The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a technically educated health care provider who works under the supervision of a physical therapist. The PTA performs duties and carries out treatment plans as directed by the physical therapist. Duties of the PTA are varied and include but are not limited to the application of physical modalities, exercise programs, gait training, functional activities, and patient education.
Work in physical therapy includes physical activity such as bending, lifting patients, and prolonged standing and walking.
Physical therapist assistants utilize various rehabilitative techniques to help patients whose abilities have been impaired by an accident, injury, illness, disease or other health-related conditions that limit movement and functional abilities.
Clients include adult and pediatric patients with orthopedic and neurologic injuries and various medical conditions.
Employment settings include acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, nursing homes, home health and sports medicine clinics.
The Physical Therapist Assistant is an important member of the dynamic rehabilitation team and will interact with other health care providers including occupational therapists and assistants, nurses, speech pathologists, and physicians.
Associate of Applied Science Degree
The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Jefferson State Community College is an associate-level program that results in the awarding of the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. The degree is awarded after one year of prerequisite coursework and one year of professional coursework. Once the student has completed the program and graduates, they are qualified to sit for the National Board Exam for professional state licensure. The program is designed to prepare competent, ethical, entry level physical therapist assistants in occupational responsibilities, academic knowledge and in the clinical skills necessary to serve the physical therapy health care needs of the public.
Candidates interested in the PTA program must complete pre-requisites and general education courses per established guidelines before being admitted and enrolling in the professional phase of the program.
Specific program applications are due every January 15th. Once admitted, a student will have the option to follow an On-Campus Program or an Online Track Program. The On-Campus classes are all enhanced and/or supported by the Blackboard course-management system; a portion of the On-Campus Program is internet-based. The Online Track Program is a hybrid program and cannot be completed entirely online; the program requires students to be at the Shelby-Hoover Campus for all laboratory sessions. Online lecture courses may also require students to visit instructional sites for presentations or to complete exams, quizzes, and/or clinicals.
Facility Location and Faculty
The PTA department is located on the 3rd floor of the General Studies Building at the Shelby-Hoover Campus in Suite 316. The PTA lab is furnished with equipment and supplies reflective of current patient care. The first floor library carries essential therapy resources including The Rehabilitation Reference Center. Faculty includes three full-time members, adjunct faculty members and guest lecturers. The faculty to student ratio is 1:12 or less in laboratory experiences.
The physical therapist assistant program is currently undergoing revision. Published guidelines and requirements are subject to change without notice. Updated information is posted on this web site as available.
The PTA Program at Jefferson State Community College continually strives to improve the process of providing quality physical therapist assistant education. Your feedback is a critical component to improving our services. Please click here and submit your comments directly to the program coordinator. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.