Physical Therapist Assistant

Program Curriculum Objectives

  1. Work under the supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner

  2. Recognize their strengths and limitations and be able to interpret this to others in relationship to the scope and role of a physical therapist assistant.

  3. Demonstrate knowledge in the basic science of physical therapy including:
    1. anatomy and physiology
    2. functional anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics
    3. neuroscience and neuropathology
    4. pathophysiology
    5. musculoskeletal dysfunction and pathology
    6. growth and development across the lifespan
    7. physical properties of therapeutic modalities

  4. Prepare patients, the treatment areas, and equipment to be utilized for safe and effective physical therapy treatments.

  5. Implement comprehensive treatment plans as specified and developed by a physical therapist that include:
    1. application of universal precautions, infection control, and wound care techniques
    2. application of external bandages, dressings, external compression and support
    3. application of therapeutic heat and cold including hydrotherapy
    4. administration of ultraviolet light
    5. application of therapeutic electric currents which include biofeedback, iontophoresis
    6. application of therapeutic massage and pulmonary care
    7. application of cervical and pelvic traction
    8. assist/teaching patient activities of daily living and functional activity training
    9. fitting and use of assistive and adaptive devices
    10. postural, balance, and ambulation training
    11. range of motion and stretching exercises
    12. therapeutic exercise
    13. developmental activities and training
    14. application of orthotics and prosthetics

  6. Respond appropriately to acute changes in the patient’s physiological state and communicate on a timely basis with the supervising physical therapist about the patient’s status.

  7. Modify treatment techniques and progress the patient appropriately as indicated in the plan of care developed by the physical therapist.

  8. Perform appropriate assessment and measurement techniques to assist the supervising physical therapist in monitoring and modifying the plan of care that include:
    1. identification of architectural and environmental barriers and modifications
    2. joint range of motion, muscle length, and flexibility
    3. muscle strength and endurance
    4. vital signs, skin condition, sensation, pain
    5. segmental length, girth, and volume
    6. posture, balance, and gait
    7. functional activities

  9. Teach other health care providers, patients and families to perform selected treatment procedures and functional activities

  10. Interact with patients and families in a manner, which provides the desired psychosocial support by:
    1. recognizing their own reaction to illness and disability
    2. recognizing the patients’ and families’ reactions to illness and disability
    3. respecting individual cultural, religious, and socioeconomic differences in people
    4. using appropriate communication processes to elicit desired responses and provides care in a caring and compassionate way

  11. Document relevant aspects of patient treatment appropriately and accurately

  12. Participate in the discharge planning and follow-up care of the patient

  13. Demonstrate appropriate and effective written, oral, and non-verbal communication with patients, families, colleagues, and the public

  14. Demonstrate ability to be an integral member of the health care team and to participate in the health care delivery system including understanding of:
    1. multidisciplinary teams
    2. issues of quality care
    3. regulatory mechanisms
    4. governmental agencies
    5. private sector issues
    6. roles of other health care providers
    7. functions of various health care facilities
    8. resolution of ethical problems

  15. Understand the principles and rationale of organizational processes relating to:
    1. levels of authority and responsibility
    2. supervisory processes
    3. performance evaluations
    4. time management and planning
    5. policies and procedures
    6. fiscal considerations for both the provider and consumer of health care service

  16. Demonstrate the knowledge and practice of reading and interpreting professional literature, and contribute to the development of the profession of physical therapy

  17. Demonstrate a desire for life-long learning and participate in the continued development of knowledge and skills