Ranked #4 Best Health Care Support Job for 2017 according to U.S. News & World Report
A Hands-on Career that Can Make a Difference
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 assist in the treatment of individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. As the large baby-boomer generation ages, the need for these professionals will continue to expand.
A career as a physical therapist assistant could be right for you if you:
- Enjoy being a coach, cheerleader and teacher - great PTAs instruct and encourage their patients/clients to achieve goals
- Have the strength and agility required to work with physically disabled patients
- Can clearly communicate and demonstrate specific instructions and directions
- Have a passion for helping others in need
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. Learn about other qualities successful physical therapist assistants have on our blog.
A high-demand occupation
Physical Therapist Assistants 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. Opportunities are best for physical therapist assistants who hold an associate degree and are licensed.
Physical Therapist Assistant Program available at these campus locations:
Brookfield (Milwaukee), WI
At the Brookfield Campus, located just west of Milwaukee, our Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program begins once per year and we accept 27 students. For additional details please see Disclosures tab.
Our PTA program at the Orlando Campus, begins twice a year—January and July, and we accept 24 students each time without a waiting list. In order to become a PTA candidate, you will need to attend a PTA Information Session, where you will learn about the program and admissions process. The information session will last approximately 1.5 hrs. Please call (407) 641-5227 to reserve your seat at the next PTA Information Session.
For additional details about accreditation, please see the Disclosures Tab.
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 licensed physical therapist, the PTA can provide many parts of the treatment, as approved by the therapist.
Physical Therapist Assistants may advance to administrative 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.
The hours and days that physical therapist assistants 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 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.
Physical therapist assistants may 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.
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Curriculum
|Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant||73||20|
For Herzing University program accreditation information, please view the Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals.
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). View Program Course Sheet
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Objectives
Upon completion of their program, the student should be able to:
- Perform as an entry-level physical therapist assistant who demonstrates technical competence, makes sound clinical decisions, and provides safe and effective physical therapy.
- Take and pass their licensing exams.
- 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.
- Be competent in the technical skills, per the PTA student skills check-offs.
- Establish relationships with different patients and team members utilizing effective communications as well as awareness of culturally or socioeconomically diverse backgrounds.
- Demonstrate a commitment to professional growth by participating in activities that encourage lifelong learning.
- Use textbooks and scientific resources such as books, online databases, and journals to expand understanding of physical therapy practice and interventions.
- 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.
Brookfield Physical Therapist Assistant Program – PTA
Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Effective July 21, 2015, the Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at the Brookfield Campus of Herzing University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.
Orlando Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session – PTA
The Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program at the Orlando campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314-1488, 703-706-3245, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.capteonline.org). The program's current status is probationary accreditation; for more information see http://www.capteonline.org/WhatWeDo/RecentActions/PublicDisclosureNotices.
You must attend one of our upcoming Physical Therapist Assistant Information Sessions to become a candidate for Orlando’s 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.
Summary of Herzing University - Orlando Campus PTA Student Outcomes
Graduation Rate (students who complete the program in 150% of the time)
Percent of graduates passing national board exams
Employment Rate (percentage of students who graduated and who sought employment were employed in physical therapy within one year of graduation)