Physical Therapist Assistant

A real opportunity to make a major difference in the lives of others.

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. PTAs implement selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment), obtain data related to the interventions provided, and make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the physical therapist or to ensure patient/client safety and comfort.

#15 Best Job in America according to U.S. News & World Report's survey for 2013!

PTAs assist the physical therapist in the treatment of individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. PTAs must graduate from a CAPTE-accredited PTA program and licensure or certification is required in most states in which a PTA works.

Source: The above information was taken from the American Physical Therapy Association and used with permission.

A High-demand Occupation

As the large baby-boomer generation enters the prime age for heart attacks, strokes and broken bones, the need for these professionals will expand.

Advancement Opportunities

Many physical therapist assistants advance to administration positions. These positions might include managing all the assistants in a large physical therapy organization or acting as the director for a specific department such as sports medicine. Experienced assistants can also go on to teach in an accredited academic program, lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly, or organize community-run fitness and risk reduction activity programs.

Opportunities are best for physical therapist assistants who hold an associate degree and are licensed.

Physical therapist assistants need a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required in assisting patients with their treatment. Frequent kneeling, stooping, and standing for long periods also are part of the job. The hours and days that physical therapist assistants work vary, but many work evenings and weekends to accommodate their patients’ schedules.

A career as a physical therapist assistant could be right for you, if you:

  • Have the interpersonal skills needed to work with those who require encouragement as well as instruction
  • Have the strength and agility required to work with physically disabled patients
  • Can clearly communicate and demonstrate specific instructions and directions
  • Have a desire to help people in need

Orlando Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session – PTA

You must attend one of our upcoming Physical Therapist Assistant Information Sessions to become a candidate for our PTA program. At the PTA Information Session you will learn about Herzing University and the requirements for admission into the program, as well as what your next steps would be. The entire information session will last approximately 1.5 hrs.

Our PTA program begins twice a year—January and July, and we accept 24 students each time without a waiting list.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

What are the career opportunities in this field?

Physical Therapist Assistant Career Paths

About 72% of physical therapist assistants work in the offices of other health practitioners and in hospitals. Physical therapists are expected to increasingly use assistants to reduce the cost of physical therapy services. Once a patient is evaluated and a treatment plan is designed by the physical therapist, the PTA can provide many parts of the treatment, as approved by the therapist.

Many physical therapist assistants advance to administration positions. These positions might include organizing all the assistants in a large physical therapy organization or acting as the director for a specific department such as sports medicine.

Other assistants go on to teach in an accredited PTA academic program, lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly, or organize community activities related to fitness, wellness and risk reduction.

Work Environment

The hours and days that physical therapist assistants and aides work vary with the facility. About 28% of all PTAs work part-time. Many outpatient physical therapy offices and clinics have evening and weekend hours, to coincide with patients’ personal schedules.

Physical therapist assistants and aides need a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required in assisting patients with their treatment. In some cases, PTAs need to lift patients. Frequent kneeling, stooping, and standing for long periods also are part of the job.

What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?

Graduates of this program are prepared to take the National Licensing Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs).

The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herzing University (Orlando campus) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Summary of PTA Student Outcomes

 

Class of 2010

Class of 2011

Class of 2012

Class of 2013

Class of 2014

Graduation Rate

(those students who graduated within 150% of the time from matriculation)

78.3%

59.6%

74.3%

81%

In Progress

Percent of graduates passing national board exams

81.3%

85.7%

88.2%

91%

In Progress

Percent of licensed PTAs employed

(those students who sought out employment within 6 months of passing the National Exam)

100%

100%

100%

100%

In Progress

 

 

 

What is the program title, length, and content?

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Info Chart

Program Credits Months
Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant 73 20
*Average number of months for students to complete program

For Herzing University program accreditation information, please view the Accreditation page.

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

In Herzing’s well-recognized associate degree program, students gain a foundation in natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and humanities as well as specific career knowledge, skills, and capabilities. They also participate in planned clinical and laboratory experiences that provide a hands-on approach to classroom learning. Graduates are prepared to take the National Licensing Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs). Download Program Course Sheet

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Objectives

Upon completion of their program, the student should be able to:

  1. Perform as an entry-level physical therapist assistant who demonstrates technical competence, makes sound clinical decisions, and provides safe and effective physical therapy.
  2. Take and pass their licensing exams.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to follow a plan of care developed by a physical therapist while assessing a patient’s response to the treatment and contributing to the clinical decision-making process.
  4. Be competent in the technical skills, per the PTA student skills check-offs.
  5. Establish relationships with different patients and team members utilizing effective communications as well as awareness of culturally or socioeconomically diverse backgrounds.
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to professional growth by participating in activities that encourage lifelong learning.
  7. Use textbooks and scientific resources such as books, online databases, and journals to expand understanding of physical therapy practice and interventions.
  8. Think critically, both conceptually and by using mathematical analysis, write and speak effectively, use basic computer applications, and understand human behavior in the context of the greater society.

Which locations offer this program?

Orlando Campus

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