PTA Program Description

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts supports the mission of the Academy and is based upon the PTA program’s philosophy. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts will educate and graduate students prepared to meet the growing needs of our diverse community. The PTA Program at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts will strive to provide students with the necessary skills to enter the workforce as competent, thinking, respectful, and compassionate individuals who will provide legal and ethical care within the standards of practice for Physical Therapist Assistants under the supervision of a Physical Therapist.

Program Goals

  • To offer a curriculum that is sequential, integrated, and that reflects contemporary Physical Therapist Assistant practice.
  • To employ faculty who demonstrate current knowledge in the areas they teach, who are committed to the current professional standards of excellence.
  • To provide a variety of clinical education settings to facilitate the development of student competence with clinical skills.
  • The program will have a graduation rate of at least 70%.
  • The program will have an 90% pass rate on a two-year average on the NPTE/PTA licensing exam.
  • The program will provide students the necessary entry-level skills to transition from education to employment with an employment rate of at least 90%.

Program Philosophy

  • Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants are valued members of today’s health care team.
  • It is essential that Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants understand their respective roles and have mutual respect for these roles to best meet the patient/client needs.
  • Students will benefit from a curriculum that supports varying learning styles, is varied in educational experiences and is structured to provide interaction between faculty and students.
  • Students will benefit from a curriculum that recognizes, fosters understanding of, and embraces diversity.
  • Students will benefit from a curriculum that will react to changes in Physical Therapy knowledge and technology.
  • To be successful as a Physical Therapist Assistant and to meet the needs of the profession, it is important for the student to understand learning as a lifelong activity.
  • Clinical experience in a variety of settings is vital for the student to acquire entry level skills as a PTA.
  • PTA students are adult learners and are expected to take responsibility for learning, professional behavior, respect for others, and preparedness.
  • Faculty members are positive role models of the profession of Physical Therapy.
  • No student shall be discriminated upon on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or marital status.

Expectations of the Entry-Level Performance & Behavior of the Graduate

Performance Expectations

  1. Intervention
    • Review the plan of care established by the physical therapist prior to initiating patient/client intervention.
    • Provide safe interventions as directed in the plan of care and supervised by the physical therapist.
    • Provide effective instructions to the patient/client and others to achieve the goals and outcomes as described in the plan of care.
    • Collect data to quantify the patient’s/client’s response to interventions as directed and supervised by the physical therapist.
    • Progress the patient/client interventions through the plan of care
    • Complete documentation that follows professional guidelines, health care system, and physical therapy facility policies.
    • Respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies in the work setting.b. Provide safe interventions as directed in the plan of care and supervised by the physical therapist.
  2. Communication
    • Expressively and receptively communicate in a culturally competent manner with physical therapist, patients/clients, family members, caregivers, other health care providers, students, interdisciplinary team members, administrators, payers, and consumers.
  3. Education
    • Effectively educate others using teaching methods commensurate with the needs of the learners.
    • Educate others about the role of the physical therapist assistant.
  4. Resource Management (human, fiscal, systems)
    • Utilize human and material institution-based resources and services to provide high-quality, efficient and cost-effective physical therapy services.
    • Comply with facility procedures and payer regulations consistent with the health care delivery system and the practice setting.
  5. Career Development

    • Participate in learning and development activities to ensure continued competence
    • Participate in and respond to self-assessment activities
    • Participate in clinical education

 

Behavioral Expectations

    1. Accountability
      • Adhere to federal and state legal practice standards and institutional regulations related to patient/client care and fiscal management
      • Act in a manner consistent with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant and Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Change behavior in response to understanding the consequences of the physical therapist assistant’s actions.
    2. Altruism

      • Place patient/client needs above the physical therapist assistant’s self interests.
    3. Compassion and Caring

      • Exhibit compassion, caring, and empathy in providing services to patients/clients
      • Promote active involvement of the patient/client in his or her care.
    4. Cultural competence

