PTA Course Descriptions

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Physical Therapist Assistant Program Course Descriptions

PTA 101 Introduction to Physical Therapy
(offered every fall)..........................................................1
This is an introduction to the field of physical therapy, its history, and the role physical therapy plays in the health care system. Basic medical abbreviations are learned, and the standards of ethical practice are emphasized. The practice of physical therapy and laws that regulate the physical therapist assistant are discussed along with the American Physical Therapy Association's structure and function. Strongly emphasized are the boundaries between the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant. Also discussed are common practice settings and patient types. Prerequisite: For students whose second language is English, a TOEFL score of 550 or greater and permission of instructor. Corequisite: ENG 103 or equivalent, BIO 171 or equivalent, or permission of PTA Program Director.

PTA 200 Functional Anatomy
(offered every fall)..........................................................3
Knowledge of functional anatomy and kinesiology are essential foundations for the PTA. In this course the skeletal, muscle, joint, and nervous systems are studied in terms of their ability to produce movement. Biomechanics of the human body is emphasized. Lecture and laboratory exercises are integrated to help the student learn how the body moves and then to apply that knowledge to physical therapy. Prerequisite: BIO 172 or permission of PTA Program Director.

PTA 205 Functional Activities
(offered every fall)..........................................................1
Basic patient handling skills are taught and practiced including patient transfers from and with a variety of patient equipment, gait training, wheelchair/bed mobility and transfers training. Assistive devices are introduced and practiced with patient mobility and transfer skills. Body mechanics are taught and practiced with safety emphasized for the patient and caregiver during activity. OSHA safety requirements and universal precaution procedures are presented. Issues regarding the quality, appropriateness, and clarity of documentation is presented and practiced with an emphasis on documenting functional activities. Prerequisite: BIO 172. Co-requisite: PTA 200.

PTA 210 Therapeutic Exercise
(offered every fall)..........................................................2
This is an introduction to the principles and techniques of range of motion, strengthening, soft-tissue stretching, endurance, and balance/coordination. The basic concepts of peripheral joint mobilization are examined. The healing process of the various tissues, ligaments, bones, cartilage, and muscles/tendons is reviewed. Theories of the body's response to exercise in the normal and pathological states are examined. Prerequisite: BIO172 Co-requisite: PTA 200.

PTA 211 Clinical Orthopedics
(offered every spring) ....................................................2
The knowledge of therapeutic management and rehabilitation is expanded with regard to common orthopedic injuries/conditions. Principles for treating soft tissue, bony, and post-surgical problems are emphasized. This includes the investigation of sprains, strains, surgical procedures, overuse syndromes, and fractures. Therapeutic management and rehabilitative intervention methods for the presented condition/injuries in various stages of recovery are investigated joint by joint. Prerequisites: PTA 200 and PTA 210.

PTA 215 Therapeutic Modalities I
(offered every fall)..........................................................3
The student is taught the theory and application of therapeutic thermal agents: heat, cold, ultrasound, and hydrotherapy including aquatic therapy. The pathologic and physiological processes, specific techniques, frequencies, and the effects of intervention are discussed. Application methods are taught with the emphasis on the indications, contraindications, and the precautions for those selected forms of therapeutic thermal agents. The safe, effective and efficient delivery of the physical thermal agents are considered as well as patient and caregiver interactions. Prerequisite: BIO 172 Co-requisite: PTA 200.

PTA 216 Therapeutic Modalities II
(offered every spring) ....................................................2
The student is presented with theories concerning the pathologic processes, the physiological responses to an intervention, and the application of the following agents: electrical current, mechanical lumbar/cervical traction, ultraviolet and external compression. Intervention methods are taught with emphasis on the safe, effective, and efficient deliveries of the physical agents. Consideration is given concerning their indications, contraindications, and the precautions for these physical agents. Because an intervention requires interaction between people, clinical lab activities will emphasize the interaction between the clinician and the patient. Prerequisite: PTA 215 or permission of PTA Program Director.

PTA 217 Therapeutic Procedures
(offered every spring) ....................................................1
The student is presented with the study of pathological gait deviations and the physical therapy management of the burn-injured patient, wound care management, chest physical therapy, amputee care, prosthetics, and orthotics for the upper and lower extremities. Anatomy, physiology, and pathology will be discussed for each topic. Prerequisite: PTA 200 or permission of PTA Program Director.

PTA 220 Tests and Measures
(offered every fall)..........................................................1
This class is an introduction to tests and measures commonly used in the practice of physical therapy including goniometry, gross functional muscle testing, sensation, pain, vital signs, and anthropometric measurements. The comparison of examination with evaluation is emphasized as it relates to physical therapy practice. Prerequisite: BIO 172 Co-requisite: PTA 200.

