Physical Therapist Assistant Course Descriptions

PTA 106 Introduction to Physical Therapy

Two semester hours
(Two hours theory per week) This course is designed to provide an introduction to the profession and practice of physical therapy. This course also provides students with an introduction to program expectations and includes community and professional service activities outside of the classroom. Students will explore topics such as the history and development of the profession, the roles and characteristics of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, the American Physical Therapy Association, laws, ethics, financing and communication in physical therapy, as well as an overview of practice in physical therapy relating to musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary, integumentary, pediatric and geriatric conditions. Students will also be exposed to the basic APA style format for professional literature.
Prerequisite: Admission into the PTA program.

PTA 107 Documentation for the Physical Therapist Assistant

Two semester hour
(Two hours theory per week) This course presents students with information on current systems of medical documentation for patient care, as used in the profession of physical therapy, throughout multiple practice settings. Students will explore topics such as abbreviations and medical terminology commonly encountered in the profession of physical therapy; components of the S.O.A.P. note format; International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and Nagi disablement models; goal writing; legal and ethical issues in documentation; billing and coding for physical therapy services; and S.O.A.P. note documentation in electronic, written, typed and dictated formats.
Prerequisite: Admission into the PTA program.

PTA 105 Functional Anatomy for the Physical Therapist Assistant

Three semester hours
(Two hours of theory, three hours of laboratory per week)
This course will introduce the student to the essentials of functional anatomy as related to the study of muscle origin, insertion, action and innervation. In addition, basic terminology and concepts of applied kinesiology will also be covered. Experiences will include student application of appropriate communication skills with hands-on application of palpation skills as well as how to obtain patient consent. Cadaver dissection surface anatomy review is also completed.
Prerequisite: Admission into the PTA program.

PTA 110 Basic Skills in Physical Therapy

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory, three hours of laboratory per week)
This course provides an examination of the principles and practices of physical therapy with the development of an understanding and application of basic patient care procedures, such as transfers; wheelchair management; universal precautions and wound management; balance and gait; sensory assessment and PNF techniques; and vital signs assessments. These principles will involve patient and treatment set up in both the Simulation Lab and PTA lab settings, review of PTA responsibilities and incorporate beginning intervention techniques to the course-related topics.
Prerequisite: BI 211.

PTA 115 Therapeutic Exercise I

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory, three hours of laboratory per week
) This course will provide students with the skill set necessary to complete all manual muscle testing and goniometry measurements for the spine, upper extremity and lower extremity. In addition, students will gain a basic understanding of the assessment of all muscular strength and range of motion function.
Prerequisite: BI 211.

PTA 120 Therapeutic Modalities I

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory, three hours of laboratory per week)
This course provides students with
in-depth knowledge of the physiological effects, indications, contraindications and applications of the following modalities that are used in multiple physical therapy settings: ultrasound, infrared, ultraviolet, diathermy, superficial heat and cold, therapeutic massage, intermittent compression and hydrotherapy. Basic principles and clinical applications of such modalities will be presented.
Prerequisites: PTA 110 and PTA 115.

PTA 125 Clinical Practicum I

One semester hour
(A minimum of 40 hours of clinical per semester)
This clinical will allow students the opportunity to observe and begin supervised clinical practice. Students will gain insight into the PT/PTA relationship and apply learned technical skills.
Prerequisites: PTA 110 and PTA 115. The student will be responsible for all travel, lodging and living expenses for the duration of the clinical.

PTA 205 Pathophysiology

Three semester hours
(Three hours of theory per week) This course is designed to provide an introduction to general pathology with an empha­sis on the study of diseases and disorders most commonly seen in physical therapy practice. Diseases of the musculoskeletal, nervous and cardiopulmonary systems are emphasized with discussion on the PTA role and proper physical therapy intervention.
Prerequisites: BI 211, BI 213, PTA 110 and PTA 115.

