Physical Therapist Assistant Program
The Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program is designed to prepare students to perform as entry-level PTAs. Under the supervision of a physical therapist, entry level PTAs provide rehabilitative care with simple or complex patients to optimize an individual's level of function after an injury or illness. The student is prepared to work as an entry-level PTA in a variety of clinical environments including outpatient facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and home health. The PTA Program includes two semesters of prerequisite course work followed by admission to the PTA Program for three semesters of technical and clinical physical therapy courses. Successful completion of the PTA Program leads to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree making the student eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE). The student must pass the NPTAE to receive a license to practice in the state of Arkansas. Those students wishing to practice in other states should contact the state regulating board of physical therapy for that state to obtain their requirements.
MISSION & PHILOSOPHY
PTA Program Mission: To provide a sound, quality education that will provide the graduate with the necessary entry-level skills to become a competent PTA.
Curricular Philosophy: The NWACC PTA Program curriculum philosophy is designed to support the general educational outcomes for an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and to provide students with a variety of integrative, progressive learning experiences which include didactic, on & off site laboratory, and clinic educational experiences. The emphasis of these learning experiences is to develop PTAs who under the supervision of the physical therapist and within the physical therapy plan of care are technically competent in patient intervention, patient problem solving and judgment, patient assessment, clinical communication and professionalism.
PTA PROGRAM GOALS & TERMINAL COMPETENCIES
Goals: The NWACC PTA Program Goals are:
1. to prepare entry-level PTAs as indicated by the Terminal Competencies,
2. to prepare the graduates to pass the NPTAE allowing for state licensure to practice as a PTA, and
3. to maintain PTA Program accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Terminal Competencies: At the completion of the PTA Program the student is expected to demonstrate entry-level performance in the following areas:
Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical Performance Instrument
American Physical Therapy Association
The NWACC PTA Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). CAPTE may be contacted at:
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
PTA ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS and PHYSICAL DEMANDS
Job Responsibilities: The PTA is an educated health care provider who assists the physical therapist in the provision of physical therapy including physical therapy procedures, patient assessment, and related tasks. Under the supervision of a physical therapist the tasks performed by the PTA may include but are not limited to effectively communicating through listening, speaking, reading & writing in English with a variety of patients, assessing patient progress, gathering patient information, performing data collection of muscle strength and patient function, taking vital signs, patient transfer and gait training, manipulation of exercise equipment, exercise instruction, application of various modalities, patient handling and facilitation skills, palpation, and wound care. The PTA may practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health, schools, research centers, industry, wellness & fitness centers, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care.
ATTENTION: Students planning to apply to the PTA Program pleasse note the following requirement. Physician Certification of the applicants ability to perform the PTA Essential Functions and Physical Demands will be required in the PTA program Application.
PTA Essential Functions and Physical Demands: In order to successfully perform the job of a PTA, the following are required:
STUDENT'S WITH DISABILITIES
NWACC strives to provide reasonable accommodation as necessary to allow a PTA student to be successful. If you feel you would need accommodation, please contact the Office of disAbility Services in the Life Development Center or 479-619-4384.
Students with disabilities who have formally declared their disability with the Office of disAbility Services, and who would like accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment with the course instructor as soon as possible for each class as indicated.
Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Available at: http://www.ocupationalinfo.org/07076224010.html. Accessed October 16, 2006.
Occupational Information Network at: http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/31-2021.00 Accessed October 16, 2006.
NWACC PTA Program Information & Statistics:
Pass Rate on Licensure Exam:
The NWACC PTA Program has a 100% pass rate for graduates taking the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination (NPTAE) since 2000. Graduates of all accredited PTA Programs must pass the NPTAE to become licensed to practice.
The national average pass rate for first time test takers of graduates of accredited PTA Programs is approximately 75%.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) develops and administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTAE) for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. All 50 states and 3 additional jurisdictions use the NPTAE as one factor in the licensure or certification of physical therapist assistants. Accessed June 14, 2007
The three year average graduation rate for graduates from 2011, 2012, 2013 was 74%. These graduation rates include both students who withdrew from the PTA Program for personal reasons and students who were dismissed from the program subject to their right to appeal for failure to meet the academic requirements.
96% employment rate for 3 years
Number of Students Admitted to the NWACC PTA Program:
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) limits the number of qualified applicants the NWACC PTA Program can admit per year to a maximum of 18 students.
For more information about becoming a PT or PTA contact:
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