Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Courses

PTA 100 Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Units:1.5
  • Hours:27 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 or ESLW 340 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides an introduction to the field of physical therapy and the role of the physical therapist assistant within the health care delivery system. Definitions of physical therapy, history and development of the profession, and the diverse types of clinical practice and employment settings are explored. The mission and goals of the professional organization, standards of practice, laws and regulations, and licensure requirements are introduced. Students observe examples of physical therapy practice using on-line media resources and submit a written report.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • define physical therapy practice.
  • describe the history and development of the field of physical therapy, including current trends.
  • compare and contrast the diverse types of clinical practice and employment settings within the field of physical therapy.
  • compare and contrast education and practice of the physical therapist (PT), the physical therapist assistant (PTA), and the physical therapist aide.
  • demonstrate knowledge of selected state and federal laws, standards of practice, professional values, and licensure requirements related to physical therapy practice.
  • describe the responsibilities of the physical therapist assistant, to include: data collection, implementation of the treatment plan, documentation, verbal and non-verbal communication, administrative and non-patient care tasks, professional behavior, judgment, and problem-solving.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the role of the physical therapist assistant in regard to working as a health team member under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner.
  • describe psychosocial, economic, legislative, and demographic factors that may influence the delivery of health care, including physical therapy.
  • discuss the mission and goals of the American Physical Therapy Association.
  • compare and contrast varied examples of physical therapy practice using on-line media resources.
  • prepare a written report integrating information from class discussion, independent readings, and on-line media observations of physical therapy practice.
  • evaluate the suitability of physical therapy as an individual career choice.

PTA 110 Kinesiology for PTA Students

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:See enrollment limitations.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program and completion of PTA 100, BIOL 430 & 431, and ENGWR 300 (or ESLW 340) with grades of "C" or better, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in these courses. Completion of ENGRD 110 with a grade of "C" or better (or eligibility for ENGRD 310, as determined by the reading assessment process) for all applicants who do not have an A.A. Degree or higher.
  • Advisory:AH 110 and LIBR 318 with grades of "C" or better
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course involves developing and utilizing knowledge of the skeletal, articular, muscular, and nervous systems to analyze human posture and movement. Components of joint structure and function, muscle action, balance mechanisms, and sensory influence are applied to analysis of spinal and extremity motions, as well as common functional activities. Kinesiological principles are presented as they apply to the practice of physical therapy and the roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist assistant. A paper and project are required.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply appropriate terminology relating to positions and movements of the human body.
  • demonstrate working knowledge of joint structure, muscle attachments and actions, and innervations of major muscles.
  • apply biomechanical concepts such as the laws of motion, force, friction, effect of gravity, levers, pulleys, and mechanical advantage to the study of human posture and movement, body mechanics, and physical therapy procedures.
  • describe the normal spinal curves.
  • describe biomechanical implications of postural variations and recognize common postural deviations.
  • describe chest wall expansion and excursion during respiration.
  • explain normal righting and equilibrium reactions.
  • recognize components of normal and impaired balance.
  • analyze movement of the spine and extremities by applying knowledge of the skeletal, articular, muscular, and nervous systems.
  • relate kinesiological concepts to their relevance in physical therapy clinical activities such as palpation, goniometry, muscle testing, and body mechanics instruction.
  • integrate knowledge of musculoskeletal factors; postural mechanisms; balance, righting, and equilibrium reactions; and sensory/proprioceptive status in developing a holistic understanding of factors contributing to movement disorders.
  • recognize the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist assistant in utilizing knowledge of kinesiology in implementation of the comprehensive treatment plan developed by the supervising physical therapist.
  • identify basic concepts in professional literature, including validity, reliability, and statistical significance.
  • analyze the components of gait, and recognize normal and abnormal gait.
  • prepare a written report and project that demonstrates the ability to locate and utilize resources in the professional literature and carry out self-directed learning.

