Physical Therapist Assistant (A.A.S.)

HEGIS: 5219

SUNY CODE: 0489

The Physical Therapist Assistant program is designed to prepare the student to be a skilled health care technician who works under the supervision of a physical therapist. Physical Therapy is a dynamic profession involved in helping patients to preserve, develop and restore optimal function. The curriculum emphasizes “hands on” learning, professionalism, practice ethics and direct patient care. Students have the opportunity to participate in three supervised clinical affiliations for 640 hours of off-site learning.

The goals of this program are to:

  • teach students how to safely administer, document and bill treatment interventions;
  • teach students how to accurately perform tests and measures;
  • develop effective verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills; and
  • provide students with opportunities to participate in activities to promote the profession, social responsibility and the professional culture of continuing education.

Successful graduates from this program will be able to:

  • utilize a knowledge base and scientific principles to effectively implement a physical therapist's plan of care;
  • participate in assessment activities;
  • utilize effective communication skills; and
  • display professional behaviors in the clinical setting.

Career Opportunities/Transfer Information

The PTA may find work in nursing homes, hospitals, private practices, schools, rehabilitation centers or any other area of practice where a supervising PT is available. The employment market is very competitive. Our program gives you the flexibility to seek jobs in diverse locations and diverse occupations. While not designed as a transfer program, HCCC has established a transfer articulation agreement with American International College.

Program of Study

1st Year

1st Semester

EN 111English I - College Writing

3

FS 135First Year Student Sem for PTA

1

MA 127Mathematical Statistics I

3

OR

MA 141Pre-Calculus Math

3

PT 121Introduction to Rehabilitation

3

PT 131Clin Proc I - Basic Procedures

1

PT 132Clinical Proc I - Phys Agents

3

SC 253Anatomy & Physiology I

4

Total Credit Hours:18

2nd Semester

PT 141Clinical Kinesiology for PTA

4

PT 142Clin Proc II - Data Collection

3

PT 143Clin Proc II - Advanced Proced

2

SC 254Anatomy & Physiology II

4

SS 151Intro Psychology

3

Physical Education Activity

1

Total Credit Hours:17

Summer Term

PT 206Clinical Fieldwork I

3

Total Credit Hours:3

2nd Year

3rd Semester

EN 112English II - Intro to Lit

3

PT 251Clinical Proc III - Orthopedic

3

PT 252Clinical Proc III-Neurological

4

SS 155Abnormal Psychology

3

Physical Education Activity

1

Total Credit Hours:14

4th Semester

PT 255Clinical Fieldwork II

4

PT 260Clinical Proc IV - Complex In

2

PT 275Clin Proc IV - Other Syst Int

1

PT 280Clinical Fieldwork III

5

Total Credit Hours:12

Total Credit Hours: 64

Admission Requirements

Admission into Herkimer’s PTA program is competitive and acceptance is selective.  To be considered for admission into the PTA program, high school graduates must have an average average of "80" or higher and a grade of "80" or better in Regents Biology and "75" or better in their math sequence and "75" or better in chemistry or physics. Transfer students have two admission tracks. Admission Track 1: The applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 with a "B" or better in college biology or a "C" or better in Anatomy & Physiology I and a "C" or better in college math and a "C" or better in chemistry or physics. Admission Track 2: The applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 with a "B" or higher in Anatomy & Physiology I (all other science requirements are waived) and a "C" or better in college math. All students entering the Physical Therapist Assistant Program are required to have completed a 15-hour clinical observation. Additionally, all PTA students must achieve a minimum of "C+" in all PTA courses and a minimum of "C" in both required anatomy and physiology courses. Students must also pass all practical and competency examinations with a minimum grade of "B". During the first year of the program, if a student fails to receive these grades in all six PTA classes and two anatomy and physiology classes, ALL PTA classes must be retaken. No student may progress in the program without retaking all classes. If the failure occurs in the fall semester of the second year, the student must repeat the spring first-year classes before progressing. If the failure is of academic coursework and occurs in the spring semester of the second year, the student must repeat the fall second-year classes before progressing. If the failure is of clinical coursework and occurs in the spring semester of the second year, the student must repeat the clinical fieldwork before graduating. Additionally, all classes must be completed sequentially without any time breaks. Applicants to the Physical Therapist Assistant program will be notified by mail of special application procedures and retention requirements. For more information, contact the Admissions Office at (315) 866-0300 or toll free at 1-888-GO-4-HCCC, ext. 8278.

Fieldwork

In order to participate in any clinical fieldwork, the student must comply with New York State Health Department and pertinent OSHA regulations. The student must provide evidence of required immunizations. A physical examination is required for each student entering the program and must be updated annually.

Students are responsible for arranging for individual health insurance prior to each Clinical Fieldwork. The student must also have personal liability and malpractice insurance for $1 million coverage per occurrence, which is covered by student fees.

Students are individually responsible for obtaining CPR and First Aid Certification prior to each clinical affiliation and must provide evidence to the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE).

The PTA program includes two supervised five-week clinical affiliations and one supervised six-week clinical affiliation at three different sites. Due to the limited availability of local clinical sites, students enrolled in the PTA program must be prepared to travel to participating facilities regardless of location. No guarantee of local placement can be made, however the ACCE will attempt to place you as close to home as possible. Students will be required to meet their own living and travel needs during all fieldwork assignments. Clinical Fieldwork assignments usually involve a 40-hour work week for the duration of the experience. PT 280 will be scheduled only after all other course work has been completed satisfactorily. Students must have a 2.5 GPA to be assigned to PT 280 Fieldwork.

The Clinical Fieldwork experience (PT 206, PT 255 and PT 280) must be completed within one semester following the completion of prerequisite requirements.

Additional Program Notes

Students must pass all SC courses with a “C" or better and all PT courses in the PTA curriculum with a "C+" or better and pass all lab practical exams to continue in this program. Students must demonstrate professional behavior in class, lab and clinical settings. A student must demonstrate discernible progress toward the achievement of a degree in this program. A student who is not making discernible progress will meet with their academic advisor for future program planning. The plan must be received and approved by the Allied Health Academic Standards Committee (AHASC).

Students previously enrolled in, and dropped from the program, who have successfully completed readmission requirements, may be readmitted one time.  Students seeking to be readmitted must reapply to the program and compete with the incoming class for a seat in the class.  There is no guarantee of readmission.

The demands placed upon Physical Therapist Assistant students in the academic and practical portions of the program, and later in clinical settings, make good physical and mental health essential. Successful PTA students focus on their academic preparation. Allied Health programs, by the nature of the heavy science and professional emphasis, are among the toughest programs at the College, requiring increased study and dedication over other programs. PTA’s have additional expenses, including very expensive medical textbooks and lodging expenses during clinical fieldwork rotations.

Requirements for Certification

Upon successful completion of the classroom and clinical fieldwork, the student is eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Licensing Examination and to apply to the State of New York Department of Education for certification as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Herkimer County Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

For more information, contact the Business, Health, Science, and Technology Division at (315) 866-0300 or toll-free 1-888-GO-4-HCCC, ext. 8230.