition, teach exercises and activities of daily living, use specialized equipment, demonstrate professional skills while implementing treatment procedures, observe the patient's response to treatment, and document. Physical therapy practitioners minimize physical disability, movement dysfunction, and pain. Physical therapist assistants may find opportunity to work in a variety of settings.

Program Accreditation:
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Lake Superior College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org

Program outcomes include:
• GRADUATES OF THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT PROGRAM WILL BE ABLE TO:
• Work under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner.
• Implement a comprehensive treatment plan developed by a physical therapist.
• Communicate regularly with supervising physical therapists about the patient's progress and the need for adjustments to be made by the physical therapist in treatment procedures in accordance with changes in patient status.
• Perform appropriate data collection techniques within the knowledge and limits of practice to assist supervising physical therapists in monitoring and modifying the plan of care.
• Interact with patients and families in a manner which provides the desired psychosocial support including the recognition of cultural and socioeconomic differences.
• Participate in the teaching of other health care providers, patients, and families.
• Document relevant aspects of patient treatment.
• Participate in discharge planning and follow-up care.
• Demonstrate effective written, oral, and nonverbal communication with patients and their families, colleagues, health care providers, and the public.
• Demonstrate an understanding of levels of authority and responsibility; planning, time management, supervisory process, performance evaluations, policies and procedures; fiscal considerations for physical therapy providers and consumers; continuous quality improvement; and evidence-based practice.
• Demonstrate professional behaviors required for success in the field of physical therapy.
• Identify career development and life-long learning opportunities.
• Demonstrate knowledge of physical therapy principles and concepts.

Program Requirements: Click on Course Title for Course Description - Opens in new window

