Statement of Philosophy: Physical Therapist Assistant
At the turn of the last century thousands of Finnish families settled, along with other immigrants, in this pristine and beautifully rugged country known as the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan. Most of them worked as farmers, lumberjacks, or miners. Finlandia University's early aim was to educate the Finnish youth in English and other skills that would provide job opportunities in their new land.
The U.P. remains extremely rural in nature. Many of its inhabitants are the third generation of these immigrants. The large dairy and beef farms, which once sustained communities, have diminished. Reduced resources and environmental regulations threaten to close down industries that once were the mainstay of the economy in the region. Large-scale manufacturing industries tend to not locate in the northern U.P. due to high transportation costs.
Small businesses/industries operating within the context of sustain-ability are prospering. Community leaders continue to look for creative ways to develop the region's economy within this framework. Finlandia University is committed to serving the region by contributing to this concept through its program development.
It is within this context that the health care industry in the U.P. is growing. Home health agencies are proliferating due to the large elderly population. Acute-care hospitals are changing to "systems" which provide physical therapy at all levels. Nursing homes are seeking (often through contracts) skilled rehabilitation services.
Physical Therapy is a profession, within the health care industry, which promotes optimal human health and function. The licensed physical therapist applies scientific principles to prevent, identify, alleviate, correct or reduce acute or prolonged movement dysfunction.
The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) is a skilled clinical practitioner who performs patient care under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist and carries out a treatment plan following established procedures. The PTA trains patients in exercises and activities of daily living; administers treatments using special equipment, observes and reports the patient's responses to treatment, and assists in performing evaluations, special tests and complicated treatment procedures.
Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants work as a team, treating clients with dignity and respect, allowing achievement of the highest level of independence.
PTA Program Statement of Conduct and Ethical Standards
PTA Program Goals:
Based upon the mission and curriculum plan, the goals for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program are:
1. To develop clinicians who possess the necessary entry-level technical skills to practice as a physical therapist assistant in a variety of practice settings.
2. To develop clinicians that can apply knowledge of basic sciences and PT theory to the application and appropriate modification of selected PT procedures.
3. To develop clinicians who effectively communicate with patients, supervisors, support personnel and other health care team members using suitable verbal, non-verbal, and written skills.
4. To develop clinicians with critical/creative thinking and analytical skills to make sound clinical judgments and proposals to enhance patient care.
5. To develop clinicians who possess the necessary professional behaviors to practice as a physical therapist assistant in a variety of practice settings. These behaviors include:
§ Commitment to Learning (Use of Constructive Feedback)
6. To prepare the student to pass the NPTAE examination allowing for state licensure to practice as a PTA.
7. To maintain a program accredited by CAPTE.
8. To ensure that students opting for the three-year class schedule have equal success in the program as compared to the students in the two-year program.
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Terminal Competencies*:
At completion of the PTA Program the student will demonstrate the following:
*Physcial Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument
American Physical Therapy Association 2009