      • Identify, respect, and act with consideration for the patient’s/client’s differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs in all physical therapy activities.
    5. Duty

      • Demonstrate behaviors, conduct, actions, attitudes, and values consistent with the roles, responsibilities, and tasks of the physical therapist assistant.
      • Supports and participate in organizations and efforts that promote physical therapy.
    6. Integrity

      • Demonstrate integrity in all interactions with patients/clients, family members, caregivers, supervising physical therapists, coworkers, other health care providers, students, other consumers, employers, and payers.
    7. Social responsibility

      • Value and support the physical therapy profession in society.
      • Demonstrate citizenship.
 

Program Outline and Course Descriptions

Students can complete the program assuming maximum credit granting for the following General Education courses. 

General Education Courses

 

       Title

Equivalent

Clock Hours

Quarter Credit Hours

Humanities

English: Reading and Writing Composition 50

5

The course description

Humanities

Oral Communication: Speech or Interpersonal Communication

40

4

The course description

Sciences

Anatomy and Physiology with Lab (Note: 100 lecture hours with 40 laboratory hours)

140 12

The course description

Mathematics

Minimum Algebra 1

50

5

The course description

Social Science

Introduction to Psychology or Lifespan Psychology

40

4

The course description

Social Science

History, Economics, Political Science, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, or General Psychology

40

4

The course description

Total General Education Courses

360

34

 

Technical Courses

Course Number

Title

Clock Hours

Quarter Credit Hours

PTA 100

Introduction to Physical Therapist Assistant

22

2

This course provides an introduction to the role and scope of practice of the Physical Therapist Assistant. Emphasis will be on educational preparation, historical overview of physical therapy in the healthcare system, professional affiliations, structure and function of physical therapy services, ethical and legal issues in healthcare, and documentation basics including an introduction to the ICF. Service Learning opportunities are introduced.

PTA 110

Fundamental PTA Procedures with lab

77

4.5

This course begins with patient handling skills and continuation of documentation. Students practice and develop skills in gathering data for documentation necessary for the assessment of patient response to physical therapy while under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Students will acquire skill competency in data collection, test and measurements, patient handling, assistive devices, guarding, transfers, soft tissue mobilization, and basic modalities.

PTA 120

Clinical Kinesiology with Lab

77

4.5

This course provides knowledge of the principles of mechanics, musculoskeletal anatomy and how they relate to human motion and the field of physical therapy. The concepts of locomotion, forces, and levers are introduced. Topics include muscle origins and insertions, actions, Manual Muscle Testing, and gonimetry. Laboratory experiences correlate to the lectures and include Manual Muscle Testing and gonimetry. Students will be expected to achieve competency on a given list of skills.  This course is delivered over two terms. This course is aligned by body system with PTA 220.

PTA 130

Pathology

44

4

This course provides knowledge of disease processes and systemic disorders as well as guidelines, precautions, and contraindications for physical therapy interventions.

PTA 210

Procedures II with lab

66

4

This course continues instruction into the use and application of physical agents, soft tissue interventions and electrotherapies in the practice of physical therapy.  Practice of  treatment techniques is emphasized through laboratory time.  Students will be expected to achieve competency on a given list of skills.

PTA 220

Orthopedic Management

66

4

This course provides an introduction into orthopedic related conditions commonly seen in Physical Therapy. Basic exercise principles and their application are covered with laboratory discussion, demonstration and practice. Students will be expected to achieve competency on a given list of skills. This course is delivered over two Terms. This course is aligned by body system with PTA 120.

PTA 230

Professional Behaviors 

33

3

This course provides an introduction into the concept of multicultural society and how it plays an increased role in the physical therapy clinic. Topics include cross cultural communication skills, the psychology of disability, health disparities between populations, health literacy, age differences, ethics and values, and professional development within the healthcare system.