PTA 223 Clinical Preparation
(offered every fall)..........................................................2
This course orients the student to clinical practice policy and procedures, clinical documentation, and provides information that will assist student learning in the clinical environment. Students begin the process of self-assessing their development of professional behaviors and develop a plan to enhance their professional skills. Co-requisite/Prerequisite: PTA200, PTA205, PTA210, PTA220, PTA215 and HSC260 or permission of PTA Program Director

PTA 224 Clinical Practice
(offered every fall)..........................................................4
This course is a full-time four-week clinical practice. The student applies their novice physical therapy knowledge and skills (selected tests and measures, modalities, therapeutic exercise, and functional activities) under the close supervision of a qualified clinical instructor. Prerequisites: All Fall Semester PTA Classes and HSC260.

PTA 226 Clinical Affiliation/Preparation/Special Topics
(offered every spring) ....................................................2
This course prepares students for completion of the last two clinical practices and their further development of the professional skills required for the PTA work environment. Topics to be covered include stress management, the therapeutic relationship between the PTA and patient, communication skills, disability awareness, death and dying, cultural diversity, and domestic violence. Students develop a plan for continued development of their professional skills in the clinical affiliations. Interviewing skills will be addressed in a special seminar and students will have the opportunity to do a mock interview during the term and have additional help with their résumés. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of all fall semester PTA courses or permission of PTA Program Director. Co-requisite: Spring PTA courses.

PTA 235 Patient Handling and Therapeutic Massage
(offered every spring) ....................................................1
This course teaches therapeutic massage and patient handling skills. The student is instructed in the basic principles and application of soft tissue massage techniques as part of an overall physical therapy intervention plan. Various basic local and general massage techniques are presented and practiced. General principles of massage for specialized systems and selected specific purposes are introduced. Prerequisite: PTA 200.

PTA 245 Neurologic Rehabilitation through the Life Span
(offered every spring)....................................................4
This course prepares the PTA to treat patients with pediatric and adult movement disorders resulting from damage to the nervous system.  Neuroanatomy, motor control, motor learning and motor development form the foundations for understanding the pathology and the interventions used for the patient with neurologic disorders.  Case studies dealing with common pediatric and adult disorders help the student appreciate the effect of the disability on the individual's life and provide an opportunity for the student to apply their clinical reasoning skills and physical therapy interventions.  Prerequisite: PTA 200 

PTA 250 Geriatric PTA
(offered every spring) ....................................................2
This class presents a comprehensive study in the area of physical therapy and aging. Age related changes in biology, physiology, and anatomy are discussed. General information on theory and psychosocial aspects of aging is provided. Specific treatment considerations for the older person are outlined. Prerequisite: HSC260 or permission of instructor.

PTA 290 Clinical Education I
(offered every spring) ....................................................2
This is the initial two-weeks of a five-week clinical affiliation. It allows students to apply their didactic and laboratory learning as an active participant in clinical practice. The student will be expected to practice all the basic physical therapy data collection techniques and treatment interventions and implement the plan of care as directed by the physical therapist. Eighty hours of clinical practice at an affiliated clinical site is required. Prerequisite: Student must be assessed at the developing level or higher on the Generic Abilities Assessment Tool; completion of all PTA course work or permission of the PTA Program Director.

PTA 291 Clinical Education II
(offered every summer)..................................................2
This is the final three-weeks of a five-week clinical affiliation. It provides further development of problem solving and interpersonal skills and continues to develop in the successful student the minimal competencies necessary to become an effective, efficient physical therapist assistant. At the end of this affiliation, the student is expected to consistently provide quality care with simple or complex patients in a predictable environment. The student may require supervision or cueing when addressing complex problems and may still be developing efficiency in delivering treatment plans. One hundred twenty hours of clinical practice at an affiliated clinical site is required. Prerequisite: PTA 290.

PTA 292 Clinical Education III
(offered every summer)..................................................4
This five-week full-time clinical affiliation is the final clinical practice for the student. At the start of this affiliation, the students will have completed 65% of their clinical hours and all of their academic course work. The student will be expected to practice all the basic physical therapy data collection techniques and treatment interventions and implement the plan of care as directed by the physical therapist. At the end of this affiliation, the student is expected to perform at entry-level, consistently and efficiently providing quality care with simple or complex patients in a variety of clinical environments under the supervision of a physical therapist. The student requires no further guidance or supervision except when addressing new or complex problems at which time the student seeks assistance. Two hundred hours of off-site clinical experience are required. The affiliation culminates with a one-day seminar on campus. Prerequisite: PTA 291.