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

  • The program will offer a technical curriculum that is sequential, integrated, and that reflects contemporary Physical Therapist Assistant practice. 
  • The program will prepare graduates to provide physical therapy interventions, in a variety of settings, which are within the PTA scope of practice and under the supervision of a Physical Therapist.
  • The program will prepare graduates to demonstrate ethical and professional behaviors consistent with California State Law and Practice Acts and the professional standards of practice.
  • The program will employ faculty who demonstrate current knowledge in the areas they teach, who are committed to the current professional standards of excellence. 
  • The program will prepare graduates to utilize self assessment and awareness in communication, skills, knowledge, and behaviors with patients/clients, caregivers, colleagues, and other members of the healthcare team.

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.
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 lecture 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, documentation and communication. This course also includes a self-study program in medical terminology.

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, and range of motion.

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, and actions. Laboratory experiences correlate to the lectures and include manual muscle testing and goniometry. Students will be expected to achieve competency on a given list of skills. Part 1 covers the lower extremity. Part II covers the upper extremity.  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 prepares the PTA student to address 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 in stretching and strengthening skills. Part 1 covers the lower extremity. Part II covers the upper extremity. This course is aligned by body system with PTA 120.

PTA 230

Professional Behaviors 

33

3

This course provides an introduction to the concept of individual differences and how it plays an increased role in the physical therapy clinic. Topics include cross cultural communication skills, cultural competency, the psychology of disability, health disparities between populations, age differences, ethics and values, professional development within the healthcare system, and attributes, characteristics or behaviors that are not explicitly part of the profession’s core of knowledge and technical skills but are nevertheless required for success in the clinical experiences and in the profession.

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 experience.

PTA 225

Clinical Education I

184

6

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 the student has tested proficient in prior to the clinical experience and that the Clinical Instructor deems appropriate. Students will be at the clinical facility full time for 4 weeks and 3 days.

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 across the lifespan. 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. Emphasis on Cardiovascular and Respiratory conditions and interventions.

PTA 260

Selected Topics

44

3

This course is comprised of selected topics in physical therapy to complement prior course work. Required content in Prosthetics, genito-urinary conditions, and wound care.  Additional clinical topics may include: vestibular, chronic pain, taping, 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 of the supervising physical therapist. Concentration is on the progression and regression of exercises in response to patient performance.  Case studies will be used to demonstrate the PT/PTA relationship and the PTA’s responsibility to the Plan of Care. Group participation and student to student assistance fostering communication and independence is encouraged to prepare for the coming clinical experience.

PTA 235

Clinical Education II 240 8

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 the student has tested proficient in prior to the clinical experience and that the Clinical Instructor deems appropriate. Students will be at the clinical facility full time for 6 weeks.

PTA 280

Senior Seminar 33 3

This course is designed to bring full circle the educational and clinical experience for the PTA 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 clinical experience. 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 graduating PTA will be presented.  These include employment issues, continued professional development, licensure application process, exam preparation strategies and review of California PT Practice Acts and Rules and Regulations.

PTA 245

Clinical Education III

280

9

This is the third and 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 the student has tested proficient in prior to the clinical experience 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