Associate in Science
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The physical therapy assistant (PTA) is a skilled technical health care provider who works under the supervision and direction of a physical therapist (PT) in the assessment, treatment and prevention of physical disability resulting from injury, disease, pain, birth defects and other health-related conditions. The PTA, working as a member of the rehabilitation team, assists in implementing the treatment program according to the plan of care developed by the PT. Typical duties of the PTA include training patients in exercise, ambulation and activities of daily living; conducting treatment using specialized equipment; administering therapeutic physical agents such as heat, cold and electrical stimulation; assisting in the performance of tests; and observing and reporting patient responses and changes in condition to the PT.
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles rates the strength demands of a PTA at the medium level. This translates into lifting or exerting a force of 20 to 50 pounds occasionally, 10 to 25 pounds frequently and 10 pounds or less constantly.
Interested students can learn more about the profession of physical therapy and the role of the PTA by contacting the professional association.
American Physical Therapy Association
111 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
A limited access program.
Florida State College’s PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The PTA program is a combination of general education and technical courses including lecture, laboratory and clinical education components. Graduates of the program are prepared to function as entry-level practitioners. Upon completion of the program, you are awarded an A.S. degree. You are then eligible to apply to sit for a state administered national examination in order to qualify for licensure to practice as a PTA. Admission to this program is limited and is based on academic performance and other criteria.
A brochure outlining costs, requirements, deadlines and procedures is available online.
Career Opportunities, Rapid Placement
According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2008-09 Occupations Outlook Handbook, the demands for PTA’s is expected to grow by 29% between 2006 and 2016. The U.S. Department of Labor lists PTA as one of the 30 fastest growing occupations through 2010, with starting salaries ranging from $40,000 to $45,000 annually in Florida, depending on employment setting and geographic location.
Internships and Rotations
Employers view clinical experience as essential to understanding the responsibilities of a physical therapist assistant. Clinical training at local physical therapy facilities is arranged as part of the PTA curriculum. Students will be required to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to clinical placements.
Florida State College’s PTA program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Interested students can learn more about accreditation of physical therapy education by contacting CAPTE.
111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
The PTA program is a selective access program. Admission to the technical phase of the program is limited and based upon academic performance and other criteria. An information/application packet outlining requirements, procedures, costs and other pertinent information is available from the PTA department, North Campus.
Original transcripts are required for students who wish to receive credit from schools other than Florida State College.
Minimum requirements that must be met for consideration for admission to the technical phase of the PTA program are as follows:
- Applicants must be accepted for admission to Florida State College or be currently enrolled at Florida State College. Acceptance to Florida State College does not guarantee admission to the technical phase of the PTA program.
- Applicants must submit a completed application for the technical phase of the program to the PTA department. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered. Contact the PTA department for information/application packets and deadlines.
- Applicants must have completed 16 credit hours, including ENC 1101, DEP 2004 or PSY 1012, BSC 2085C, a mathematics course and a humanities course with a minimum grade of “C” and minimum combined grade point average of 2.5 prior to beginning the technical phase. It is highly recommended that all of the prerequisite courses be completed prior to beginning the technical phase.
- Applicants must complete the Revised PSB — Health Occupations Aptitude Examination. Contact the assessment and certification center of any campus for scheduling information.
- Applicants must submit documented evidence verifying completion of a minimum of 20 hours of observation, volunteer service and/or work experience in physical therapy. Verification forms can be obtained from the PTA department.
- Applicants must provide a copy of your official college transcript(s), including pre–technical coursework, to the PTA program. Students not currently enrolled in Florida State College and/or who are transferring college credit courses are required to have a second copy of their official transcript(s) sent directly from the college or university to the registrar’s office at Florida State College.
Students who have submitted completed applications to the PTA department by the deadline will be ranked according to a point scale based on grade point average in the required general education courses, scores on the Revised PSB — Health Occupations Aptitude Examination and accumulated hours of observation, volunteer service and/or work experience in physical therapy departments. The 30 highest ranked students will be accepted into the technical phase of the PTA program and notified of their acceptance by mail. A ranked alternate list will be established. In the event of forfeiture, the next highest ranked student will be notified of acceptance. Refer to the PTA program information/application packet for a complete description of the point system on which ranking is based.
The application deadline is February 15 of each year for classes starting in May of the same year.
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