Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team providing physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs implement interventions outlined in the physical therapist’s plan of care, collect data related to interventions and modify selected interventions to progress patients to meet their individual goals. Individual treatment goals are designed to reduce pain, restore function, improve mobility, and prevent disability. An Associate in Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant requires 5-semesters of study, including three full-time clinical practicums. The PTA Program prepares graduates to take a national examination for certification/licensure as a PTA.
You might like this major if you are interested in working with people of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs work under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist to provide meaningful interventions, such as exercise, training for walking and other activities, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy.
Why Penn State Mont Alto?
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Penn State Mont Alto has successfully prepared many Physical Therapist Assistants following the best traditions of excellence in education which are the trademark of Penn State University. The PTA curriculum is a combination of general education, applied physical therapy sciences, and three full-time clinical learning experiences. After successful completion of the didactic and clinical components of the PTA curriculum, students will earn an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Penn State.
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 practicums, this major requires five semesters to satisfy graduation requirements. For the Associate in Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, a minimum of 70 credits is required.
Professional Licensure and Certification Compliance
PTAs must graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program and are required to obtain licensure in most states to work. Students seeking licensure as a PTA must apply to the licensing authority of the jurisdiction (state) in which the graduate is seeking licensure and then register for the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at https://www.fsbpt.org/.