PTA 210 Therapeutic Modalities II

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory, three hours of laboratory per week) This course provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the physiological effects, indications, contradictions and special precautions in regards to the application of electrotherapeutic modalities, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, interferential current, microcurrent, iontopohresis and biofeedback. In addition, mechanical and manual traction of both the pelvis and cervical anatomy will be included in this course.
Prerequisite: PTA 110 and PTA 115.

PTA 212 Professional Issues Seminar

One semester hour
(Two hours of theory per week) This course will focus on various professional issues related to the clinical practice of a physical therapist assistant. Included in this course are issues related to licensure/certification, professional liability and responsibilities, advocacy and service, patient and clinic management, professional leadership and employment skills. Students will create a service project and implement the project during this course.
Prerequisite: PTA 125.

PTA 215 Therapeutic Exercise II

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory, three hours of laboratory per week) This course is a continuation of the study of physical therapy skills including the anatomy and physiology of exercise and principles of exercise prescription. Included is the study and application of cardiovascular exercise, progressive resistive exercise, stretching and balance exercises. Both traditional and alternative approaches to exercise are presented. There is an emphasis on wellness programs, exercise progression and modification for pathological conditions and physical therapy appropriate for related disorders.

Prerequisite: PTA 115.

PTA 220 Clinical Practicum II

Three semester hours
(A minimum of 120 hours of clinical per semester) This clinical provides opportunities for establishing and following individual patient treatments and pro­grams. PTA goals are realized from experience in providing treatments. In addition, insights are gained into medical, departmental and institutional func­tions and organization. Topics include reinforcement of techniques and skills, information concerning the care of the ill and disabled, a continuation of commun­ications skills and discussion of the PTA role.
Prerequisites: PTA 125, PTA 210 and PTA 215. The student will be responsible for travel, lodging and living expenses for the duration of that clinical.

PTA 230 Advanced Procedures

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory and three hours of laboratory per week) This course assists the student in learning new and advanced rehabilitation techniques for patients with neurologically related diseases, such as spinal cord or brain injury, cerebro­vascular accidents, as well as advanced rehabilitation techniques for cardiopulmonary conditions, industrial wellness and pediatric conditions. Included are also evidence-based practice activities and PT/PTA relationship activities with neighboring PT programs. Emphasis is placed on integration of skills learned over the course of the PTA program to form complete and thorough patient care experiences.
Prerequisites: PTA 205, PTA 210 and PTA 215.

PTA 235 Therapeutic Exercise III

Three semester hours
(Two hours theory, three hours of laboratory per week) This course expands on the theory and principles of physical therapy skills used to treat specific orthopedic disorders and other special populations, including sports physical therapy, amputation, prosthetics and orthotic use, wound and burn care, women’s health, critical care and lymphedema. Emphasis is placed on integration of skills learned over the course of the PTA program to form complete and thorough patient care experiences.
Prerequisites: PTA 205, PTA 210 and PTA 215.

PTA 240 Clinical Practicum III

Five semester hours

(A minimum of 200 hours of clinical per semester) This clinical is a continuation of supervised practical experience in a physical therapy setting with added opportunities to apply and improve therapy skills. Students are expected to manage a larger patient load during this terminal clinical practice and complete assignments related to topics, including quality assurance issues, documentation systems and the APTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Prerequisites: PTA 220, PTA 230 and PTA 235. The student will be responsible for travel, lodging and living expenses for the duration of that clinical.

PTA 245 Clinical Practicum IV

Six semester hours
(A minimum of 240 hours of clinical per semester) This clinical is de­signed to be a final step in the development of the physical therapist assistant student and demonstrate entry-level competence with skills with full patient caseload and additional responsibilities in a physical therapy setting. Students will be expected to perform patient care skills as related to the profession of physical therapy in a competent and ethical manner. In addition, students will complete an in-service present a patient case study and relate how the PTA fits into an integrated health care environment.
Prerequisites: PTA 240. The student will be responsible for travel, lodging and living expenses for the duration of that clinical.