PTA 111 Kinesiology Laboratory for PTA Students

  • Units:2
  • Hours:108 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:See enrollment limitations.
  • Corequisite:PTA 110
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program and completion of PTA 100, BIOL 430 & 431, and ENGWR 300 (or ESLW 340) with grades of "C" or better, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in these courses. Completion of ENGRD 110 with a grade of "C" or better (or eligibility for ENGRD 310, as determined by the reading assessment process) for all applicants who do not have an A.A. Degree or higher.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course utilizes a problem solving approach to analysis of human movement emphasizing application of kinesiological principles to the field of physical therapy and the role of the physical therapist assistant. Students practice procedures for performing and recording results of palpation, goniometry, tests for flexibility/muscle length, body dimensions, muscle performance, sensation, coordination, balance, and analysis of posture and gait. Physical therapy procedures such as range of motion, positioning and draping, and body mechanics are introduced. Students practice skills and activities with each other in a laboratory setting under instructor supervision. A project and class presentation are required.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate professional behavior and safety; adhere to standard precautions for infection control in the classroom laboratory setting.
  • demonstrate the ability to locate muscles, tendons, and bony prominences by palpation; observe the presence or absence of muscle mass.
  • perform the following data collection skills, which may be delegated by a supervising physical therapist to identify a patient's status: goniometry, functional range of motion, tests for flexibility/muscle length, body dimensions (height, weight, girth, length), muscle performance (selected manual muscle tests), resting posture in any position, coordination assessment, sensory assessment, analysis of posture and gait, chest expansion.
  • demonstrate application of principles of positioning and draping of patients and body mechanics.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the rationale and effectiveness of physical therapy interventions such as data collection, range of motion, positioning, draping, and body mechanics.
  • analyze segmental motions and selected exercises and functional activities, with respect to goniometric data, flexibility/muscle length, and muscle function; recognize normal and abnormal joint motion
  • analyze and demonstrate the influence of biomechanical concepts such as laws of motion, force, friction, effect of gravity, levers, pulleys, and mechanical advantage on human posture and movement, body mechanics, and physical therapy procedures.
  • differentiate movement in relation to open and closed chains; active and passive insufficiency; and concentric, eccentric, and isometric contractions.
  • describe positions of the normal developmental sequence continuum and relate how they influence posture, mobility, and transitional movements.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • administer standard balance tests as part of the assessment of patient function.
  • identify basic concepts in professional literature, including validity, reliability, and statistical significance.
  • prepare a project related to movement analysis that reflects incorporation of information from the professional literature and ability to carry out self-directed learning.
  • demonstrate the ability to educate others effectively through presentation of a movement analysis project to the class.
  • demonstrate beginning ability to carry out the roles and responsibilities of the physical therapist assistant in implementation of the following elements of the comprehensive plan of care: a) interpretation of the physical therapist's evaluation and plan of care; b) documentation of results of data collection procedures such as goniometric measurements and tests of muscle function; c) implementation of interventions such as range of motion, positioning, draping, and body mechanics to achieve the outcomes identified in the plan of care, including monitoring the patient response and responding accordingly; d) communication with patients and the supervising physical therapist; e) utilization of data to determine a patient's progress toward short- and long-term goals as established in the plan of care.