PTA 222

Patient Care Skills I

22

1

This lab course emphasizes the practical combination of patient pathologies covered to date and the related therapeutic exercise.  Students develop interventions from case scenarios and plans of care. Group participation and student to student assistance fostering communication and independence is encouraged to prepare for the coming clinical affiliation.

PTA 225

Clinical Education I

184

6

4 weeks, 3 days full time.  This is the first integrated clinical experience designed to give the student the opportunity to further their exposure to physical therapy practice in the clinic environment, and apply those skills that he/she has tested proficient in prior to affiliation and that the Clinical Instructor deems appropriate. Students will be at the clinical facility full time for 4 weeks, 3 days. Following the clinical affiliation, the students return to campus for the PTA 226.

PTA 226

Clinical Education I Seminar

11

1

This course will include case study presentations and review of the first full time clinical experience plus content in billing reimbursement, and discharge planning. 

PTA 240

Applied Neurology

66

4

This course builds on neurologically based disabilities commonly seen in physical therapy practice. Common therapeutic interventions for rehabilitation are practiced.  The chronic nature of neurologic conditions and the effect on the life of the individual will be addressed as it affects the provision of physical therapy.  Students will be expected to achieve competency on a given list of skills.

PTA 250

PT Aspects of Growth, Development and Aging

44

3

This course covers relevant topics and interventions that deal with the delivery of physical therapy services across the lifespan; including the aging population, both as a normal process and the common pathologies associated with aging.

PTA 260

Selected Topics

44

3

This course is comprised of selected topics in physical therapy to complement prior course work and to respond to student and faculty (academic and clinical) identified requests for additional information. Required content in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Cardiopulmonary. Additional clinical topics may include: advanced wound topics, chronic pain, taping, and ergonomics and other contemporary issues encountered in physical therapy delivery systems.

PTA 233

Patient Care Skills II

22

1

This lab course addresses the more complex patient.  Case scenarios are used for students to develop problem solving skills in the application of interventions following the Plan of Care with concentration on the progress of exercises.  Case studies will be used to demonstrate the PT/PTA relationship, the process of development of the plan of Care and the PTA's responsibility to that Plan of Care.  Group participation and student to student assistance fostering communication and independence is encouraged to prepare for the coming clinical affiliation.  

PTA 235

Clinical Education II 240 8

6 weeks full time. This is the second integrated clinical experience designed to give the student the opportunity to further their exposure to physical therapy practice in the clinic environment, and apply those skills that he/she has tested proficient in prior to affiliation and that the Clinical Instructor deems appropriate.  Students will be at the clinical facility full time for 6 weeks.  A journal article for the clinical facility is required.  This will be the last six weeks of the quarter.   

PTA 280

Senior Seminar 33 3

This course is designed to bring full circle the educational and clinical experience for the APTA student. Each student will demonstrate the PTA as an educator by presenting a teaching unit related to an area of interest in preparation for the inservice required during the next and final affiliation.  Students will explore what worked and what did not in delivery of Physical Therapy service.  Psychomotor, cognitive, affective, treatment approaches, communication, and documentation will be discussed as it pertains to patient care.  Additional topics pertinent to the graduation PTA will be presented.  These include employment issues, continued professional development, licensure application process and exam preparation strategies, and review of the California PT Practice Acts and Rules and Regulations. 

PTA 245

Clinical Education III

280

9

7 weeks full time; This is the third terminal clinical experience designed to give the student the opportunity to further their exposure to physical therapy practice in the clinic environment, and apply those skills that he/she has tested proficient in prior to affiliation and that the Clinical Instructor deems appropriate. Students will be at the clinical facility full time for 7 weeks.

PTA 290

Licensure Exam Preparation

22

2

This course is designed to provide a review of information and testing that will aid the student in preparation to take the NPTE for licensure as a PTA in California. 16 hours to be provided by outside educational company specializing in PTA exam preparation.

Total Technical Courses


Degree Total Program:

     General Education, Technical Courses

1353

 

1713

67

 

101