What is a physical therapist assistant?
A physical therapist assistant (PTA) is licensed to practice physical therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist (PT). They perform hands-on treatments for people who need to recover from injuries to the bones and joints, brain and nerves, problems with pain, developmental complications, and other movement problems. Their main purpose is to assist people with reaching their maximum level of health and function. They help people to recover their ability to walk, to heal from wounds, and to learn to work and live with the effects of injuries and other health problems.
Physical therapists (PTs) are responsible for evaluating and treating people who need physical therapy care. They identify problems that physical therapy can address, create goals, and decide what treatment the person will receive. PTAs usually work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, schools, home health – actually, anywhere that physical therapists work. They only work with physical therapists – this is exclusive and required by professional ethics, codes of conduct, and by law.
Description of degree
The nationally accredited Physical Therapist Assistant professional program at Dixie State University is an admission-limited, two-year course of study leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree.
The PTA professional program is admission-limited meaning that, through a competitive application process, one cohort of no more than 16 students is admitted to the professional program per year. The start date for the program is the first day of classes of the DSU fall semester.
PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM COURSE OF STUDY
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Course Sequencing
|Semester I (10)||Semester II (14)||Semester III (4)||Semester IV (13)||Semester V (12)|
|PTA 2010 Kinesiology (2)||PTA 2000 Practice Issues (2)||PTA 2605 Clinical Practicum (4)
|PTA 2410 Special Clientele (2)||PTA 2705 Clinical Affiliation I (6)|
|PTA 2011 Kinesiology Lab (2)||PTA 2200 Physical Agents (2)||PTA 2411 Special Clientele Lab (1)||PTA 2805 Clinical Affiliation II (6)|
|PTA 2110 Fundamentals Physical Therapy (2)||PTA 2201 Physical Agents Lab (2)||PTA 2520 Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (2)|
|PTA 2111 Fundamentals Physical Therapy Lab (2)||PTA 2210 Observation & Measurement (2)||PTA 2521 Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Lab (2)|
|PTA 2400 Clinical Pathology (2)||PTA 2211 Observation & Measurement Lab (2)||PTA 2530 Seminar (4)|
|PTA 2300 Orthopedic Rehabilitation (2)||PTA 3000 Clinical Skills (2)|
|PTA 2301 Orthopedic Rehabilitation Lab (2)|
Detailed course descriptions can be found here.
ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE IN PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT: PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND PREREQUISITES
REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY
To be considered for admission to the PTA program, an applicant must first be accepted as a Dixie State University student. Then, the applicant must complete a separate application to the PTA program. Each cohort is limited to 16 students; therefore, admission is competitive. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Students are accepted into a “cohort” – a group of students who start the program at the same time, enroll and complete the same program courses, perform clinical education at the same time, and graduate together as a group. The program cannot be taken part-time; it is a full time commitment.
Admission requirements include:
- Be admitted to Dixie State University
- Minimum GPA of 2.7 in prerequisitecourses (no grade below “C”)
- Minimum “C” grade in each required general education course
- Observation or work experience (16 hours minimum)
- Official college transcripts
Upon conditional acceptance:
- Criminal background check
- Health/immunization requirements
Once an applicant is accepted into the program but before enrollment, additional health requirements, including selected immunizations, CPR certification, and drug screening, will be required.