PTA 120 Beginning Procedures - Physical Therapy Modalities and Procedures

  • Units:3.5
  • Hours:45 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 110 and 111 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course introduces the theory and application of physical therapy modalities and procedures to include thermal agents, hydrotherapy, external compression, wound management, transfers and gait training, wheelchair fitting and mobility, and utilization of infection control procedures. Students develop skills in gathering data regarding vital signs, functional ability in gait and transfers, pain status, and integumentary integrity. Documentation procedures, including use of medical abbreviations and terminology, are practiced. Through laboratory activities and problem-solving with case studies, students develop skills in utilizing modalities and procedures in comprehensive implementation of the physical therapy plan of care. Class activities may include a field trip.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to appropriately utilize infection control procedures to include standard and transmission-based precautions, isolation technique, clean/sterile technique.
  • perform the following data collection skills to identify a patient's status: vital signs, identification of cyanosis, level of functional ability in gait and transfers, fit of wheelchair, pain status, integumentary integrity (normal and abnormal integumentary changes, viable and nonviable tissue), edema (girth).
  • demonstrate knowledge of the function and implications and related precautions of intravenous lines, tubes, catheters, and monitoring devices.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the rationale and effectiveness of thermal and athermal modalities, hydrotherapy, external compression, wound management, transfers, gait training, wheelchair mobility, infection control procedures.
  • discuss basic theory of thermal and athermal modalities to include types, purpose, depth of penetration, physiological effects, dosage, and duration.
  • differentiate indications, contraindications, and precautions for treatment modalities and procedures including identification of precautions for dressing removal.
  • implement the following interventions, which may be delegated within the plan of care established by a physical therapist: bed mobility; gait and transfers; wheelchair mobility; superficial and deep thermal modalities (hot pack, paraffin, continuous ultrasound, cryotherapy); athermal modalities (pulsed ultrasound); external compression; hydrotherapy; wound care and skin management; application and removal of dressings; positioning to decrease pain or skin trauma.
  • recognize normal and abnormal responses to treatment modalities and procedures, including signs and symptoms that indicate that interventions should be modified, terminated, or not provided due to changing clinical conditions and determine how these signs and symptoms should be communicated to the supervising physical therapist or other medical staff.
  • apply knowledge of safety, body mechanics, and positioning and draping patients to implementation of physical therapy modalities and procedures.
  • demonstrate skill in interpreting information from the medical and physical therapy record and producing documentation that is clear, accurate, and adheres to standards of state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • demonstrate knowledge of appropriate responses to unanticipated or emergency situations.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • identify and integrate appropriate evidence-based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.
  • identify and perform standardized tests for levels of independence and functional abilities.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.

PTA 121 Disorders I - Selected Disorders Commonly Seen in Physical Therapy

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:PTA 110 and 111 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is designed as an overview of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, immune, gastrointestinal, genital and reproductive, hematologic, hepatic and biliary, lymphatic, and integumentary disorders relevant to the practice of physical therapy. Additional topics include: infectious disease, genetic disorders, neoplasms, peripheral nerve injury, and the effect of developmental, psychosocial, and cultural factors. Etiology, signs and symptoms, prognosis, and medical/surgical interventions for disorders are surveyed. Approaches to data collection and physical therapy interventions are introduced. Emphasis is placed on utilization of knowledge of medical disorders by physical therapist assistants within the context of implementing a comprehensive plan of care.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • compare and contrast etiology, signs, symptoms, prognosis, and medical/surgical treatment of selected disorders relevant to the practice of physical therapy to include: cardiovascular, endocrine and metabolic, gastrointestinal, genital and reproductive, hematologic, hepatic and biliary, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, and renal and urologic systems.
  • explain the theory and purpose of standard precautions for infection control and apply knowledge of standard precautions to case examples.
  • recognize standard and special tests used in physical therapy assessment of musculoskeletal and general medical disorders.
  • describe effects of developmental, psychosocial, and cultural factors on the incidence, assessment, and treatment of musculoskeletal and general medical disorders.
  • discuss the process of tissue repair and healing and the effect of aging on body systems.
  • recognize appropriate physical therapy interventions for patients with musculoskeletal and general medical disorders in acute, subacute, and chronic stages.
  • discuss the rationale and effectiveness of physical therapy interventions used in the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal and general medical disorders.
  • differentiate normal and abnormal responses to physical therapy interventions and demonstrate how data collection and communication are utilized by physical therapist assistants to participate in determining a patient's progress toward specific outcomes as established in the plan of care by the physical therapist.
  • recognize activities that aggravate or relieve conditions such as pain, dyspnea, edema.
  • recognize critical signs and symptoms that indicate that interventions should be modified, terminated, or not provided due to changing clinical conditions (pain, abnormal vital signs, oxygen saturation, dyspnea, cyanosis, blood glucose levels, edema, selected lab values) and determine how these signs and symptoms should be communicated to the supervising physical therapist or other medical staff.
  • demonstrate beginning competence in applying knowledge of disorders by: a) interpreting the physical therapist's evaluation of the patient, b) interpreting information in the medical record, and c) recognizing the physical therapist assistant's role in implementing a comprehensive treatment plan under the supervision of a physical therapist.
  • relate knowledge of medical disorders to clinical practice through preparation of written case studies.
  • prepare a written report that demonstrates the ability to find, select, and integrate resources from the professional literature relevant to a clinical disorder.