Course Outlines: CLICK HERE

Required Courses:
Course IDCreditsNameDescription
BIOL11414Human Anatomy and Physiology IIContinued study of body structure and function. Incorporates principles of chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology. A study of the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, immune system, respiratory system, urinary system, digestive system, and reproductive systems. For students in health related fields. Helps to fulfill general education lab-science requirements. Includes laboratory dissections. Builds on principles studied in BIOL1140. MTC goal areas: (3) Natural Sciences. (Prerequisites: BIOL1140) (2.5 hrs lec/3 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
COMM11053Interpersonal CommunicationThis course provides opportunities for students to understand the process of human communication, to assess their strengths and weaknesses as communicators, and to assist them in solving problems of an interpersonal nature, and develop interaction skills for interpersonal settings. MTC goal areas: (1) Communication (Prerequisites: College-level reading and writing) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PSYC11353Lifespan Developmental PsychologyA scientific, theoretical, and personal examination of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development across the life span. MTC goal areas: (5) History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and (7) Human Diversity. (Prerequisites: PSYC1120 highly recommended; college-level reading and writing) (3 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA10001Intro to Health and Medical LiteratureThis course provides a basic introduction to understanding scientific and health-related literature, with a focus on printed and on-line journals. Students will learn how to efficiently find and obtain journal articles relevant to a particular health care field of study and better understand the contents of such articles. Students writing papers in health-related courses will find this course helpful. The course also covers information literacy and guidelines for citing references for written papers. (Prerequisites: ENGL1106) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14001Documentation for PTAsThis course covers the legal and reimbursement documentation guidelines, physical therapist/physical therapist assistant documentation responsibilities, and competent completion of physical therapy documentation. (Prerequisites: BIOL1140, ALTH1410, ENGL1106, Clinical Observation Form) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14102Introduction to Physical Therapist AssistingThis course introduces the role of the physical therapist assistant and the skills used daily as a physical therapist assistant. Emphasis is on professional behaviors and patient care skills including: lifting methods, basic wheelchair operations, body mechanics, vital signs, standard precautions, patient positioning and draping, and gait training with ambulation aids. (Prerequisites: ALTH1410, BIOL1005, BIOL1140, ENGL1106, FYE1000, and acceptance to the PTA program) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14112Procedures for PTA's IThis course covers basic physical therapy skills with emphasis on massage, thermotherapy, cryotherapy, light agents, and compression techniques. Integration of concurrent patient care skills is combined with the modality techniques. Student awareness of evidence-based practice is emphasized. (Prerequisites: ALTH1410, BIOL1005, BIOL1140, ENGL1106, and Clinical Observation Form) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14112Procedures for PTA's IThis course covers basic physical therapy skills with emphasis on massage, thermotherapy, cryotherapy, light agents, and intermittent compression. Integration of previous or concurrent patient care skills is combined with the modality techniques. Student awareness of evidence-based practice is emphasized. (Prerequisites: ALTH1410, BIOL1005, BIOL1140, ENGL1106, FYE1000, and Clinical Observation Form) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14172Clinical Experience IThis course involves working in an outpatient physical therapy clinic in which first year PTA students will work in partnership with second year students to provide physical therapy services to patients. Skills will begin with those of a physical therapy aide and progress to applying simple physical therapy interventions and data collection techniques under the supervision of a physical therapist. The student will be introduced to legal and ethical practice guidelines, professional behaviors, and therapeutic communication skills. (Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in PTA1411 or instructor's consent, liability insurance, evidence of recent Mantoux test, and evidence of current CPR certification (ALTH1430 or equivalent satisfies this requirement)) (0 hrs lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14211Pathology for PTA's IThis course provides an introduction to pathophysiology of the musculoskeletal, endocrine, and circulatory systems. The roles of health care professionals involved in the care of persons with disease will also be discussed. A variety of pathologies are studied which include arthritic conditions, spine disorders, inflammatory conditions, common orthopedic conditions, nutritional disorders, diabetes, and disorders of the circulatory system. Prerequisites: BIOL1140, ALTH1410, ENGL1106, and have taken or enrolled in PTA1460) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14211Pathophysiology for PTAs IThis course provides an introduction to pathophysiology of the musculoskeletal, endocrine, and circulatory systems. The roles of health care professionals involved in the care of persons with disease will also be discussed. A variety of conditions are studied which include arthritis, spine disorders, inflammatory conditions, common orthopedic conditions, nutritional disorders, diabetes, and disorders of the circulatory system. Prerequisites: BIOL1140, ALTH1410, ENGL1106, and have taken or enrolled in PTA1460, or consent of course instructor) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14312Therapeutic Exercise IThis course presents theoretical information and instructions for performing range of motion exercises, goniometric measurements of joint range of motion, manual muscle strength testing, and passive stretching techniques. Patient handling skills that are being concurrently learned are integrated into this course. (Prerequisites: ALTH1410, BIOL1140, ENGL1106, and concurrently enrolled in PTA1460) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA14602Functional Kinesiology IStudents study the human musculoskeletal system and principles that influence movement. The course includes studying the location and function of bones and muscles. Students are introduced to palpation skills and observation skills through the analysis of functional movement. (Prerequisites: BIOL1140 or BIOL1150 and ALTH1410) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15122Procedures for PTA's IIThis course covers the theory and application of procedural interventions including ultrasound, spinal traction, biofeedback, continuous passive motion, hydrotherapy, aseptic technique, and taping. Principles of wound etiology and healing are also covered. (Prerequisites: PTA 1410, PTA 1460, PTA 1411, and PTA 1421) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15122Procedures for PTA's IIThis course covers the theory and application of procedural interventions including ultrasound, spinal traction, biofeedback, continuous passive motion, hydrotherapy, aseptic technique, and taping. Principles of wound etiology and healing, and the use of static and dynamic splints are also covered. (Prerequisites: PTA 1410, PTA 1460, PTA 1431, PTA 1411, and PTA 1421) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15221Pathology for PTA's IIThis course covers organ transplants, eye and ear disorders, mental health conditions, infectious disease, integumentary system pathologies, selected circulatory and cardiac conditions, and the role of physical therapy in treating these conditions. Also included are principles related to pharmacology and diagnostic imaging. (Prerequisites: PTA1411, PTA1410, PTA1421, PTA1431, PTA1460) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15221Pathophysiology for PTAs IIThis course covers organ transplants, eye and ear disorders, mental health conditions, infectious disease, integumentary system disorders, selected circulatory and cardiac conditions, and the role of physical therapy in treating these conditions. Also included are principles related to pharmacology and diagnostic imaging. (Prerequisites: PTA1411, PTA1410 or consent of course instructor, PTA1421, PTA1431, PTA1460) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15272Clinical Experience IIThis course involves working in an outpatient physical therapy clinic in which first year students treat patients under the supervision of physical therapists. The student will follow the physical therapist's treatment plan and provide physical therapy services learned during concurrent and previous courses. Skills will begin with those practiced during PTA1417 and progress to applying physical therapy interventions and data collection skills as they are learned during the second semester. Students will gain experience working with various types of patient-related equipment. (Prerequisites: PTA1417, concurrent enrollment in PTA1512 or instructor's consent, evidence of current CPR certification and liability insurance) (0 hrs lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15324Therapeutic Exercise IIThis course covers muscle structure and function, along with knowledge and application of various forms of therapeutic exercise including; stretching, muscle strengthening and endurance, aerobic conditioning, coordination, balance, proprioception, PNF diagonals, post-operative joint replacement protocols, and exercise for the spine. Normal and abnormal