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Academics

Academics at Union County College

Physical Therapist Assistant

This is a 68-credit Associate in Applied Science degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. It is designed to prepare individuals for employment in physical therapy settings under the supervision of a Physical Therapist. Graduates are eligible to take the national licensure examination necessary for practice as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA).
 
Course work prepares the student to perform basic physical therapy procedures and should not be considered as a direct vehicle of study towards an entry-level physical therapy academic program. The program demands that students attend classes full-time during the day. Hours for clinical practice may vary and travel to the clinical setting is the responsibility of the student.
 
Specific goals of the program:
 
  • To prepare individuals for employment in physical therapy settings under the supervision of a Physical therapist.
  • To work under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe and effective manner.
  • To provide, in addition to general education and basic science courses, a combination of didactic and clinical learning experiences offered in an integrated and sequential manner to assure entry level proficiency.
 
The specific objectives of this program are that the graduate must be able to demonstrate:
 
  • The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills in the health care setting using appropriate measurement and assessment techniques using the knowledge of indications and contraindications of the disease process.
  • The ability to appropriately observe and report important patient responses by recognizing abnormal and normal responses to interventions and by recognizing the need for intervention modification in response to observations.
  • The ability to understand the rights and responsibilities of returning the individual with a disability as a functioning member within the community, using knowledge of the federal regulations regarding Americans with Disabilities.
  • Basic competency in carrying out interventions by obtaining necessary medical information, organizing the intervention programs, altering the interventions appropriately, and by demonstrating knowledge of indications and contraindications in the patient care.
  • The ability to communicate effectively with the supervising therapist, appropriate medical personnel, families and patients, using appropriate oral and written medical terminology and recording this information in the patient record.
  • The awareness of the current social, political and economic aspects of health care by demonstrating appropriate assessment of the treatment plan’s effectiveness and timely recommendation for the reevaluation of the patient by the physical therapist.
  • The ability to perform appropriate measure­ment and assessment techniques within the knowledge and limits of practice to assist the supervising physical therapists in monitoring and modifying the plan of care.
  • To be critical consumers of the literature through critical analyzes and discussion.
  • To be an active contributor in the health care system and community.
  • To accept responsibility for continuous professional development.