PTA 122 Introduction to Clinical Practice

  • Units:3
  • Hours:18 hours LEC; 112 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 120, 121, and 130 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides students with the initial opportunity to observe physical therapy practice and perform selected delegated responsibilities with guidance, direction, and supervision. Students complete 112 hours in an assigned clinical setting. Assignments are determined by the program faculty and may be in acute, sub-acute, outpatient, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, or other type of physical therapy practice. Seminar, individual meeting, and online discussion topics include orientation to the clinical practice setting, discussion of clinical experiences and clinical practice issues, and self-assessment of performance. The course is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate professional behavior.
  • observe and assist with performance of selected data collection and demonstrate an understanding of how data collection is used to monitor patient status and progress toward short-term and long-term goals established in the plan of care.
  • observe and assist with performance of patient interventions to achieve the short-term and long-term goals identified in the plan of care.
  • communicate in ways that are congruent with situational needs.
  • adhere to OSHA workplace safety guidelines, HIPAA confidentiality standards, and standard precautions.
  • recognize one's individual learning style and its application to the clinical experience.
  • describe the roles and responsibilities of the student, the clinical instructor, the clinic coordinator of clinical education and the director of clinical education.
  • provide substantive contributions to discussions about clinical experiences and professional issues related to physical therapy practice.
  • recognize developmental, psychosocial, cultural, and economic factors which may impact implementation of the physical therapy treatment plan.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • apply knowledge of laws and regulations, the Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant to experiences in the clinical setting.
  • perform self-assessment of strengths and limitations and develop plans to improve knowledge, skills, and behaviors.
  • demonstrate beginning skill in locating resources in the physical therapy professional literature.
  • participate in the provision of patient-centered inter-professional collaborative care.

PTA 130 Intermediate Procedures, Physical Therapy Modalities and Procedures

  • Units:1
  • Hours:9 hours LEC; 27 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 120 and 121 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course introduces theory and application of traction and electrotherapeutic modalities utilized by physical therapist assistants. Topics include the use of traction for pain relief and tissue healing, as well as electrical stimulation for pain management, muscle re-education, and tissue healing. Through case-based learning activities students integrate skills in data collection, traction, electrotherapeutic modalities, and other interventions for implementation of a comprehensive physical therapy plan of care.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the rationale, procedures, therapeutic effects, and effectiveness of traction.
  • recognize activities, positions, and postures that aggravate or relieve pain or altered sensations.
  • explain the basic principles of electricity and the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • discuss basic theory of the following electrotherapeutic modalities to include rationale, intensity, duration, and effectiveness: electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, phonophoresis, diathermy, infrared, ultraviolet, laser light therapy.
  • compare and contrast electrotherapeutic modalities and parameters appropriate for pain management, muscle re-education, and tissue healing.
  • describe indications, precautions, and contraindications for traction and electrotherapeutic modalities.
  • outline theories of pain and mechanisms of pain suppression using electrotherapeutic modalities.
  • demonstrate safe and accurate application of the following electrotherapeutic modalities: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), interferential current (IFC), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), and Hi-Volt current.
  • apply data collection techniques of goniometry, muscle performance, pain, skin integrity, and sensation to implementation of interventions involving electrotherapeutic modalities.
  • differentiate normal and abnormal responses to traction and electrotherapeutic modalities, including signs and symptoms that indicate that interventions should be terminated, modified or not provided, due to changing clinical conditions.
  • choose appropriate responses to unanticipated or emergency situations involving traction and electrotherapeutic modalities.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • demonstrate preparedness for clinical education through implementation of the physical therapy plan of care to include: a) interpretation of the physical therapist's evaluation and plan of care; b) performance and documentation of delegated data collection procedures to obtain subjective and objective information; c) implementation of delegated modalities and procedures to achieve the outcomes identified in the plan of care, including monitoring the patient response and responding accordingly; d) communication with the patient, supervising physical therapist, families, and other health care providers; e) modification of the approach to treatment within the plan or initiation of clarification of the plan with the physical therapist; f) education of patients and care-givers; g) determination of a patient's progress toward specific short and long term goals as established in the plan of care and participation in discharge planning.
  • complete accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.