postures are identified. (Prerequisites: PTA1410, PTA1411, PTA1421, PTA1431, PTA1460, or instructor's consent) (2 hrs lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15411Issues in Physical Therapy Practice IThis course covers issues the PTA will see in the work setting. Emphasis is on professional behaviors, ethical and legal practice, professional communication, and patient respect issues. (Prerequisites: PTA1410, PTA1411, PTA1421, PTA1431, and PTA1460) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15624Functional Kinesiology IIThis course covers the structure and function of joints and the spinal nerves. Students build on knowledge from Functional Kinesiology I in analyzing human movement. The course includes data collection and treatment intervention related to dysfunction of the joints and musculoskeletal system, including a unit on acute rehabilitation for conditions which require orthopedic surgery. PTA skills are integrated with therapeutic exercise and modality knowledge. Students learn to observe and describe normal gait and common abnormal gait patterns. (Prerequisites: PTA1411, PTA1410, PTA1431, PTA1421, PTA1460) (3 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA15623Functional Kinesiology IIThis course covers the structure and function of joints and the spinal nerves. Students build on knowledge from Functional Kinesiology I in analyzing human movement. The course includes data collection and treatment intervention related to dysfunction of the joints and musculoskeletal system, including a unit on acute rehabilitation for conditions that require orthopedic surgery. PTA skills are integrated with therapeutic exercise and modality knowledge. Students learn to observe and describe normal gait and common abnormal gait patterns. (Prerequisites: PTA1411, PTA1410, PTA1431, PTA1421, PTA1460; concurrent enrollment in PTA1564) (2 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26132Procedures for PTA's IIIThis course covers the basic principles of electrical currents along with the theory and application of electrical stimulation procedural interventions, including high-voltage pulsed current, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, functional electrical stimulation, microcurrent, transcutaneous electrical stimulation, interferential current, and iontophoresis. Electrical stimulation for denervated muscle is also included. (Prerequisites: All first year PTA courses and pre-requisites) (1 hr lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26232Pathology for PTA's IIIThis course provides a continuation of concepts related to pathophysiology of various systems of the body. Orthopedic conditions and their rehabilitation are covered in greater depth than in previous courses. In addition, women's health issues; gastrointestinal conditions; cancer; selected disorders of the nervous, respiratory, renal, and genitourinary systems; and selected developmental pathologies are covered. This course reinforces that pathologies may affect multiple systems of the body and have psychosocial effects for the client. (Prerequisites: PTA1522)(2 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26232Pathophysiology for PTAs IIIThis course provides a continuation of concepts related to pathophysiology of various systems of the body. Orthopedic conditions and their rehabilitation are covered in greater depth than in previous courses. In addition, women's health issues; gastrointestinal conditions; cancer; selected disorders of the nervous, respiratory, renal, and genitourinary systems; and selected developmental conditions are covered. This course reinforces that conditions may affect multiple systems of the body and have psychosocial effects for the client. (Prerequisites: PTA1522 or consent of course instructor) (2 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26372Clinical Experience IIIThis course involves working in an outpatient physical therapy clinic in which second year PTA students work in partnership with first year students to provide physical therapy services to patients under the supervision of a physical therapist. The student will continue to apply physical therapy skills learned during the first year in the program and add new skills as learned in the second year. The student will mentor first year students regarding legal and ethical practice, role of the PTA, interviewing, therapeutic communication, basic physical therapy interventions, and data collection skills. (Prerequisites: PTA1527, concurrent enrollment in PTA2613 or instructor's consent, evidence of current CPR certification [ALTH1430 or equivalent satisfies this requirement], evidence of recent Mantoux test, and liability insurance) (0 hrs lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26421Issues in Physical Therapy Practice IIThis course covers legal and ethical issues the PTA will be exposed to or involved with in the physical therapy profession. Emphasis is on issues such as sexuality and disability, intercultural competence, reimbursement, mandatory reporting, quality assurance/risk management, legal and ethical issues related to long-term care, and death and dying. Students will begin the job-seeking process this semester through development of a resume. (Prerequisite: PTA1541)(1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26504Rehabilitation and Functional TherapyThis course covers movement theories and therapeutic exercise techniques to meet the needs of adult and pediatric patients with neurological impairments in order to return to a functional lifestyle. Content includes adaptive equipment, wheelchair seating and mobility, facilitation and inhibition techniques to manage abnormal tone and promote motor control, adult and pediatric positioning and handling, introduction to vestibular rehabilitation, and motor development, motor control and motor learning theories. Conditions covered in depth include: myelomeningocele, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, cerebrovascular accidents and spinal cord injuries. Previously learned patient handling skills are integrated. (Prerequisites: All first year PTA courses) (2 hrs lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26504Rehabilitation and Functional TherapyThis course applies motor control, motor development, and motor learning theories to therapeutic exercise knowledge to meet the needs of the patient with neurological impairments in order to return the patient to a functional lifestyle. Content includes uses of adaptive equipment, mobility needs for activities of daily living, facilitation and inhibition techniques, patient and family education, wheelchair mobility, and identification of architectural barriers. Previously learned patient handling skills are integrated. (Prerequisites: All first year PTA courses) (2 hrs lec/4 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26513Advanced Physical Therapy TechniquesThis course covers special techniques and treatment protocols with which the PTA will assist the physical therapist. These include cardiac rehab, chest physical therapy, care of geriatric clients, aquatic therapy, care of the patient with an amputation, health promotion and wellness, complimentary exercise approaches, relaxation/breathing techniques, and the components of industrial medicine. The use of splints, orthotics and prosthetics is also covered. Previously learned skills are integrated. (Prerequisites: All first year PTA courses or consent of course instructor) (2 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA26513Advanced Physical Therapy TechniquesThis course covers special techniques and treatment protocols with which the PTA will assist the physical therapist. These include cardiac rehab, chest physical therapy, care of the geriatric and pediatric clients, aquatic therapy, therapy ball activities, care of the patient with an amputation, and the components of industrial medicine. Previously learned skills are integrated. (Prerequisites: All first year PTA classes) (2 hrs lec/2 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)
PTA27174Clinical Experience IVThis course is the student's first of three full-time clinical internships in a physical therapy facility. The student will function as a second year PTA student in the facility for five consecutive weeks and will be responsible for patient care compatible to the role of the PTA and skills learned. (Prerequisites: PTA2613, PTA2623, PTA2637, PTA2642, PTA2650, PTA2651, CPR and First Aid Certification, and liability insurance) (0 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/12 hrs OJT)
PTA27274Clinical Experience VThis course is the student's second of three full-time clinical internships in a physical therapy facility. The student will function as a second-year PTA student in the facility for five consecutive weeks and will be responsible for patient care compatible to the role of the PTA. (Prerequisites: PTA2717, CPR certification, liability insurance) (0 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/12 hrs OJT)
PTA27474Clinical Experience VIThis course is the student's final full-time clinical internship in a physical therapy facility. The student will function as a second-year PTA student in the facility for five consecutive weeks and will be responsible for patient care compatible to the role of the PTA and skills learned. (Prerequisites: PTA2727, CPR certification, and liability insurance) (0 hrs lec/0 hrs lab/12 hrs OJT)
PTA28401Professional IntegrationThis capstone course is designed to help PTA students transition from full-time clinical experiences to post-graduation practice. Students will review major concepts taught throughout the program and during full-time clinical experiences. Students will take a comprehensive written examination which will help prepare them to take the national licensing exam. The course also emphasizes job-seeking skills necessary for finding employment as a PTA. (Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in PTA2717, PTA2727, and PTA2747) (1 hr lec/0 hrs lab/0 hrs OJT)

