Physical Therapist Assistant
Degrees and Programs
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program at Northeast will prepare students to work as valuable healthcare providers who are employable in any physical therapy setting. The program is an intense, academically challenging program that requires hard work and dedication. Engaged teaching and learning experiences promote an interactive learning environment in both lab and lecture. Students are trained with current technology and innovative exercise equipment to simulate realistic clinical settings. In order to complete the training, students must be able to perform the PTA Essential Functions and Physical Demands. Additionally, students are required to complete a physical exam, required vaccinations, tuberculosis test, a criminal background check, and a drug screen in order to perform clinical experiences during the second year of the program. Program graduates will be well prepared to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for PTAs.
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Northeast Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 402-844-7326 or email PTA@northeast.edu.
What is a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), “physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are the only licensed/certified health care providers that deliver physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of physical therapists (PTs) as part of the PT/PTA team. PTAs are responsible for providing, progressing, and, where appropriate, modifying physical therapy interventions to maximize patient/client safety, comfort, and response within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist. PTAs are clinical decision makers who use data collection methods to measure the patient’s response to the interventions provided. Additionally, PTAs use value-based behaviors in carrying out the plan of care, including communication with the supervising physical therapist regarding patient status, treatment outcomes, and any other information that may impact the plan of care. PTAs are graduates of Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education-accredited PTA education programs and must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination-PTA as a minimum requirement for licensure/ certification in all jurisdictions. PTAs comply with all legal requirements of jurisdictions regulating the practice of physical therapy and with the American Physical Therapy Association’s Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant.”
Pagliarulo, M. A. (2016). Introduction to Physical Therapy - fifth edition, page 44. St. Louis: Elsevier.
Where do PTAs work?
Does a PTA have to be licensed or certified?
Upon successful completion of an accredited PTA program, graduates are eligible to take that National Physical Therapy Examination-PTA (NPTE). Graduates will also be required to complete a state law examination specific to the state in which they choose to practice. A licensed/certified PTA may gain advanced proficiency in a selected area of work. The Advanced Proficiency Pathways (APP) program increases “the PTAs’ knowledge and skill in a chosen area of physical therapy. Content areas are Acute Care, Cardiovascular/Pulmonary, Geriatrics, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, and Wound Management.” Additional content areas will be added as they are completed.