PTA 140 Therapeutic Exercise - Exercise Programs, Protocols and Procedures

  • Units:3
  • Hours:36 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 122 and 130 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course presents the basic principles of therapeutic exercise and implementation of therapeutic exercise procedures in physical therapy. Approaches to improve range of motion, strength, muscular endurance, balance, coordination, and functional limitations are included. Theories of motor control and motor learning are introduced. Knowledge of kinesiology, medical disorders, and documentation is integrated as students apply therapeutic exercise principles to case-based learning activities that emphasize the role of the physical therapist assistant in implementing a comprehensive physical therapy plan of care. Class activities may include a field trip.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify and demonstrate exercises commonly used in physical therapy; demonstrate ability to modify exercises, instruct patients effectively, and correct form.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the evidence-based rationale for therapeutic exercise procedures along with precautions and contraindications.
  • describe principles of motor control and motor learning and their application to therapeutic exercise.
  • demonstrate data collection procedures such as: interview of patients, family members, and caregivers; goniometry; muscle performance (strength, power, endurance); assessment of muscle tone, posture, balance, and neuromuscular control within the context of implementing a comprehensive plan of care.
  • generate exercise progressions for balance and coordination, conditioning and reconditioning, range of motion, stretching, and strengthening; apply knowledge of kinesiology and medical disorders to development of exercise progressions.
  • demonstrate beginning skill in application of developmental activities and neuro-developmental approaches to treatment.
  • demonstrate how knowledge of environmental barriers and ergonomic principles applies to patient education and implementation of therapeutic exercise programs.
  • apply principles of training in posture awareness and alignment, self-care and home management, work integration or reintegration, and selection and application of devices and equipment to the implementation of therapeutic exercise procedures.
  • differentiate normal and abnormal responses to therapeutic exercise; respond appropriately to unanticipated or emergency situations.
  • apply principles of effective teaching and learning to therapeutic exercise, including planning and implementing group exercise classes.
  • recognize developmental, psychosocial, and cultural differences that may necessitate adaptations in the approach to patient and family interaction and education.
  • produce documentation that is clear, accurate, and adheres to standards of state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • integrate and apply information from the professional literature and therapeutic exercise principles to development of a video-based demonstration of skills, and assess own performance.
  • use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health to describe a patient’s/client’s impairments, activity, and participation limitations.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • demonstrate novice-level competence in implementation of the physical therapy plan of care to include: a) interpretation of the physical therapist's evaluation of the patient and critical information from the medical record; b) performance and documentation of delegated data collection procedures to obtain subjective and objective information; c) implementation of therapeutic exercise to achieve the outcomes identified in the plan of care, including monitoring the patient response and responding accordingly, and reporting changes to the supervising physical therapist; d) communication with the patient, supervising physical therapist, families, and other health care providers; e) modification of the approach to treatment within the plan or initiation of clarification of the plan with the physical therapist; f) education of patients, care-givers, and other health care providers; g) determination of a patient's progress toward specific short and long term goals as established in the plan of care and participation in discharge planning.