Other Course Requirements:
COMM1100 may be substituted for COMM1105


Pre-Program Requirements:
Successful entry into this program requires a specific level of skill in the areas of English, mathematics, and reading. Program entry will depend, in part, on meeting the prerequisites listed below:

English:
• A score of 86 or higher on the Sentence Skills portion of the CPT, OR
• Completion of ENGL0460 or its equivalent transfer course or higher with a grade of “C” or better.
• If required, ENGL0460 may not be taken concurrently with Semester I coursework.

Mathematics:
• A score of 36 or higher on the Elementary Algebra Skills portion of the CPT, OR
• Completion of MATH0450 or its equivalent transfer course or higher with a grade of “C” or better.
• If required, MATH0450 may not be taken concurrently with Semester I coursework.
OR
• A score of 36 or higher on the Elementary Algebra Skills portion of the CPT, OR
• Completion of MATH0451 or its equivalent transfer course or higher with a grade of “C” or better.
• If required, MATH0451 may not be taken concurrently with Semester I coursework.

Reading:
• A score of 78 or higher on the Reading Comprehension portion of the CPT, OR
• Completion of READ0465 or its equivalent transfer course or higher with a grade of “C” or better.
• If required, READ0465 may not be taken concurrently with Semester I coursework.

Required Pre-technical Courses:
FYE1000 Intro to College 1.00 (NOTE: This course is highly recommended to be taken prior to program start, but may be taken concurrently during Semester I of the program.)
ALTH1410 Medical Terminology 1.00
BIOL1005 Introduction to Cell Biology 1.00
BIOL1140 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4.00
ENGL1106 College Composition I 3.00

You will need a recent physical examination including current immunizations and current Mantoux. Current certification in American Heart Association: BLS Healthcare Provider or American Red Cross: CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer is required for all clinical courses (PTA1417, PTA1527, PTA2637, PTA2717, PTA2727, and PTA2747). ALTH1430 will satisfy this requirement. Background study approval is required from the State of Minnesota and/or Wisconsin.

All courses must be completed with a "C" or better.

Electives:
PTA 1476
PTA 1576
PTA 2780
PTA 2999