PTA 141 Disorders II - Nervous System Disorders

  • Units:2
  • Hours:36 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:PTA 122 and 130 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is designed as an overview of central and peripheral nervous system disorders relevant to the practice of physical therapy. Etiology, signs and symptoms, prognosis, and medical/surgical interventions are surveyed. Approaches to physical therapy data collection and interventions are introduced. Emphasis is placed on utilization of knowledge of medical disorders by physical therapist assistants within the context of implementing a comprehensive plan of care.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • compare and contrast etiology, signs, symptoms, prognosis, and medical/surgical treatment of central and peripheral nervous system disorders relevant to the practice of physical therapy.
  • describe, explain the purpose of, and apply standard procedures for physical therapy assessment of: a) arousal, mentation, and cognition; b) cranial nerve integrity (visual and auditory); c) sensory integrity; d) perception.
  • identify and differentiate the following characteristics of motor function and movement behavior observed in patients with neurological disorders: variations in muscle tone and mass, strength, movement patterns, recruitment, abnormal reflexes and responses.
  • describe effects of developmental, psychosocial, and cultural factors on the incidence, assessment, and treatment of nervous system disorders.
  • describe physical therapy procedures commonly used in treatment of patients with nervous system disorders.
  • discuss the rationale and effectiveness of physical therapy treatment procedures used in the treatment of patients with nervous system disorders.
  • recognize signs and symptoms that indicate that interventions should be modified, terminated, or not provided due to changing clinical conditions and determine how these signs and symptoms should be communicated to the supervising physical therapist or other medical staff.
  • synthesize knowledge of central and peripheral nervous system disorders through problem-solving and case studies, within the context of the physical therapist assistant implementing a comprehensive plan of care under the supervision of a physical therapist.
  • demonstrate novice-level competence in applying knowledge of nervous system disorders to: a)interpreting the physical therapist's evaluation of the patient, b) interpreting critical information in the medical record, and c) recognizing the physical therapist assistant's role in implementing a comprehensive plan of care under the supervision of a physical therapist.
  • demonstrate competence in locating and prioritizing resources in the professional literature and integrating the information into a scholarly paper and/or presentation relevant to a clinical problem in neurologic physical therapy.

PTA 142 Clinical Practicum I

  • Units:4.5
  • Hours:243 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:AH 100, AH 106, PTA 140, and PTA 141 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides students with the opportunity to perform supervised delegated patient care responsibilities in a physical therapy clinical setting. Students complete a clinical practicum of six weeks (40 hours per week) at a facility assigned by the program faculty. The placement may be in an acute, sub-acute, out-patient, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, or other type of physical therapy practice. Additionally, weekly on-line discussion board participation is required. The course is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • perform in a safe manner that minimizes risk to patients, self, and others.
  • demonstrate professional behavior.
  • perform under the supervision of a physical therapist in a manner consistent with legal standards, ethical guidelines, and standards of the profession.
  • perform therapeutic exercises and therapeutic soft tissue techniques in a competent manner.
  • apply integumentary repair/protection techniques in a competent manner.
  • apply physical agents and mechanical modalities in a competent manner.
  • demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication with patients, family, staff, other health care providers, and members of the community.
  • adapt delivery of physical therapy services with consideration for patients’ differences, within the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • gather data to determine progress toward goals.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • identify and integrate appropriate evidence-based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • complete accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies that commonly occur in the clinical setting.
  • identify and integrate appropriate evidence-based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.
  • participate in the provision of patient-centered inter-professional collaborative care.
  • assess own performance and engage in self-directed learning activities to enhance clinical performance.

PTA 150 Functional Activities & Gait - Activities of Daily Living and Gait Training Techniques

  • Units:3
  • Hours:36 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 140, 141, and 142 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course presents the application of functional exercise and gait activities, with emphasis on the physical therapist assistant's role in comprehensive treatment of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders, adult or pediatric neurological disorders, and amputation. Data collection activities related to assessing cardiopulmonary status, functional abilities, gait, equipment and assistive devices, and home and community environment are included. Students practice implementation of interventions to include aerobic exercise principles, endurance training for patients with cardio-pulmonary disorders, pulmonary hygiene techniques, functional activities and gait, activities of daily living, developmental activities, management of prosthetics and orthotics, management of wheelchairs and other equipment, and client/family education.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply knowledge of orthopedic, neurological, cardiopulmonary, and general medical disorders to the implementation of interventions involving functional activities and gait.
  • identify common amputation causes and sites and discuss residual limb care.
  • differentiate the uses for a variety of prosthetic and orthotic devices.
  • describe normal neuromotor development that includes gross and fine motor milestones and reflex development.
  • perform the following data collection skills: vital signs; identification of cyanosis; breathing patterns at rest and with activity; chest wall expansion and excursion; response to positional changes and activities; cough and sputum characteristics; alignment of trunk and extremities at rest and during activities; ability to safely use and care for assistive, supportive, and prosthetic devices; changes in skin condition while using devices and equipment; level of functional skills; safety, status, and progression of patients during locomotion, gait, balance, and wheelchair mobility.
  • implement the following physical therapy interventions: pulmonary hygiene techniques, aerobic exercise, endurance training for patients with cardio-pulmonary disorders, activities of daily living, functional training with assistive/adaptive devices, body mechanics during functional training, developmental activities, gait training, management of prosthetics and orthotics, wheelchair management skills, client/family education.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • demonstrate near entry-level competence in implementation of the physical therapy plan of care to include: a) interpretation of the physical therapist's evaluation and plan of care; b) performance and documentation of delegated data collection procedures to obtain subjective and objective information; c) implementation of delegated procedures to achieve the outcomes identified in the plan of care, including monitoring the patient response and responding accordingly; d) communication with the patient, supervising physical therapist, families, and other health care providers; e) modification of the approach to treatment within the plan or initiation of clarification of the plan with the physical therapist; f) education of patients and care-givers; g) determination of a patient's progress toward specific short and long term goals as established in the plan of care and participation in discharge planning.
  • respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies that commonly occur in the clinical setting.
  • recognize developmental, psychosocial, and cultural differences that may necessitate adaptations in the approach to patient and family interaction and education.
  • perform and document a home/environmental assessment: inspect the physical environment and measure physical space; identify safety and barriers in home, community, and work environments; identify possible equipment needs; administer questionnaires about home environment.
  • identify and integrate appropriate evidence-based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • incorporate principles of neuromotor development in movement analysis and in development of therapeutic exercise progressions.
  • complete accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.

PTA 151 Advanced Procedures-Advanced Modalities and Treatment Procedures

  • Units:1
  • Hours:9 hours LEC; 27 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 140, 141, and 142 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course introduces the theory and application of massage, soft tissue mobilization techniques, and biofeedback by physical therapist assistants. Through laboratory practice and case-based learning activities, students develop skills in utilizing these modalities and procedures in comprehensive implementation of the physical therapy plan of care.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the rationale, procedures, therapeutic effects, and effectiveness of the following physical therapy interventions: therapeutic massage and soft tissue mobilization techniques, peripheral joint mobilization, and selected biofeedback procedures.
  • safely and accurately administer the following physical therapy treatment interventions: therapeutic massage and selected soft tissue techniques for upper extremities, lower extremities, face, neck, and spine; surface EMG biofeedback.
  • describe specialized approaches to soft tissue mobilization such as lymphatic drainage massage and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.
  • recognize activities, positions, and postures that aggravate or relieve pain or altered sensations.
  • differentiate indications, precautions, contraindications, and normal and abnormal responses to treatment in regard to massage, soft tissue mobilization, and selected biofeedback procedures.
  • define and discuss the physical therapy relevance of the medical tests of electrodiagnosis and electromyography.
  • describe procedures for assessment of edematous extremities (limb volume and girth); recall and demonstrate procedures for goniometry, assessment of flexibility/muscle length, muscle performance, and pain.
  • respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies that commonly occur in the clinical setting.
  • demonstrate preparedness for clinical education through the implementation of the physical therapy plan of care to include: a) interpretation of the physical therapist's evaluation and plan of care; b) performance and documentation of delegated data collection procedures to obtain subjective and objective information; c) implementation of delegated modalities and procedures to achieve the outcomes identified in the plan of care, including monitoring the patient response and changes in status and responding accordingly; d) communication with the patient, supervising physical therapist, families, and other health care providers; e) modification of the approach to treatment within the plan or initiation of clarification of the plan with the physical therapist; f) education of patients and care-givers; g) determination of a patient's progress toward specific short and long term goals as established in the plan of care and participation in discharge planning.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • identify and integrate appropriate evidence-based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • complete accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.

PTA 152 Clinical Practicum II

  • Units:4.5
  • Hours:243 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:PTA 150, 151, and 153 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course provides students with the opportunity to perform supervised delegated patient care in a physical therapy clinical setting. This is the final clinical assignment during the program. Students complete a clinical practicum of six weeks (40 hours per week) at a facility assigned by the program faculty. The placement may be in an acute, sub-acute, out-patient, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, or other type of physical therapy practice. This assignment will be at a facility which differs from previous clinical assignments. Additionally, weekly online discussion board participation is required. The course is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • perform in a safe manner that minimizes risk to patients, self, and others.
  • demonstrate professional behavior.
  • perform under the supervision of a physical therapist in a manner consistent with established legal standards, ethical guidelines, and standards of the profession.
  • perform therapeutic exercises, therapeutic soft tissue techniques, and airway clearance techniques in a competent manner.
  • apply integumentary repair and protection techniques in a competent manner.
  • apply physical agents, mechanical modalities, and electrotherapeutic modalities in a competent manner.
  • perform functional training in self care and home management and application and adjustment of devices and equipment in a competent manner.
  • demonstrate clinical problem solving.
  • demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication with patients, family, staff, other health care providers, and members of the community.
  • adapt delivery of physical therapy services with consideration for patients’ differences, within the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • gather data to determine progress toward goals.
  • interview patients, clients, caregivers, and family to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status.
  • determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • complete accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies that commonly occur in the clinical setting.
  • identify and integrate appropriate evidence-based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the supervising physical therapist.
  • participate in the provision of patient-centered inter-professional collaborative care.
  • assess own performance and engage in self-directed learning activities to enhance clinical performance.

PTA 153 Professional Issues in Physical Therapy

  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:PTA 140, 141, and 142 with grades of "C" or better
  • Enrollment Limitation:Enrollment in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course addresses professional practice issues in physical therapy to include organizational structure, budget, time management, and social responsibility. Students review and integrate information on physical therapy practice and laws and regulations in preparation for the national examination and the California jurisprudence examination.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • describe the roles and responsibilities of physical therapist assistants in the physical therapy delivery system.
  • demonstrate knowledge of behaviors consistent with the Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant, the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant, and the APTA’s Values Based Behaviors for the Physical Therapist Assistant.
  • demonstrate knowledge of applicable state and federal laws relating to physical therapy practice, and procedures for licensure.
  • reflect on the value of participating in professional and community organizations that provide opportunities for volunteerism, advocacy, and leadership.
  • identify career development and lifelong learning opportunities, including the role of the physical therapist assistant in the clinical education of physical therapist assistant students.
  • describe quality assurance activities within the context of physical therapy care.
  • describe aspects of organizational planning and operation of the physical therapy service.
  • identify the requirements for providing accurate and timely information for billing and payment purposes.
  • evaluate readiness for successful performance on the National Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants and the California Laws and Regulations Examination.

PTA 295 Independent Studies in Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Units:1 - 3
  • Hours:54 - 162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course involves an individual student or small groups of students in study, research, or activities beyond the scope of regularly offered courses, pursuant to an agreement among faculty and students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to complete a structured independent investigation of a topic in the discipline.
  • prepare a written report summarizing the results achieved from the independent study.

PTA 299 Experimental Offering in Physical Therapist Assistant

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020


More About the Program

PTA Program Details

Accredited By

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Sacramento City College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 706-3245
accreditation@apta.org
CAPTE Website

If needing to contact the program directly, please call (916) 558-2271 or email scc-pta@scc.losrios.edu.

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Health and Health Professions

Health and Health Professions meta major

This program is part of the Health and Health Professions meta major.

Health and Health Professions